You can drive a new car in Nigeria without plate numbers but you must know these...


Posted by: 234DRIVE x NAIJAUTO.COM

Share this post:

Latest news articles

Who said you can't drive a newly bought car in Nigeria without number plates?

You know that feeling when you just buy a car and you want to cruise around town immediately in it. The same feeling comes when you buy new shoes or new clothes. For shoes, bags, clothes, wristwatches, and others in that category, you don't need any legal documentation before you can start to utilize them. 

The reason why cars need proper documentation and registration with the government is that the roads which your new car would drive on were built by the government. You must tag your car worthy of plying every road by obtaining every important document and a signature license plates/number plates that are unique to your car.

But... Can you drive new cars without number plates in Nigeria? That is the question!


When you see cars like this, what comes to mind? new, on sale or being painted 

License plates in Nigeria is a 6 x 12 inches white metal plate with a blue/green/red write-up that represents the code of your car. You can decode the Nigerian number plates to have any idea who owns the car by just looking at the alphanumeric code.

Can you drive new cars without number plates in Nigeria?

According to the law of Nigeria, you can drive a newly bought car for 3 months without license plates as long as you have the legit customs and clearing documents of the car.

Whether the car is brand new, tokunbo, or used, there should be proof that shows you just bought the car. Most of the times, a receipt is issued by the seller or a change of ownership documents.

During these 3 months, you must be processing your license plates while you drive your car around. However, cars without plates attract law enforcement agencies because they need to be sure that the car has no crime attached to it. 

Car dealers/sellers are only allowed by the law to drive cars on sale around with registered car dealer number plates that read 'DLA' to show that the car is legally under sale within Nigeria.


This is the plate number for car sellers

If you can prove to the Police, VIO officials, FRSC officials, and any other enforcement agency that you just bought your car within 3 months then you are not going to have any issues.

Different types of number plates in Nigeria

There are three main types of number plates in Nigeria:

  • Private number plates (blue write-up)
  • Commercial number plate (red write-up)
  • Government number plates (green write-up)

The private number plates are for cars that are for personal use while the commercial plates are for cars that would be used for commercial purposes like Taxis and Transit buses then government plates are for cars that are under the care of the Nigerian government as a State Governor's convoy of cars.

What is the cost of obtaining car-number plates in Nigeria? 

The cost of obtaining vehicle plate number in Nigeria varies from car to car, below is a table for the updated price for this plate numbers.

 Number plates service cost
Service/ Product Cost
Standard Number Plate ₦12,500
Out of Service ₦40,000
Articulated Number Plate ₦20,000
Number Plate Renewal ₦10,000
Number Plate Replacement (Standard) ₦10,000
Fancy Number Plate (Motor Cycle) ₦30,000
Motor Dealer Plate (Special) ₦30,000
Fancy Number Plate (Standard) ₦80,000
Motorcycle Plate (Ordinary) ₦3,000
Motor Dealers Plate (Ordinary) ₦25,000

The process of obtaining vehicle license plates in Nigeria is usually under 2 weeks or more depending on the availability of the materials needed.

Final notes 

You now know that you can drive a newly bought car around without license plates for only 3 months before it becomes illegal to do so. Keep driving safe with NAIJAUTO.COM as we make sure that you always get up to speed.

>>> Get brand new, foreign used, and locally used cars on our car for sale section. Do check them out!

>>> Stay tuned to for more interesting reviews and car price articles like this brought to you by our auto experts.




The number one social media platform for cars in Africa 234DRIVE is now on NAIJAUTO.COM

Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

See more