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Things that you Must Know about a Car’s Number Plate in India

​A vehicle's license plate is also known as a number plate or registration plate. It is a metal plate attached to the car/bike with its registration number embossed on it. As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, it is mandatory for all vehicles running in public places to have a registration number approved by a registering authority. After the registration process is complete, a number plate is assigned to the vehicle, which is known as the official number plate.

Every number plate is unique and no other vehicle across the nation will or can have the same number plate. The license plate has four different parts, each with a specific purpose.

Suppose a vehicle's number plate says MH02RS9876. Well, what does that mean? There's so much more to what we see as mere alphanumeric series. All number plates have a format, which is prescribed by the government over the years. The same has to be followed by all vehicle owners.

Let's take a look at the components of a vehicle number plate-

The first two letters of the number plate indicate the state or union territory in which the vehicle has been registered. For example, if the car has been registered in Maharashtra, the first two alphabets of the vehicle number plate will be 'MH.'

 The next two numbers following the first two alphabets refer to the district in which the vehicle was registered. Every region is assigned with its own sequential number. That's why the government has established the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in every district of the country. The vehicle owner's area of residence is in charge of the vehicle registrations.

The third part of the number plate is unique and helps in identifying the vehicle. In case there's no unique number left to assign, then alphabets are used to replace the last digit. If someone wants a customized vehicle number plate, they can pay a premium amount to get the same.

The last part of the number plate is an oval symbol, displaying 'IND,' which signifies that the vehicle has been registered in India. In High Security Registration Plates, the oval logo also includes a chromium hologram on the top that resembles a 'Chakra.' HSRP was introduced in 2005 to decrease the burglary of vehicles.

Special Formats for Vehicle Number Plate

There are specific exclusions to the standard number plate format that includes the vehicles of:-

  • The President
  • The State Governor
  • Military officers
  • Diplomats, and
  • State government employees

Do you know what do different coloured vehicle number plates represent? Here's a brief-

  • Number plates of private cars and two-wheelers have black letters on a white background.
  • Commercial vehicles including taxis, buses, and trucks have black letters on a yellow background
  • Self-drive rental cars, cars owned by hotels, rented commercial vehicles, have yellow letters on a black background
  • Vehicles of foreign consulates have white letters on a light blue background

We are sure that you got a fair idea about the vehicle number plates and their significance. You should also know that altering or tampering or using number plates with unclear letters is an offense. Therefore, we recommend you to keep your vehicle's number plate in good condition and secure your car against unforeseen circumstances with a car insurance policy. Buy car insurance online in a few easy steps. Just fill in your details, and you are good to go!​