The new format is no longer based on regional district abbreviations, while old plates are still valid
A new format similar to the post-1994 Italian and post-2009 French plate designs has been introduced since 16 February 2011. The plates start with a blue strip at the left with 'AL' and redesigned double-headed eagle in white, 2 serial letters, security hologram, 3 digits, 2 serial letters on a rectangular white background, and end on the right with year of registration and regional code in white on a blue strip. It has been observed that the last two identification elements are de facto not included while the font is more emphasized than the post-2002 one. Plates of all vehicles would experience a similar change. Critics claim that the color of the double headed eagle and strip is not representative of red and black colors of the Albanian flag.
During communism, plates of trucks would be painted upon on the sides with district name initials and a five digit serial number (in 1991 two digits followed with district name initials and three digits). State vehicles bared a white plate with the communist red star, district initials and serial number in black or white. Once private ownership was re-established after the fall of Communism, a new format with standard size was introduced similar to the post 1993 model but with different font and missing national identification strip.
Plate with smaller font and regional code issued from 2002 to 2011. 'KO' stands for Korçë District. Old plates are still valid even though new plates were introduced
Plate with DIN 1451 font issued from 1995 to 2002. 'TR' stands for Tirana District. Note the inclusion of the national identification strip on the left
The old 1993 format is still valid even though the new 2011 plates were introduced in February 2011. The old 1993 format was introduced around 1993 with the addition of the national identification strip (in 1995) on the left and a new bigger DIN 1451 font. Spacing between characters changed numerous times and a security hologram was added. The format starts with a two-letter abbreviation of an Albanian district name. For instance, the abbreviation for Korçë District is KO. A four-digit number follows with a serial letter indicating the order of allocation of each series of numbers. Thus, a plate ending in "B" will have been more recently released than one ending in "A" in the same district. Since 2002, a smaller font was introduced while plates with the older font are still valid.
The numbers and letters running on a Latin alphabet system show the number of vehicles registered in a district. If the last letter of a plate is "U", it means that a particular district has ~200 000 (two hundred thousand) registered cars.