Mr Lim

Singapore NRIC + Vehicle Registration Plate Algorithm

So I came across this interesting exercise by Ngiam Shih Tung whereby he demonstrates the reverse-engineering of the NRIC. Relatively technical but worthwhile to peruse.

Incidentally, on the NRIC entry on Wikipedia, they listed out the NRIC of several ‘notable people’ and I also found a few more from a legal document from 1997.

NRIC Name
S0000001I Yusof bin Ishak
S0000002G Wee Chong Jin
S0000003E Lee Kuan Yew
S0000004C Kwa Geok Choo
S0000005A Toh Chin Chye
S0000006Z Goh Keng Swee
S0000007H S Rajaratnam
S0046428G Goh Chok Tong
S0016646D Lee Hsien Loong
S1096110F Tang Liang Hong
S0531156Z Teo Siew Har
S1136758E Tony Tan Keng Yam
S0406096B Lee Yock Suan
S0158131G Teo Chee Hean
S0816644G Ch’ng Jit Koon
S0036442H Ow Chin Hock
S0001050B Chin Harn Tong
S0398064B Ker Sin Tze
S0098408F Seng Han Thong

Ngiam also has links to work done by a certain Ian Fuller (whose website is no longer active) but archived by the Wayback Machine;

Vehicle registration plates in Singapore are issued by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of the Singapore Government. The LTA has a web site at http://www.lta.gov.sg/.

Vehicle registration plates are mostly in a standard format consisting of

  • A one, two or three letter prefix that identifies the type of vehicle
  • A serial number of up to four digits
  • A single check letter that is calculated from the prefix and serial. This is used to verify that the rest of the registration has been recorded correctly.

As far as I know, the method for calculating the check letter is not published by the LTA. With the help of a Dutch expert I have managed to reverse-engineer the algorithm. Click here to download a Microsoft Excel 2000 spreadsheet that includes Visual Basic macros that calculate the check letter. If you have trouble accessing the file directly, click here to download the spreadsheet in a ZIP file.

This table shows the prefix letters that I know about.

The following vehicle types do not follow this convention:

  • Diplomatic vehicles have registration plates in the format S1234CD.
  • Military vehicles have plates in the format 12345MID.

Feel free to contact me with comments or questions: vehicles@ianfuller.com

Prefix Meaning Comment Example
CSS Bus: City Shuttle Service   CSS306H: Hino HT bus
SBS Bus: Singapore Bus Services Now SBS Transit SBS2837R: Volvo B10M Mark IV bus
TIB Bus: Trans-Island Bus Service   TIB1045Y: Mercedes-Benz 0405G articulated
bus
PA
PB
PH
Bus: private hire   PA172S: Dennis Lance
PB2265P: Mitsubishi Rosa
PH1529D: Nissan Civilian
PZ Excursion bus   PZ975K: Mercedes-Benz 140
CB School bus   CB4927D: Mitsubishi Rosa
AA – AZ
FA – FZ
Motorcycles   AX9832T: Honda 125
FL2528Y: Honda 125
SZ
SZA
Rental (hire) cars   SZ1887P: Toyota Corona
SZA8878T: Mercedes-Benz 200
SH
SHA, SHB
Taxis Issued and reissued in blocks to taxi
companies. Some buses also in this group
SH2307K: Nissan Cedric
SHA155L: Toyota Corona
SHB362A: Austin FX4
QA, QB
QBA – QBZ
QCA – QCZ
QEA – QEZ
Business cars Higher rate of tax applies QA1206K: Mercedes-Benz 200
QB1K: : Mercedes-Benz 300
QBX2223K: Proton Saga
QCK6861Z: Jaguar Sovereign
QEZ6257R: Nissan Bluebird
GA – GZ Light commercial vehicles Less than 3 tonnes GVW GG2613Z: Ford Transit
WA – WZ Construction equipment Also airport ground vehicles WA2553E: Hino concrete mixer
WB6553Z: Toyota baggage tractor
XA – XZ Heavy commercial vehicles Greater than 3 tonnes GVW; three or more
axles
XA6001T: Mercedes-Benz 2419 truck
YA – YZ Heavy commercial vehicles Greater than 3 tonnes GVW; two axles YD6909Y: Nissan Cabstar truck
QX – QY Government vehicles Including police QX2352T: Toyota Corolla police car
QY1554D: Ford Cortina estate car
TP Traffic Police motorcycles   TP118Z: Suzuki 750 motorcycle
EA – EZ
S
SA – SF
SK – SY
Private cars Not currently issued, but registrations may
be transferred.
EC9495X: Ford Escort
SB888U: Daimler Sovereign
SY82G: Volvo S80

SBA – SBZ
SCA – SCZ
SDA – SDZ
Private cars Current issue. Check the LTA web site for
bidding on private vehicle plates that will soon be available for issue.
SBB8008A: Honda Civic
SCJ6408E: Rover 416
SDK1810S: Mazda Premacy
RU Restricted use Not for use on public roads. RU2072E: Toyota Hiace minibus
SDC Sentosa Development Corporation Tourist resort SDC1J: Bedford bus
TR
TRA
Trailers Trailers also carry the registration plate
of the towing vehicle.
 

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