Plate recognition in Germany


Using your Cloud API demo, the uploaded image returned the following:
License Plate
SAR7039 - 95%
eu-de - 99%

The plate, however, should have read as S ӒR 7039, with an umlaut A (Ӓ).

First, is this a known issue?

Second, white space is significant in Germany.

After the (blue) country code strip is a one, two or three letter abbreviation, which represents the city or region (district) where the car was registered. In the example above, the district ‘S’ is for Stuttgart.

After the location name, there are the round vehicle safety test and registration seal stickers placed above each other.

The stickers are followed by one or two usually random letters and one to four usually random numbers. The total quantity of letters and numbers on the plate is never higher than eight.

A problem with this scheme is that the space between the geographic identifier and random letters is a significant character and must be considered when writing down a number. For example, B MW 555 is not the same number as BM W 555. The confusion can be avoided by writing a hyphen after the city code (district). So B-MW 555 is for B(erlin) MW 555, and BM-W 555 is B(ergheim) W 555.

Please provide us with feedback on these two issues and some idea when they might be addressed.



Yes, there are some similar country-specific characters and formatting requirements in a few other European countries. For example, in Serbia the Ć/Č and Ž/Z characters need to be differentiated. However, adding the various special characters to the general “eu” dataset could reduce overall accuracy.

The solution would be for us to provide a special dataset for Germany (separate from EU dataset), which would properly capture the spacing and unique characters. In that case you could select “Germany” as the license plate style and it would provide the plate number in the format you’re expecting. This is on our roadmap, it just has not yet made it to the top of the priority list. I would expect this to be available towards the end of this year.


Matt, thanks for the info and the quick response.


Is there any update on country-specific character updates?


Not yet. We’re releasing an upgrade in September that improves European accuracy for all countries and adds support for 2-line plates. However, we don’t have a special dataset for Germany yet. This will likely make it into the following release.




still waiting for an solution like TireProfiles wrote in his first post.
Any News ?