Different Types of Car Number Plates in India: A Comprehensive Guide

The Indian transportation system has a variety of registration plates, each meant for certain types of vehicles. While we often talk about the diversity of Indian culture and traditions, have you ever thought about how many different types of vehicle registration plates are used in the country? It is a common sight on roads to see cars with white, yellow or red number plates. With the rise of electric vehicles, cars with green registration plates too are visible. Besides that, we often see some cars in urban areas with blue registration plates. Ever wondered what each colour type of registration plate defines?

Here is a quick guide for you to understand the different types of car registration plates available in India and what they define. This would also help you to understand a part of the country’s transportation regulation system.

In India, the most common number plates are White-coloured ones, which are used by non-commercial private vehicles. The format of the White registration plate varies from state to state or union territories, where the vehicle is registered. However, in general, the format is alphanumeric consisting of a series of letters and numbers that define the state code, the district code and the vehicle’s registration number.

Another common colour for vehicle registration plates in India is Yellow. The Yellow registration plates are used by commercial vehicles such as taxis, buses, trucks etc. These vehicles use the Yellow plate with Black text. Like the White plates, the Yellow plates too come in an alphanumeric format, which comprises state code, district code and the vehicle’s designated registration number.

With the rising number of electric vehicles, the number of vehicles with Green registration plates is increasing on the roads. The Green number plate is specially meant for electric vehicles, irrespective of four-wheelers, three-wheelers or two-wheelers. These registration plates feature a green background with white text, which contains letters and numbers in a similar format as the White and Yellow plates.

While commuting on roads, we often see vehicles with Red number plates. This type of registration is a temporary one and these vehicles are used for testing. Usually, the test drive vehicles in automobile dealerships come with Red number plates. These registration plates are issued to vehicles that are yet to be registered with the Regional Transport Office (RTO) but are being driven on public roads for various reasons like transit, demonstration or testing. The format of the text in these registration plates remains the same as others.

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