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22 January 2018 12:00 pm

Qatar Guide: So, what's with all the different license plates in Qatar?

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
Content Writer
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Travel down any major highway or minor road in Qatar, and chances are, you may have noticed that certain types of vehicles display a similar colour-text code on their number plate, while others have a different one. Have you ever wondered why? Let us explain.

There are various criteria that regulate which vehicle bears which colour number plate, and you may have noticed in the first instance that some cars have white plates, some black, and others blue. As a matter of fact, the owner isn't allowed to choose the colour of the number plate. The Government of Qatar imposes the colour restrictions, symbols, and categories upon each car via the different license plates -- and they're rules that every car owner must follow.

Based on the actual usage of your car, you'll be granted a license number and type of plate by the government. It's important to mention that Qatar's Traffic Department uses plates modelled on the European system of codification. 

What does each color signify?

1. White background with red text

(Image credit:

White background with red text on it refers to diplomatic license plates which are issued to accredited diplomats only. These are special vehicle registration plates that usually have unique features to enable them to be distinguished from other vehicles, allowing them to have special facilities. 

2. White background black text

White number plates with black text and the word ‘Qatar’ situated on the left (in white) on maroon, refers to a private vehicle belonging to an ordinary citizen. Essentially, this vehicle cannot be used for commercial purposes.

3. Black background with white text 

Black number plates with white text are commercial vehicles. 

4. Blue background with white text 

A blue number plate with white text on it identifies police vehicles.

5. Metallic gray background with black text 

One of the most common number plates you'll see on Qatari roads has a metallic gray background with black letters on it. It's self-explanatory as the word ‘taxi’ is also written on the plate, which helps us to easily identify those vehicles that provide taxi services. 

6. White and red background with black text

A white and red registration board with black writing refers to public transport. 

7. White and green background with black text 

Green and white background number plates with black text on them identify trailers commonly used for the transportation of goods and materials.

(Image credits: Khadiza Begum)

Has this article helped you learn more about the different vehicle license plates in Qatar? Let us know in the comments section below -- and  don't forget to like and share this article!