Vehicle License Registration Stamps of Uruguay

Books and catalogues

Two of several catalogues published by Joe Ross are about the revenue stamps of Uruguay. The second volume is specifically about the revenue stamps issued by the”Patente de Rodados de Departamento de Montevideo” or “Vehicle Registration Department of Montevideo” between 1928 and 1963. 

The complete title of the book is:

Patente de Rodados de DEPARTAMENTO de MONTEVIDEO
The Revenue Stamps of URUGUAY Volume 2
Vehicle Registration Department of Montevideo 1928-1963
by Joe Ross 2005

Cover of the catalogue

The catalogue runs at approx. 60 pages, with page after page of stamps but also background texts and the necessary regulations. The complete contents page from the catalogue is thus:

Contents of the catalogue.

The introduction as published by Joe Ross:

“In the course of assembling modern Uruguay revenue material (post 1915 Forbin catalog), a single Libreta de Automóvil (Vehicle Registration booklet) for the Department of Montevideo, Uruguay, came into my possession. Each of the number of large colorful stamps in the booklet were year-dated, commencing with 1945. Most years were represented through 1963. At the top of each stamp, a manuscript number was entered which corresponds with the vehicle registration number. Stamps pasted in the booklet represented payments made annually, semi-annually (semestre), or quarterly (January March, April-June, July-September, and October-December).

Shortly after I purchased this item, a few additional booklets of automobile registration appeared on the market, including registration stamps for camiónes (pickup trucks). A review of existing revenue literature, including Dr. Richard F. Riley’s “Fiscal Philatelic Literature Handbook” (American Revenuer, June 1997) and all past issues of the Revenue Journal of Great Britain, yielded no information about this type of item.

I gradually have developed a listing of these various items to be incorporated into a modern day catalog of Uruguay revenues. In analyzing the various booklets, it became apparent that vehicles were placed into various categories At first I thought trhey were taxed upon the vehicle horsepower (HP): a 1949 23HP Ford 4-door sedan in Category 13a, a 1954 8HP Morris Minor 4-door in Category 15a, a 30 caballos de fuerza (horsepower) Hudson in Category 18a. Eventually I learned that they were taxed based upon the vehicle’s value. Certainly there must be many more categories. Two booklets did not contain the category information but did present a good run of years. Three additional vehicle registration booklets were for pickup trucks, two of which were from the Montevideo Department, and one from the Maldonado Department, suggesting that each Department uses its own vehicle license stamps. Uruguay’s system of vehicle registration appears to parallel that used in the United States in that each Department (state) requires vehicle registration.

A couple of the booklets included the applicable law with its various requirements. Unfortunately, they contain no specifics with regard to the categories or rates of taxation. In addition to the registration stamps and ordinance information, some booklets contain additional stamps noting change of ownership (Transferencia de Autos) and in one booklet a fee stamp for late registration (Tasa de Avisos). These special items will be covered separately, perhaps in future articles or in an as-yet-unpublished catalog.

Several other categories of vehicle registration stamps have been identified, including pickup trucks, jeeps, motorcycles (with and without sidecars), and even bicycles. No list is yet complete, although we have noted pickup truck licenses from 1950 through 1963 and automobile license stamps going back as far as 1930-31. Evidence of the latter is found in an article by Francisco Erosa titled “Timbres Fiscales del Uruguay” that appeared in the January-June 1939 issue of Uruguay Filatélico. The article includes photocopies of several Uruguay revenues including three Montevideo Patente de Rodados, one with a Semestre value of 17.50 pesos and two with annual values of 45 pesos and 200 pesos for the 1930-31 fiscal year.

To date over 100 different stamps have been identified. Curiously, there are only a handful of duplicates. In studying the registration booklets with their vehicle ordinances, it became obvious that the scarcity of this material is explained by two related requirements: registration booklets were required to remain with the vehicle until the vehicle became inoperable, at which time the booklets were required to be destroyed.

Vehicle category information unfortunately is not indicated on the stamps but only in the pages of the booklet. In order to develop a listing, it became necessary to use the year date as a starting point, then list design types and period of validity, and finally listing the value and color (e.g., 1956 AL [Auto License] 14, 2nd Semestre, $160 blue with black numbers).

Various revenue collectors have generously shared information and provided assistance in this project. I am particularly grateful for the help provided by Bill Barr, Bruce Brunell, Bob Mason, and Dr. Anthony Marks.”

Thanks to Joe Ross it is possible to show some sample pages here:

Page 21 from catalogue.
Page 22 from catalogue.
Page 23 from catalogue.
Page 32 from catalogue.

The catalogue also contains pages with publications such as these on page X:

Page X showing a Vehicle Registration Form from 1904.

The catalogue is available (in printed form only) from Joe Ross directly at 40 dollars (plus postage). His address is: 8036 Rio Linda Blvd., Elverta, CA95626.

Catalogs Price List

Besides this catalogue Joe Ross has published other catalogues as well. These can also be ordered directly from Joe Ross.

  • The Revenue Stamps of Salvador, 1994 Reprint $20
  • Panama Telegraph Stamps, 2000 $40
  • The Revenue Stamps of Iraq, 3rd edition 2003 $40
  • The Revenue Stamps of Jordan & the Occupied Territory (West Bank) 2004 $40
  • The Revenue Stamps of Uruguay Patente de Rodado, 2005 (including Departament of Montevideo Vehicle Registration 1928-1963) $40
  • CALIFORNIA Feed Tags With Tax Paid Indicia “Feeding Stuffs” 2006 $40
  • Panama Revenues- Papel Sellado 1821-1975, 2008 $40
  • Revenue Stamps The Republic of Uruguay 1915-2005, 2012; The Uruguay catalog contains 135 pages of information, 70+ categories of revenue stamps and more than 500 color scans, $55

Shipping is extra.


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