Jakarta Metro Police suspends distribution of ‘RF’ license plates synonymous with road arrogance

A Jakarta-registered car sporting an “RF” license plate. Photo: Istimewa
A Jakarta-registered car sporting an “RF” license plate. Photo: Istimewa

“RF” license plates are still going to be around, but at least there won’t be more of them in the near future.

In case you’re not an Indonesian road user, RF license plates refer to those with registration codes containing the two letters, followed by one other letter, that suffixes a preceding number. These license plates generally denote that the vehicle belongs to a civil, military, or police officials.

For example, the code “B 1234 RFP” may be distributed to a Jakarta-registered car owned by a police official. “RFU” would be for an Air Force official, “RFL” for a Navy official, “RFD” for an Army official, while “RFS,” “RFO,” “RFH,” and “RFQ” are for civil officials.

That’s what the regulations state, at least, as people who fall outside those categories have been known to purchase RF license plates thinking that they would be entitled to drive as they please.

Indeed, RF plates (as well as certain car models and color) have become synonymous with road arrogance. There have been numerous reports in recent years of large cars with RF license plates, sometimes illegally equipped with police sirens, demanding right of way while endangering themselves and others.

The Jakarta Metro Police said it has suspended indefinitely the issuance of new RF license plates since November 2022 in order to crack down on their abuse and misuse.

“We want to review the existing data [on registered RF license plate holders],” Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Department Director Latif Usman said on Tuesday.

Essentially, entitled drivers are still out and about, but at least there won’t be any new ones who think they own the road by sporting the powerful license plate.

Last week, amid numerous instances of road arrogance by RF plate owners, Latif stressed that they are not above the law and said that the public should not hesitate to give them social sanctions — such as shaming them online — while the police ensures that they are subject to the same fines as everybody else.

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