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Ways to Display Vehicle Number Plate

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 24/07/2023

Your vehicle licence plate, also known as the car number plate, acts as your vehicle's ID, making it easier to identify. It's a metal plate attached to the front and back of your vehicle, with the official registration number embossed on it.

At first glance, the numbers may seem random, but they each serve a specific purpose. For example, the official licence plate number in India consists of 4 parts. To get a licence plate in India, the car owner first gets issued a temporary license plate valid only for 20 days. During this time, they must visit their district's RTO (Regional Transport Office) and officially register for a standard licence plate.

Upon purchasing a new vehicle, you must also purchase two-wheeler insurance. Most people often opt for third-party insurance for their two-wheeler as a rule of thumb.

A Closer Look At The Car Number Plate

Here's the general format of a number plate in India.

Part 1

The first Part of a number plate indicates the Union Territory. This Part is denoted by letters like TN (Tamil Nadu), MH (Maharashtra), DL (Delhi ), GJ (Gujarat), etc. the two most significant letters of a state's name are used for this part. This method was first started in the 1980s.

Part 2

The following two digits refer to the sequential number of a district. The district handles the new vehicle registrations native to it. Each district has its own RTO (Regional Transport Office) for driver and vehicle registrations.

Part 3

The third Part contains a unique number that helps identify your vehicle. If numbers are unavailable, a letter is used instead of the second digit. This is done so that all prospective vehicles always have an abundance of number codes. It's also common practice to buy unique or custom numbers for a premium price.

Part 4

The last Part of the number plate is a logo that will read "IND", the acronym used for India. This logo also has a chromium hologram (resembling a Chakra) on it. These are High-Security Registration Plates (HSRP).

These plates are tamper-proof and were introduced in 2005 to tamp down on vehicle theft. All vehicles must have these, but some states have yet to adopt this practice. These Parts come together to form a unique code to identify your vehicle.

RTO Number Plate Rules In India

Here are the fundamental rules that every vehicle owner in India must follow regarding their number plates. Failure to comply with these rules can result in you getting fined or penalised in more severe cases.

  • According to Rules 50 and 51 of the Motor Vehicles Act, motor vehicle owners must have a unique licence plate number issued by the Road Transport Authority. It is also mandatory for you to have a motor insurance policy. So, for example, if you're a bike owner, you'll need two-wheeler insurance.

  • The registration alphabet and number should be in black against a white background for light vehicles like cars or bikes and a yellow background for commercial vehicles.

  • The number plate size in India will be specified for every motor vehicle in India.

  • Fancy alphabets, pictures, names or any type of artwork is not permitted.

  • The number plates must always be displayed on the front and rear sides of the vehicle. For bikes, the license plate needs to be placed parallel to the handlebars in front of the vehicle, like a mudguard.

Rules For Number Plate Size In India:

Type of Vehicle  Number Plate Size
Two And Three-Wheelers 200 x 100 mm
Light Motor Vehicles Or A Passenger Car 340 x 200 mm or 500 x 120 mm
Medium Or Heavy Commercial Vehicles 340 x 200 mm

Expanding on this topic, here's a closer look at the rules regarding the size of the alphabet and the number on the licence plate.

Vehicle Class And Specification  Dimensions 
Height Thickness Space
Motorcycles with less than 70 cc engine capacities. Front Letters And Numerals 15 2.5 2.5
All motorcycles and invalid three-wheeler  carriages. Rear Letters 35 7 5
Rear Numerals 40 7 5
Front Letters And Numerals 30 5 5
Three-wheelers with engine capacities below 500cc. Front And Rear Numerals And Letters 35 7 5
Three-wheelers with engine capacities above 500cc. Front And Rear Numerals And Letters 40 7 5
All other motor vehicles. Front And Rear Numerals And Letters 65 10 10

New Number Plate Rules In India

Additionally, new rules for vehicle number plates in India state that all vehicles must have High-Security Registration Plates (HSRP) and colour-coded stickers. The central government introduced this new rule on December 6, 2018. It further states that anyone caught now having these installed will be fined ₹5,000 to ₹10,000.

What is an HSRP?

The High-Security Registration Plate is a security number plate made of aluminium fixed onto a vehicle's front and rear sides - the same as a standard licence plate. However, this plate is different because it is hot stamped with a 20 mm X 20 mm chromium hologram of an Ashoka Chakra in blue on the top left corner. Additionally, a 10-digit PIN (permanent identification number) is laser branded onto the bottom of the plate on the left corner.

HSRP plates also have a hot-stamped film applied across the numbers and numerals. In addition, the film has “INDIA” inscribed at a 45-degree angle. Lastly, the HSRP plate is also electronically linked to the vehicle when installed.

Applying For An HSPR Plate

Upon application, an HSPR plate will cost anywhere between ₹400 for two-wheelers to up to ₹1,100 for four-wheelers. It will depend on which category they belong under. You will also need to get a colour-coded sticker (for identifying diesel, petrol or CNG engines) for ₹100, which is also mandatory.

Here is how to apply for an HSPR Plate:

  • Visit the official Book My HSRP website.

  • Click on the book my HSRP option and fill in all the relevant details in the given fields.

  • If the vehicle is private, choose the 'non-transport' option under the vehicle class field.

  • Click submit to receive your login credentials on your registered mobile number.

  • Login with the credentials and pay the booking fee.

  • Make sure to download and keep the payment receipt for future reference. You'll be notified by SMS as soon as your HSRP number is ready.

In addition to getting your vehicle number plate correctly made to display the number, it is also important to have a two-wheeler insurance policy that protects you from any traffic fines and other liabilities in the event of an accident.

If you are looking for a new two-wheeler insurance plan, you can first check your premiums on Tata AIG’s bike insurance calculator. This makes it easier for you to choose a reasonable policy premium based on which you can select a suitable policy.


A licence plate number is the best method of identification for a vehicle. It's a unique code specific only to that vehicle which allows for easy tracking in case your vehicle ever gets stolen or is involved in any illegal activities.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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