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Things to Know about Your Vehicle’s Number Plate (HSRP)

Janhavi Shinde Janhavi Shinde 07 January 2019

Have you ever wondered what the alphanumeric codes on your vehicle’s number plate denote? Well, we decode those XYZ’s with the 123’s here in a short yet informative read.

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Buying a vehicle these days has never been easier than before. Given the various discounts, offers, and schemes that automobile companies and outlets are coming up with, it isn’t much of a hassle to buy a vehicle at an affordable price. In fact, the several options of finance such as loans and EMIs has now made it all the more easier for anyone to possess a vehicle.

Well, in the light of purchasing vehicles, your vehicle’s number plate assumes a heightened position. It is imperative that you know how important the number plate on your vehicle is to avoid any unnecessary challans or fines while driving.

In this article, we have made an attempt to explain all the essential components of a vehicle's number plate. In addition, we have also tried to explain the latest number plate rules apart from telling you all about the High Security Registration Number or HSRP.

But at the outset, let us understand what a number plate is.

What is a Vehicle Number Plate?

Vehicle number plates are nothing but a combination of digits and alphabets that give your vehicle a distinct identity and register you with the Regional Transport Office or RTO. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 makes it compulsory for any vehicle owner to get his/her vehicle registered as per the number plate rules and install a number plate on the rear and front of the vehicle. An unregistered plate without any number in violation of the number plate rules can attract a heavy fine.

Essential Components of a Number Plate

The alphanumeric combination on a number plate can confuse any layman. It therefore becomes important to understand what those alphabets and numbers stand for.

  • The first two letters in the vehicle registration number indicate the region or state in which the RTO has registered your vehicle. Say for instance, if you register your vehicle in Delhi, your vehicle will be assigned DL as the state code.

  • The next two digits denote the district in which the vehicle has been registered. Since each district has a different RTO, the number too varies with every district.

  • The third major element in a vehicle registration number is the unique numeric combination that is assigned to your vehicle. Usually, the number is of 4 digits, however, this combination can also be of fewer digits or a preferred combination of numbers that can be purchased at RTO auctions or for a higher price.

  • The last part of the registration number plate is the IND logo which stands for India. This is the latest addition in the components of a vehicle number plate and has been added to deter unscrupulous persons carrying out criminal activities. The importance and details of an HSRP have been discussed later in this article.

Registration of Vehicle

As soon as you purchase your vehicle, the first step that you have to undertake is to begin the process of registration of your vehicle under the number plate rules. A new vehicle comes with a TR label that is an acronym for To Register. The owner of the new vehicle has to visit the RTO within 30 days of registering the vehicle and complete the requirements of registration as per the procedure laid out in the number plate rules. The HSRPs are issued after the thorough verification and inspection of your vehicle.

Registration of Fancy Vehicle Numbers

While passing on the streets, you must have noticed several HSRPs with fancy numbers on them. Well, usually, the general practice is that the vehicle owner does not have any say while the number is being assigned to his/her vehicle. However, in certain cases, you can buy these numbers exclusively from auctions that RTOs hold every now and then. Such auctions serve a twofold purpose; not only do they grant special numbers to vehicle owners but such auctions also help the RTO authorities generate considerable revenue.

Special Vehicle Registration Formats

The Motor Vehicles Act specifies certain categories of vehicles that are an exception from the general format of HSRPs.

They are:

  • Vehicles of the President of India.
  • Vehicles of Governor of various states of India.
  • Military Vehicles.
  • Vehicles of diplomats serving India.
  • State Government Vehicles, etc.

High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs)

According to the latest number plate rules, both, new and old vehicles should necessarily have an HSRP on their vehicle to ensure uniformity of registration plates all over the country. The number plate rules as enshrined in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, also state that from April 1, 2019, all new vehicles shall come affixed with HSRPs to avoid any hassle to vehicle buyers. This comes as a respite to lakhs of vehicle buyers who had to stand in queues to get their HSRP fixed post their vehicle registration process.

Benefit of HSRPs

The major benefit of installing an HSRP on the vehicle is that it helps prevent thefts of vehicles. Since the vehicles are pre fitted with the HSRPs, offenders cannot replace the number plates with a new one since the possession of such plates lies only with the government. This helps authorities to check the increasing vehicle thefts in the country.

Features of the HSRPs

  • The HSRPs are made of aluminium with round edges.
  • As per the number plate rules, these registration places have a 7 digit unique code that carry a removable snap lock.
  • In case a person tries to replace the HSRP with his own number plate, he would be unable to do so since the breaking of the snap lock while removing the HSRP would make it almost impossible to install a different number plate.
  • These HSRPs also contain a hologram of the chakra and the acronym of India that is written on the same as IND.
  • The number plate rules of installing HSRPs ensure that the RTOs have a national data of registration of vehicles to keep a track of vehicle movement.
  • In case of damage to the HSRP, the vehicle owner would have to visit the RTO to get a new number plate issued.

Bottom line

So, this was all about vehicle registration numbers and HSRPs. Get your new vehicle registered at the earliest as per the number plate rules so as to avoid any potential penalty or fine.

Happy Motoring!

Janhavi Shinde
Written by Janhavi Shinde
Right from being a Flight Attendant to a Banker and now to a Content Writer, she has tasted success in all the fields. The kinda girl who loves pets and knows how to manage difficult people and events.