Every motor vehicle in Bharat has to be registered with the RTO of the respective state and it gets a number allotted. That is displayed on number plate on front and back of the vehicle. Vehicle numbers follow a specific pattern where each and every letter and digit in that have a specific meaning. Here we will try to describe the vehicle number pattern.
Format of the Registration Plate
Vehicle number consists alphabets of Latin script (English) and Hindu numerals (also known as Hindu-Arabic numbers). As displayed in the image a vehicle's number can be broken in four parts. Let us examine what does each of those four parts of vehicle number mean.
Note:- The License or Number Plate is the identity of a vehicle. The style of the number plate varies according to the type of the vehicle and how it is used. Vehicle's for private use (car, scooter, motor cycle etc.) have different number plate style than commercial vehicles (taxi, bus, truck etc.). Vehicles owned by military, foreign diplomats and even electric vehicles have altogether different style. More information about the different styles of number plates is available here.
- First two letters are the state code e.g. UP is for Uttar Pradesh and TN is for Tamil Nadu. Every state and union territory of Bharat has its own unique combination of two letters. All vehicles registered in that state will have number beginning with these two letters.
- List of all state codes is provided at the end of this article.
- The next two digits represent the RTO where vehicle is registered e.g. UP 14 means that vehicle is registered with Ghaziabad RTO of Uttar Pradesh.
- The third part can be one, two or three letters. These letters represent the number series. Once all numbers in that series are exhausted, RTO will start using next series.
- The last part is a four digit number, that is a unique number in the series described above. This number is between 0001 and 9999.
Here are the two letter codes for each state and union territory.
When a state or union territory's name or spelling is changed then its two letter code will also change. Here are two examples where state code has been changed.
- Odisha was earlier spelled in English as Orissa. This change in spelling has resulted in change of state code from "OR" to "OD".
- Uttrakhand state was earlier known as Uttranchal. After the change in name the state code was also changed from "UA" to "UK".