This is a lesson in how to spot a fake (souvenir) Cuba plate of the 2002 series. These souvenirs are very easy to get for just a few dollars on tourist stalls all over Cuba and there are quite a few photos of the stalls selling them on the www. Sadly some Ebay sellers like to pass them off as genuine Cuba plates. Either because they know nothing or because they are crooks.
This photo has two souvenir (fake) plates on the left and two genuine ones on the right. The souvenirs come in all sorts of (wrong) colours, often have the small number missing and are hand-made with a small punch to make the letters/numerals. Very, very easy to see from the back of the plate but many sellers don’t like to show the back when they are claiming them to be genuine.
These two fakes on the left are from Ebay seller usplates_de in Rosenheim, Germany; one in February 2018 and one in November 2017.
Cuban plates from this series were quite complicated but basically the first letter was for the province, the second showed what sort of owner it was, the third was serial, the number at the bottom showed what sort of vehicle it was and the colour showed what type of owner it was also but in extra detail than the second numeral.
If you look, the hand-made plates are crudely made and some others not shown here are very crudely made; usually the slots are wrong also. There is a laser etched serial number on the real plates.
Always check the likes of the Francoplaque and plateshack websites and demand to see the back of the plate. If in doubt pass on the purchase or trade.