How to Obtain Your Favorite License Plate in Hong Kong

The allocation and sale of vehicle registration in Hong Kong is governed under Regulations 9 -14 of the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations, Cap. 374 Sub. Leg. E. This legislation was passed in the year 1973. It legalized the traditional vehicle registration marks purchase by auction.

How to purchase a mark by auction?

Auctions are organized by the Transport Department on a regular basis. You can participate in any one of them and bid for the plate that you like. In order to reserve an unassigned traditional vehicle registration mark for auction, you may apply for it.

Ordinary vehicle registration mark

A person can apply to get an ordinary vehicle registration mark reserved.

  • An ordinary vehicle mark consists of two letters as prefix. It includes combinations like ‘HK’, ‘XX’, ‘AA’, ‘AB’, ‘AC’ and so on but other than ‘AM’, ‘LC’ and ‘ZG’.
  • You can only reserve the next series of the prefix following the current series being issued.
  • The prefix is followed by 1 to 4 numerals.
  • Ordinary vehicle registration mark istransferable together with the vehicle bearing the mark.

Special vehicle Registration Mark

An individual can apply to reserve a special vehicle registration mark.

  • A special vehicle registration mark consists of only a number of 4 digits at most.
  • It may also consist of a two letters as a prefix. The letters include ‘HK’, ‘XX’, ‘AA’, ‘AB’, ‘AC’ and so on but other than ‘AM’, ‘LC’ and ‘ZG’. They are then followed by a number.
  • Special vehicle registration marks are non-transferable.

 Application Procedure

  • Check if the mark that you intend to auction for is available or not.
  • During reserving the mark make it clear whether it is an ordinary mark or a special mark.
  • Submit the application TD585 if the special or ordinary registration mark ‘HK’ / ‘XX’ is available. It would take eight months or more from the submission of application for a special vehicle registration mark or an ordinary vehicle registration mark with prefix ‘HK’ / ‘XX’ to the holding of auction.
  • Submit application TD283 if the ordinary registration mark is other than ‘HK’ / ‘XX’. It would take four months or more from the submission of application to the holding of auction.

What to bring along on the date of auction?

Carry the following documents with you on the day of auction

  • Identity card of the successful bidder/purchaser
  • Photocopy of the certificate of incorporation
  • A crossed check made payable to ‘The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’ or ‘The Government of the HKSAR’.

 Who should attend the auction?

The people who can attend the auction lie in two categories:

  • Any member of the public who is interested in bidding for the marks put up for auction
  • Any person who has submitted a deposit of $1,000 to the Transport Department to reserve a vehicle registration mark for auction

 Is the deposit made for getting a mark reserved, refundable?

  • If you are unsuccessful in bidding for the reserved mark then the deposit of $1,000 will be refunded to you. A notification regarding the refund will reach you through the treasury.
  • If you are successful in bidding for the reserved mark then the deposit of $1,000 will be accounted for in the actual lump sum payable for the mark.
  • If the reserved registration mark (except registration mark with ‘HK’ or ‘XX’ as a prefix, or special registration mark) remains unsold at the auction, it will be allocated to the applicant at a special fee of $1,000, and the deposit paid will be taken as payment of the special fee

How to register a mark bought at auction?

If you have been successful in buying the reserved mark at the auction then you need to:

  • Complete a Memorandum of Sale to confirm acceptance of mark
  • Get the mark assigned to a vehicle registered in your name within 12 months after the due date of being allocated with the mark at auction.

Failure to do either of the above will result in cancellation of the purchase and the mark will be reallocated.

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