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Different Types of Number Plates in India

Know About the Different Types of Number Plates in India


Types of Number Plates: Every day, you will notice a variety of automobiles on the highways with varying types of number plates in India. Your eyes will be drawn to them because of the various colours on the vehicles, leaving you perplexed. Various coloured number plates have different significance as well.

All vehicles (personal or commercial) must be registered with the RTO under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. (Regional Transport Office). Driving an unregistered car with unregistered vehicle number plate details on public roads is against the law and can result in serious consequences. Number plates with the vehicle’s registration number are required on all registered cars.

You may have noticed vehicles with various coloured number plates, such as white, yellow, green, etc. So, what do these hues represent? Continue reading to learn about the many types of number plates used in India.

Different colours and types of number plates in India:

  • White number plate in India

In India, this is the most prevalent type of license plate. White number plates are required for all private or non-commercial vehicles (two-wheelers and four-wheelers). A white license plate with black text indicates that the car is strictly for personal use. A car with a white registration number plate cannot convey products or carry passengers.

  • Yellow number plate in India

All Auto-rickshaws, Taxis, Lorries, and buses have yellow number plates with black lettering, as you may have noticed. Because all commercial cars must have a yellow number plate, this is the case. Commercial automobiles have a distinct tax structure than individual vehicles, not merely because of their colour. Drivers of yellow number plate vehicles must additionally have a business vehicle license.

  • Black number plate in India

All rented or self-driven vehicles (two-wheelers and four-wheelers) in India must have a black number plate with yellow text. These vehicles have commercial license plates. A black number plate car, on the other hand, does not require a commercial vehicle driver’s license. These number plates are usually found on rental cars and premium hotel vehicles.

  • Green number plate in India

Green license plates are reserved for electric vehicles (EVs). A green license plate is required for all-electric vehicles registered in India. However, the writing colour varies depending on whether the car is personal or commercial. Commercial electric vehicles have a green number plate with yellow text, whereas private cars receive a green number plate with white lettering.

  • Red number plate in India

In India, all new automobiles are given a temporary registration number. The interim registration number is shown in white letters on a red license plate. In India, you can use the red number plate until you receive your permanent registration number from the RTO when your car is registered. Depending on your vehicle, you can replace the red plate with a white/yellow/green number plate after you have the permanent number.

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The temporary license plate is only valid for one month. However, certain Indian states prohibit the use of red license plates on public highways.

  • Blue number plate in India

A vehicle with a blue number plate and white lettering are reserved for foreign ambassadors. The alphabets CC (Consular Corps), UN (United Nations), DC (Diplomatic Corps), and others are written on the blue number plates. Furthermore, these license plates lack a state code. Instead, the diplomat’s country code is displayed.

  • Upward arrow number plate in India

The license plates on all military vehicles registered with the Ministry of Defence have a distinct design. They have an upward arrow at the second character’s start or end. Broad Arrow is another name for the upward-pointing hand. The two digits indicate the year of purchase following the upward arrow; the alphabet next to the two digits is the base code, and the numbers after the base code are the serial number. The last alphabet indicates the vehicle’s class on the license plate.

  • Plain red/Red number plate with the national emblem in India

The governors of the states drive vehicles with plain red number plates. A car with a crimson number plate and a golden national insignia belong to India’s President.

So, the question is; In India, how are license plates assigned? As previously stated, the registration number is issued by the state/union territory’s district-level RTO. The number plate’s components differ depending on the registration place. The state/union territory code comes first, followed by the RTO (district) code.

Obtaining a vehicle number plate details procedure:

Going through the new vehicle registration process is required to receive a number plate. The dealer will handle the vehicle registration and number plate order when purchasing a new vehicle. However, if you want to register the new car yourself, follow the instructions below.

  • Bring your new vehicle to the RTO.
  • Return all completed forms and papers.
  • The RTO official (superintendent) will verify all forms and documentation.
  • At the cash register, pay the road tax and registration cost.
  • An Inspecting Officer will physically inspect the vehicle to ensure that the information in the documentation is correct.
  • The RTO will issue the registration number and receipt following the successful inspection.
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What does the HSRP number plate stand for? In India?

The HSRP number plate is a tamper-resistant aluminium number plate. All motor vehicles registered after April 1, 2019, must have a High-Security Registration Plate, according to the Central Motor Vehicles Rule 1989. (HSRP). The same goes for vintage vehicles with vintage license plates.

Below the international registration code (IND) and Ashoka Chakra hologram, the HSRP has a unique laser-etched code. Snap latches secure the number plate, which is hot stamped. If someone tampers with it, it becomes unusable. Because only RTOs issue HSRPs, they can assist prevent vehicle theft.


There are various types of number plates in India, all you need to know is what you are going to use your vehicle for, and the rest vehicle number plate details can be resolved after that!


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