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Two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles: statutory markings


The aim of this Directive is to harmonise national legislation and set up a type-approval procedure for statutory markings for two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles.


Council Directive 93/34/EEC of 14 June 1993 on statutory markings for two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles.


Directive 93/34/EEC

This Directive relates to the type-approval procedure for two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles, initially put in place by Directive 92/61/EEC which was repealed and replaced by Directive 2002/24/EC.

The vehicles covered by the Directive are as follows:

  • mopeds: two- or three-wheeled vehicles powered by an engine having a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cm3 and having a maximum design speed not exceeding 45 km/h;
  • motorcycles: two-wheeled vehicles with or without sidecar powered by an engine having a cylinder capacity of more than 50 cm3 and/or having a maximum design speed of more than 45 km/h;
  • tricycles: vehicles with three symmetrical wheels and an engine having a cylinder capacity of more than 50 cm3 and/or a maximum design speed of more than 45 km/h;
  • quadricycles: four-wheeled vehicles powered by an engine with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cm3, a maximum design speed of 45 km/h and an unladen mass not exceeding 350 kg are considered to be mopeds, while other quadricycles are classified as tricycles.

All vehicles shall bear a plate and the following indelible inscriptions, listed in order:

  • manufacturer's name;
  • type-approval mark:
    • the vehicle approval number;
    • the lower-case letter "e", followed by the number or symbol identifying the Member State having granted approval;
    • a digital or alphabetical code identifying the vehicle;
  • the vehicle identification number (VIN) comprising:
    • a three-character code (letters or digits) intended to designate a geographical area, a country within a geographical area and a specific manufacturer;
    • six characters (letters or digits) intended to identify the general characteristics of the vehicle (type, variant and version);
    • eight characters, the last four of which have to be digital in order, together with the two other parts to enable a specific vehicle to be identified;
  • the make and references of silencer type(s), except in the case of mopeds and motorcycles;
  • the sound level when stationary.

The plate and inscriptions are affixed by the manufacturer or his authorised representative in an easily accessible place on a part unlikely to be replaced during use.

The manufacturer may affix additional information below or to one side of the mandatory markings, outside a clearly defined rectangle.

Size and type of authorised characters (Latin letters and Arabic numerals) and an example of the manufacturer's data plate for information purposes.

Procedure for adapting the requirements to technical progress.

Procedure for granting type-approval:

  • the manufacturer submits the application for type-approval to the competent authority in a Member State;
  • the competent authority grants type-approval in respect of the statutory markings if they fulfil the technical requirements of the Directive and conform with the information provided by the manufacturer;
  • the competent authority fills in the type-approval certificate annexed to the Directive.

The requirements relating to statutory markings form part of a set of 47 characteristics provided for by Council Directive 92/61/EEC which must all be observed by manufacturers so that two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles may be type-approved and placed on the Community market.

However, Member States may, on a non-discriminatory basis, retain specific essential requirements in order to implement road-traffic rules, provided that the specific requirements concern vehicle use and do not involve any design changes which could hinder their type-approval within the European Community.

Directive 1999/25/EC

Directive 1999/25/EC adapts Directive 93/34/EEC to technical progress. It clarifies certain requirements concerning the symbols and characters to be used for the indication of the statutory markings on the manufacturer's data plate.


Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official journal

Directive 93/34/EEC


OJ L 188 of 29.7.1993

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official journal

Directive 99/25/EC



OJ L 104 of 21.4.1999

Directive 2006/27/EC



OJ L 66 of 8.3.2006


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2008 on statutory markings for two- or three-wheel motor vehicles (Codified version) [COM(2008) 318 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The aim of this Proposal is to codify Directive 93/34/EEC. The new Directive will include the successive amendments made to the original act, without amending its substance.

Codecision procedure (COD/2008/0099).

Last updated: 31.10.2008
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