When visiting Macedonia this summer, I noticed what seemed to be an unusually large amount of cars with foreign license plates, most of them Italian but also a lot of German and American along some other European ones.

I can recall seeing license plates from around 10 (!) different countries in a single road in Debar alone.

Can someone shed some light on this. I'm sure there's an obvious reason I'm missing because the number seems way too high to be explained by tourists from these countries alone.

  • Maybe because Macedonia is an easy place to buy a second citizenship. So a lot of foreign nationals have residency there.
    – user13044
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 7:22
  • @Irked: there is no direct link between country of the owner of cars and country of plates. If a car stay most of time on a country, it should have a license plate of such country. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 8:06
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi - who said the cars are staying for long periods in Macedonia. The OP only said they saw them. But what the hey, your fake tags conspiracy theory is as good as my bought & paid for citizenship theory.
    – user13044
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


If I remember correctly (from news), there are many fake plates, and if one look carefully, you should notice that the plates use wrong font, mixes elements from one region/state to an other, etc.

It is just cheaper to have a fake plate that an car assurance. Just such care should not travel abroad, where police have better access to foreign police databases.

  • Fake plates are usually treated as forgery which can have rather serious consequences throughout the EU. In Germany for example forgery can get you anything from a (rather hefty) fine up to a 5 years prison term depending what you forged. Not only that, but the vehicle would be impounded too.
    – Adwaenyth
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 9:39
  • Yes, but such cars never leave "own" country. I remember an article about fake Swiss license plates, which for a Swiss person, they were clearly fake (wrong font, wrong flags, etc.), but the journalist found many different of such plates (in Macedonia or Montenegro, I doesn't remember correctly). I think traveling near Switzerland with such plate would alert people (and police). Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 9:46
  • 1
    Articles of 2010 and 2016, and it should not be only a Swiss problem: 20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/19416270 and 20min.ch/panorama/news/story/22347639. I just rtmembered wrong, the article of 2010 cite Albania and Kosovo, the second is about plates around the world. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 9:52

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