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Different Types of Number Plates

Different Types of Number Plates in India (Simply Explained)

India has 8 different types of vehicle number plates. They are White number plate, Yellow number plate, Green number plate, Red number plate, Blue number plate, Black number plate, Number plate with an upward-pointing arrow, Red number plate (with the Emblem of India)

This article will guide you in detail about the meaning, similarities, and differences between each number plate along with the different uses of each vehicle number plate.


  • Types of Number Plates in India
  • Components of a Vehicle Number Plate
  • Vehicle Number Plate Rules and Laws
  • What is the HSRP Number Plate?
  • What is a Temporary Number Plate?

Types of Number Plates in India

Mentioned below are all of the types of vehicle number plates in India:


  • White Number Plate: White number plates indicate private vehicles in India. These vehicles are generally owned by individuals and can only be used for non-commercial activities.
  • Yellow Number Plate: Yellow number plates indicate that the vehicle can be used for commercial activities like transportation businesses.
  • Green Number Plate: A green number plate on a vehicle means that the vehicle is an electric vehicle.
  • Red Number Plate: A red number plate means that the vehicle has a temporary number plate (1-month validity only) and is yet to receive a permanent number plate from the RTO.
  • Blue Number Plate: A blue number plate means that the vehicle is assigned to a foreign diplomat or embassy.
  • Black Number Plate: A black number plate indicates that the vehicle is a rental vehicle.
  • Number plate with an Upward-Pointing Arrow: A black number plate (with an upward-pointing arrow) indicates that the vehicle belongs to the Indian Armed Forces and is registered by the Ministry of Defence.
  • Red Number Plate (with the Emblem of India): A red number plate can only be used by high ranking government officials like the President and Vice President of India, Governors of States, and other high-ranking government officials of the Indian government.

Components of a Vehicle Number Plate

A number plate has quite a few components within it. Let us decipher the components of a number plate so that you know what you are looking at the next time you encounter a vehicle number plate.


First Two Letters: The first two letters denote the state in which the vehicle has been registered.

Following Digits: The following digits denote the RTO center at which the vehicle has been registered.

Alpha Numeric Component: This is the unique identifier of the vehicle.

Last Component: The last component denotes the international registration code for India, i.e “IND”.

Vehicle Number Plate Rules and Laws

Mentioned below are the most important rules pertaining to vehicle number plates stated under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988:


  • All vehicles on Indian roads must have number plates while travelling on Indian roads.
  • Paper number plates are not valid and people using paper number plates can be punished under the law.
  • The Central Motors Vehicles Rules (CMVR) state that each number plate must be of a particular dimension. The dimensions are 65 mm thickness, and 10 mm spacing between characters.
  • There will be no pictures of fancy lettering on vehicle number plates.
  • Temporary number plates will be in red color and will only have a validity of 1 month from issuance.
  • Fancy numbers can be opted for but they need to be registered with the designated RTO.
  • The number plates should be place on the front as well as the rear of the vehicle.

Check all of the rules pertaining number plates in India.

What is the HSRP number plate?

An HSRP (High Security Number Plate) number plate is an aluminum made tamper-proof number plate. According to the Central Motor Vehicles Rule (CMVR), all vehicles registered after 2019 must have HSRP number plates.

The HSRP number plate is similar to a regular number plate but it has 2 differences. The HSRP number plate has a hot stamped chromium based Ashoka Chakra along with a unique laser etched serial number. Also, a vehicle without an HSRP number plate can attract a fine of up to ₹  10,000.

Check out all the rules pertaining to HSRP.

What is a temporary number plate?

A temporary vehicle number plate is a number plate that is assigned by the vehicle dealership at the time of purchase. This number plate has a validity of only 1 month, and the owner should register a permanent number plate from the designated RTO center within this time frame to avoid complications.

You can also apply for an extension of temporary number plate beyond the 1-month time frame with valid reason for the same.

Author Bio

This article is written by Team, an independent website that writes about insurance, finance, health, and more. Our writers have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and degrees in the fields of insurance, finance, economics, and beyond.

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