What are the oval stickers on the back of cars?

I do not have much more to describe these stickers I see other than they are a white oval shape and usually have 3 letters in the sticker. I have seen quite a few of them on the back of SAAB’s and othe european cars and such but have also seen them on the back of a Jeep Cherokee. Are they some type of college alumni or what?
While I am at it, what are the little green trees I see on the bumpers of cars? I see these stickers while driving and haven’t had the chance to ask someone in a parking lot what they are for. Just one of those things that I have wondered about and thought maybe some Dopers can fill me in.

I think that at one point in time, those white ovals with the letters stood for countries, indicating that you had visited that country and were proud of it. Now, just about everyone has one, so unless everyone got suddenly and inexplicably rich, I don’t know what they mean.

There are alot of oval stickers with the letters OBX in my neck of the woods, which stands for the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

It means you’re a member of the Ovalteam!

Oh, sorry. I thought we were talking about a certain chocolate drink mix.

They are always place-names. The two I saw constantly while on my Martha’s Vineyard vacation were MV and INK (Inkwell Beach).

I was never sure if they were for tourists, or part of some parking permit thing.

Originally Europe used those ovals to identify what country a vehicle was from, since there is so much international car travel there. I don’t know if they were mandated by law or just a nicety. IIRC D was for Germany, CH for Switzerland, F for France, and so on. European license plates do not always identify the country or province or whatever, just the license number. Then I guess a lot of people thought they looked quaint so other people started using them with no particular official meaning, like SweetP’s example.

I see a lot of BiH ones here.

I have no freaking idea what they could mean.

The stickers originated in Europe, as a way of distinguishing the car’s country of origin. The two-to-three letter country codes are recognized by the United Nations in the 1949 and 1968 Conventions on Road Traffic.

Here’s the two-letter list of abbreviations.

Here’s the three-letter list of abbreviations. (PDF page 2)

Lor’ he’p us. The stickers originated as a way for countries to distinguish international traffic. The “official” stickers are recognized by the United Nations as listed in the “1968 Convention on Road Traffic and the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic.” In pre-EU Europe, the oval white stickers were used to clearly indicate the nation of registration of a given vehicle: GB for Great Britain, F for France, D for Deutschland, E for España, etc. EU has switched to blue stickers with a circle of stars (EU symbol) surrounding the letter(s).

Anyone with the white stickers in Europe is driving an old car; anyone with either sticker in the U.S. is a pretentious twit, who insists that it be recognized that (a) he lives in a particular (yet none-too-distinguished-on its-own) area; (b) he has been “abroad,” and is displaying the symbol of the country that he visited or that he claims as his homeland; © his car has been “abroad,” and was once registered there.

Ah, so it’s Bosnia!
That makes sense - there are a lot of relocated Bosnian families here in Vermont.

Thanks, Attrayant. The only thing I’ve been able to think it could mean before you enlightened me was ‘bi-human’!

To try to answer the other half of your question: I’m not quite sure by what you mean by “little green trees” but around here (Atlanta) there are cars with green-leaf decals on their bumpers. These indicate that they are alternative fuel/low-emmission vehicles.

I had assumed the same thing with the tree sticker on the back of cars, till I saw one on the back of a Lincoln Town car and one on the back of a SUV. I still think the origin of the Green tree sticker is some kind of environmental org.

Thanks for all the replies on the white oval stickers! I thought it might be something like that but didn’t know where to look. Thanks for the info and the links!

And the white oval stickers have long since reached the “Baby on Board” level of ubiquity & meaninglessness.

Here in California I’ve seen ones that say everything from LBC for Long Beach, CA to JIL for Jesus is Lord. (They often have their meaning spelled out in tiny print under the 3 letters)

Amen! They’re usually on BMWs, Mercedes, or Volvos. Makes me want to reach behind me to the gun rack on my pick-up truck and shoot these little Euro-wannabes in the “arse”, as they would probably say.

Yeah, that’s pretty much the level of ignorance-fighting we’re looking for.

More than one person in this thread is in immediate danger of becoming an ex-member of this message board. They know who they are.

Asked and answered.