بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
"Reciting Salawath on our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is an activity that will be accepted by Allah, even if we don't have Ikhlas (piety)".
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All motorized road vehicles are tagged with a licence number in
Plates for private car and two-wheeler owners have a white background with black lettering (e.g., KA 05 M 5399). Commercial vehicles such as taxis and trucks have a yellow background and black text (e.g., DL 2C 6011). Vehicles belonging to foreign consulates have white lettering on a light blue background (e.g., 11 CD 21). The President of India and state governors travel in official cars without licence plates. Instead they have the Emblem of India in gold embossed on a red plate.
Format of the registration is as shown below
AA 11 BB 1111
Where AA is the two letter state code; 11 is the two digit district code; 1111 is the unique licence plate number and BB are the optional alphabets if the 9999 numbers are used up. An example would be:
MH 01 CA 1002
The first two alphabets MH indicate that the vehicle is from the state
The National Capital Territory of Delhi has an additional code in the registration code:
DL 11 C AA 1111
Where DL is the two letter code for Delhi (DL). The additional C (for category of vehicle) is the letter 'S' for two-wheelers, 'C' for cars and SUVs, 'P' for public passenger vehicles such as buses, 'R' for three-wheeled rickshaws, 'T' for tourist licensed vehicles and taxis, 'V' for pick-up trucks and vans and 'Y' for hire vehicles. Thus a Delhi-specific example is:
All Indian states and
The newly created states of Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand (from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar respectively), are registering vehicles under their new two-letter codes, while the old numbers registered in the RTO offices of these states under the RTO code of the parent state still stay valid. In 2007, the state of Uttaranchal was renamed to Uttarakhand, thus the state code changed from UA to
The Government of
The list of two-lettered state codes is as follows:
Andhra Pradesh AP
Himachal Pradesh HP
Jammu & Kashmir JK
Madhya Pradesh MP
Uttar Pradesh UP
The list of two-lettered union territory codes is as follows:
Andaman & Nicobar AN
Dadra and Nagar Haveli DN
Daman & Diu DD
Since all states have a two or more districts, the district is given the charge of registering the vehicle. A vehicle bears the registration of the district in which it is bought rather than the district of residence of the owner. In many states, officials insist that the plates be changed to the local numbers if the owner shifts residence.
The number of districts in the state need not equal the number of permutations of the district field of the licence plate. Often, in large cities the geographical district can be split into two or more administered regions, each governed by an RTO. A case is the Mumbai Suburban district which has the plate bearings MH-02 and MH-03. Also the 01' digit may reflect the capital district of the state, though it may not always be the case.
In some states such as
Though the district field is of two digits, in some areas such as
The last four digits are unique to the vehicle. Usually, the lower 100 numbers are government registered numbers, but it may not always be the case. Special lucky numbers such as 3333 or 6666 fetch a premium and may touch above rupees 10,000.
If all the 9999 numbers are used up, the RTO adds the letter 'A before the number space so that more numbers can be accommodated. In some states, the two letters also give the description of the make of the vehicle. Eg. In Mumbai, MH-01 AA would point to a two-wheeler; where as MH-01 CA is a small car. MH-01 J **** and MH-01 X **** are taxis.
The alphabets may also reflect the subdivision of the district if the district is geographically large.
In Tamil Nadu, the letter G is reserved for Government (both the Union Government of India and State Governments) vehicles and the letter N is reserved for Government Transport Buses. For eg. TN 69 G 3333 could be a government vehicle registered in Thoothukudi District, whereas a TN 72 N 2222 could be a government Bus registered in Tirunelveli District.
In Andhra Pradesh, the letter Z is reserved for the State Road Transport (APSRTC) buses (AP 10Z, AP11Z, AP28Z). The letter P (AP 9P - Khairatabad RTO) is reserved for the state police vehicles.
Karnataka started number series KA 11 AA 1111 from
Prior to 2005 Karnataka used to charge Rs 1000 for obtaining a unique last four digit number. These numbers used to be issued either from the current running series or from one or two future series. When the numbering system was computerized numbers could be issued from any future series. However the Karnataka RTO has now steeply hiked these charges to Rs 6000 if the number to be obtained is in the current series and Rs 25,000 if it is to be issued from a future series.
Military vehicles have a unique numbering system unlike any other licence numbers. The numbers are registered by the Ministry of Defence in
Vehicle belonging to foreign missions bear the plates CD or CC, which stand for Diplomatic Corps or Consular Corps respectively. A diplomatic plate numbered 13 CC xxxx would refer to country 13, probably a country close to the letter A or B. For example, a vehicle bearing the number 77 CD xxxx in
Other numbering includes the special numbers allotted to public transportation such as buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. The numbers are registered by the organizations which run the services and are usually printed on the side of the vehicle.
As soon as a vehicle is purchased, the dealer of the vehicle issues a temporary licence sticker known colloquially as a TR (To Register) number. This is valid for one month, during which the owner must register the vehicle in the controlling RTO of the area in which the owner is residing to get a standard licence plate. Some states like Tamil Nadu do not allow vehicles with TR numbers on the road; the dealer will hand over the vehicle to the purchaser only after the registration process is done. To register a vehicle, it has to be presented to the RTO's office, where a Motor Vehicle Inspector will verify the applicant's address and other details, confirm that the engine and chassis numbers are identical to what is written in the application and issues a permanent registration certificate which is usually valid for 20 years. The permanent registration certificate is one of the four important documents a vehicle plying on the road should always have; the others being a valid insurance certificate, a pollution under control certificate (PUC) and of course, the driver's license. For public utility vehicles like buses, trucks, taxis and pick-up vans, there are a number of additional documents like a road-worthiness certificate and a transportation permit.
Until the late 1980s, the Indian license plate system followed the scheme
Where S was the state code (e.g. C for Karnataka since K was allotted to Kerala); AA were alphabets; and 1111 was the unique licence plate number. Older vehicles still exhibit this legally valid numbering scheme.
In the early 2000s, the number plate colouring scheme changed from white over black (SAA 1111) to black over white (SAA 1111) for private non-commercial vehicles, and from black over white (SAA 1111) to black over yellow (SAA 1111) for all other vehicles. The usage of the older colour scheme was made illegal after a notice period.