Canadian Forces Europe
Privately Owned Motor Vehicle (POMV)
Licence Plates

Army POMV licence plate. Army POMV licence plate. These licence plates were issued to Canadian Army Personnel serving in Germany for registration of their privately owned motor vehicles (POMV's). The registration office was operated under the auspices of the office of the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group Provost Marshal (PM) who assigned Provost personnel, assisted by civilian staff, to perform the specifically assigned duties. Responsibility for issuing civilian driver permits was assigned to the Brigade Transport Officer (RCASC). These particular licence plates were issued in the early 1960s.

Evolution Of The CDN Army Licence Plate:
Former senior officer in the Canadian Provost Corps, Major Bill Stoker, submitted the following information concerning the subsequent establishing of a Canadian Army privately owned motor vehicle licensing system in Germany in 1959:
  • When I (Maj Bill Stoker) went to 4CIBG, Soest,in 1957, we registered our POMVs with the British Army Of The Rhine (BAOR) who the gave us a vehicle permit and the plate number. It was the up to the individual to get the rectangular plastic plate with the assigned numbers (I think they were white on a black background) manufactured by a local source. The only distinguishing item on the vehicle to identify the owner as a Canadian rather than British, was the oval International marker of CDN. I think it was about the time Maj J Walsh arrived ( 1959) that my proposal to have our own vehicle licensing system was accepted. The distinctive white on blue Cdn plate made our German hosts and our Allies much more aware of the Canadian presence and contribution to NATO. In short we raised our profile.
  • Our vehicle registration system had other benefits that were largely unavailable when we were part of the BAOR system. A simple index system involving model, colour, year, etc. made it easier for C Pro C investigators to identify vehicles involved in incidents when plate numbers were only partial or unknown.
  • In 1970, as the designated senior military police officer for the newly amalgamated CAF Europe in Lahr, I offered to provide our system and plates (with appropriate modification) to the new organization. The offer was rejected by the RCAF incumbents ( they had their existing plates from the USA system). Instead, one Maj D Dawe, despite my advice about the unnecessary expense, inconvenience and limited capacity, installed a totally new system with a red and white plate number system devoid of letters. By early 1972 the system was defunct for lack of capacity. A simple introduction of letters restored the system. This particular issue was just one small aspect of some difficulty in integrating with our RCAF brothers.