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Your Vehicle's Number Plate Rules In India


Getting your license number plate can look like a child’s play. However, there are certain rules one has to abide by to ride or drive on Indian roads and stay away from the eyes of the cops. This blog will give you all the know-how about number plates, the various rules regarding their size, fonts, positioning, etc depending on your vehicle.


First, let us understand what number plates are and what are the different kinds. (include HSNP)


If you own your own private vehicle be it a two wheeler or a car, then you will have black letters and numbers on a white background. If you own a commercial vehicle, then black letters on yellow background will be your number plate colours.


There is also a third category of number plates called high security number plate or HSNP. This category of plates came into existence in 2005 after the amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules,1989. This IND high security number is found at RTO’s registered number plates. You have obtained the license plate legally,  then a chromium plated hologram is also attached above it, which can’t be removed. The principal characteristic of the HSNP plate is its safety features. It is tamper proof, and has a snap lock system which cannot be removed.


b) Each category of vehicle shall have a number plate type and instructions will be provided on the letters to be incorporated.


c) The number should be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle as shown in the pamphlet


d) The font and the display shall be as mentioned in the pamphlet. No fancy lettering, pictures, letters, names, or font should be used. Using non-prescribed font or fancy lettering is a punishable offense.


e) Display of the number on the front and back shall be as shown on the pamphlet.


There are various other rules for registration number display. In this section we go into the size, positioning, fonts of the number plate, depending on the type of vehicle.

  • The registration mark should be displayed at the front and the rear of all vehicles clearly and legibly. If the vehicle is a light motor vehicle, then the registration number should be in the centre with illumination.


  • If it is a motorcycle, the numbers shall be displayed parallel to the handle bar or vehicle parts like a mudguard. 
  • Registration numbers that are displayed on the rear of vehicles should be on the right-hand side at a height not below or above one meter from ground level.
  • The letters of the registration mark should be in English and the numerals in Aerobic. Any deviation from this, like using devanagari or a dravidian script,  is considered a violation of the rules.
  • The registration number should be displayed in two lines: it should start with the state code and then followed by the registering authority code, each one written one below the other in successive lines.
  • In case of other vehicles such as private cars, scooters and motorcycles registration marks shall be in Black colour on White background.
  • There are fixed dimensions for the number plates: two and three wheeler vehicles should have a size plate of 200m*100m. Light motor vehicles or passenger vehicles should have a fixed dimension of 340*200mm or 500*120mm.
  • Medium and commercial vehicles should have number plates in the size of 340*200mm.


Knowing the rules on number plates will save you the money you would have other spent on paying fines and penalties to police personnel. This blog has touched upon key aspects of the number plating rules in India.

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