History of Moscow: how vehicle license plate numbers appeared

January 4

All motor vehicles were registered in Moscow in 1931. Since the 1910s, when the conveyor assembly system appeared, the automotive industry was intensively developing. Closer to the 1930s, the number of cars in large cities increased remarkably, while there was no single registration system for cars. The importance of introducing vehicle license plate numbers is emphasized by the documents kept in the Glavarchive.

The very first attempts to register motor vehicles in cities were made in the 19th century. At the time, horse-drawn vehicles received license plate numbers that did not allow drivers to evade fees. But introducing the plate numbers uniform standards all over the country was not a burning issue. First efforts were made in the 1920s, but actually they were developed and put into effect only in 1931. On August 11, 1931, the Council of People's Commissars issued a resolution that launched the vehicles registration in the regions.

On October 6, 1931, the Moscow City Council instructed the Moscow Transport Department to start issuing license plate numbers in the capital. Since then, all motor vehicles belonging to organizations, institutions and individuals had to be registered.

The procedure took place in the Moscow Transport Department, where drivers received a single registration ticket and two license plate numbers. Plate numbers were fixed at the front and rear ends of the car, and motorcycles had the front plate number along its front wheel wing, and the rear one — perpendicular to the rear wheel wing. The plate number format established in 1931 (letter — two digits — two digits) was subsequently changed time and again.

Once a car was registered, its license plate numbers were used for the entire operation. It was forbidden to hand over the plate numbers to other cars.

Order on the roads and not only that

In addition to license plate numbers, car owners were obliged to inform transport departments about handing over the car to other persons, putting it for major and medium repairs, changing their address and parking place, as well as notify about changing in the type of car, which happened, for example, when the vehicle body was replaced. Besides, it was impossible to buy or sell used cars and motorcycles that had not undergone technical inspection and not received an assessment from the technical expert consulting bureau of the Moscow Transport Administration.

Thanks to the license plate numbering, the transport system was brought in order and the exact number of motor vehicles in the city was found out, because taking cars outside the city without permission of the Moscow Transport Department was not allowed.

In addition, it has become easier to identify traffic violators and perpetrators of road accidents. The available data helped draw up projects for reconstructing Moscow, road network extension and highways construction, depending on the traffic congestion.

Source: mos.ru

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