Phuket Land Transport Office Director Terayoot Prasertphol said today that the lack of number plates was an unfortunate problem.
''We have changed the maker of the number plates because of a quality issue,'' he told Phuketwan today.
''But there is a shortage and we cannot stop people from buying cars.''
Most of the vehicles without plates are brand new.
Khun Terayoot said they had asked showrooms to provide red plates where possible, but there was a shortage of red plates as well. Some were made of plastic.
''In many cases, new car buyers have to make do with a piece of paper that says they are authorised to be on the roads on Phuket, but they may have to wait a few weeks for a number plate.''
There's no predicted date yet for the time when the problem will be resolved.