Now we come to the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. When the various countries gained independence at the collapse of the Soviet Union, all re-plated with their own distinct styles between 1992 and 1996. Nearly all these countries suffered from an excess of mint unused plates going straight from the factory in Germany to collectors in Germany. These were then sold on as the genuine article. Just about all the mint first series after independence plates in collections are samples and they have never been to the country they represent.
There is no such thing as a correct design mint plate that has come from the actual country it is made for as the FSU countries are very strict about not letting any plates out of their hands.
Moral: Mint German made FSU plates are always samples and often of the wrong design.
These are some of the many, many Turkmenistan private vehicle plates that came straight from Germany. Again, some of them have a gap between the first two and the second two numerals. All the registrations are possible but about 10 of the samples are A 0002 AG – some with and some without the gap. Some of them were even handed out as salesmen’s samples and adorn the walls of various plate factories around the world. Test plates all of them that found their way into German ‘collectors’ hands who sold them on as the real thing.