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Diplomatic License Plate Codes

FBI License Plate Codes

Somewhere in the vicinity of 2500 Soviet and Eastern European officials live in the United States at any given time. The U.S. State Department estimates that 30% to 40% of them are spies.

This comes to about 900 working spies in the diplomatic corps.

It is a very difficult job to keep track of the comings and goings of these "diplomats", so the government has developed coded diplomatic license plates.

The code applies ONLY to diplomatic plates which are conspicuously red, white and blue with the word DIPLOMAT printed at the top.

All diplomatic licenses have a D. The other two letters indicate the nation. SX for example, indicates that the car carries diplomats from the Soviet Union.

FBI counter-intelligence agents are given wallet-sized cards listing the codes for eighteen "problem" nations.

These nations are identified by the following codes :

Albania CP Libya FM
Bulgaria OM Nicaragua QU
China CY North Korea GQ
Cuba DC Poland QW
Czechoslavakia PH Romania ND
East Germany TJ South Africa FY
Hungary KH Soviet Union SX
Iran DM Syria AQ
Iraq TS Vietnam LD

The Washington Post published the code against the wishes of the State Department. They feared RAMBO types might attack diplomatic vehicles of countries they did not like.

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