Germany's system of locale-based license plate prefixes dates from 1906, modified periodically in intervening years. In general, the prefixes identify where plates are issued.
This version has been updated with recent information. Beginning November 1, 2012, some districts might have multiple prefix codes—perhaps as many as six or seven. Similarly, there are instances where a single prefix code is used by multiple districts. In cases where the prefix code doesn't seem to match the name of the city or district, a neighboring or encompassed/encompassing locale from which the prefix was derived might help explain the origin.