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Types of Number Plates in India

ByRohit Bisht|Updated on:16-Nov-2023 07:13 AM

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ByRohit Bisht

Updated on:16-Nov-2023 07:13 AM

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Explore the type of vehicle number plates in India, issued by the RTO, from white plates for personal vehicles to red plates for dignitaries.

Types of Number Plates in India

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A number plate is an aluminium plate with a sign affixed to the vehicle’s front and rear. It displays the vehicle’s registration number. The lettering and numbering denote the specific information of the respective vehicle. The vehicle number plates are issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO).

Types of number plates in India

Here are the 8 different types of number plates issued by the RTO:

White number plate: This is one of the most common number plates in India, which is used for the purpose of personal vehicles. This type of number plate features black numbers and letters on a white background.

Yellow number plate: Yellow number plate is also very popular in India as these are used in a number of transports like taxis, rickshaws, trucks, and buses. These number plates feature black letters and numbers on a yellow background.

Black number plate: Black number plates are used for self-rental vehicles (bikes and cars) in India. They are registered as commercial vehicles. However, the driver doesn’t require a commercial driving licence to drive a black number plate vehicle. These number plates feature yellow letters and numbers on a black background.

Green number plate: Green number plates are used for electric vehicles in India. These number plates feature white letters and numbers on a green background. However, there is a difference in letter colouring between commercial and private vehicles. While commercial vehicles get a green number plate with yellow lettering, private vehicles get a green number plate with white lettering.

Red number plate: Emerging from the dealerships, brand-new vehicles sport red number plates with white lettering. These temporary plates, valid for a limited period, serve as a placeholder for the permanent registration number issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO).

Blue number plate: Traversing the diplomatic corridors of India, one encounters blue number plates, adorned with white lettering. These plates are exclusively reserved for vehicles used by foreign embassies, consulates, and their staff members. They provide diplomatic immunity and exemption from certain traffic regulations.

Number plate with an upward-pointing arrow: The Indian Armed Forces maintain a distinct presence on the nation's roads, their vehicles bearing number plates with an upward-pointing arrow. These plates, adorned with black lettering, signify military ownership and are subject to specific traffic rules and regulations.

Red with the emblem of India: The top of the Indian number plate hierarchy is reserved for the President of India and Governors of various states. Their official vehicles bear distinctive red number plates with the emblem of India, symbolising their supreme authority and position in the Indian republic.

What are the components of vehicle plates?

The number plate of a vehicle in India consists of four parts:

State code: The first two letters indicate the state or union territory in which the vehicle is registered.

District number: The next two digits represent the code of the district where the vehicle is registered.

Series of letters: This part consists of one, two, or three letters or may not exist at all. It shows the ongoing series of an RTO and/or vehicle classification. The letters ‘O’ and ‘I’ are not used here to avoid confusion with digits 0 or 1.

Unique number: This is a unique number between 1 and 9999, issued sequentially to each registration.

Also Read: Types of Number Plates in India

Wrap Up

It’s important to note that there are laws related to vehicle registration number plates in India. The RTO issues a vehicle registration plate number, aka number plate, for each vehicle. The High-Security Registration Plate (HSRP) is a tamper-proof number plate that is mandatory for all new vehicles sold in India. The HSRP is made of aluminium and has a hot-stamped chromium-based hologram on the plate. It also has a laser-branding of a permanent identification number. The HSRP is designed to prevent counterfeiting and duplication of number plates.


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