why cars have red number plate? – Types of Number Plates in India

Why some cars have red number plate ?

Introduction : – 

As the time changes, our young generation loves advanced technology, speed and thrill. But with that thrill comes the vast knowledge that is to be kept in mind  to function properly. In the same way when a person becomes a driver/rider, he starts to pay attention to minute details to vehicles he see in everyday life. Often this person see many different colored number plates but don’t bother much to find the cause of being different colored. Here is the help that will provide you all the necessary information about the different types of number plates in India.

1. What is a car’s number plate?

In the modern times when we are traveling we see vehicles with unique kind of numbers written in the front and back side of the car. That alphanumeric code is called as the number plate of the car. This Alphanumeric code tells about distinct characteristics about the vehicle.

There are many types of number plates in India for example white, yellow, green and red etc., all these different number plates tells different stories. When someone is having white number plate on their car it means it is private vehicle and when someone have yellow number plate on their car then it tells that the vehicle is used for commercial purposes, many other number plates are there and all are described below so here in this article you will come to know that how many colors of number plates are there in India for cars and also you will come to know what is the reason of dissimilar colors of non-identical number plates.

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2. Why a car requires number plate?

A vehicle’s number plate is unique set of alphanumeric code or RC(registration code) that belongs specifically to that vehicle. For example if there is vehicle with number plate number UP12A1234 . Then in this first two alphabets i.e. UP represents the state to which the car belongs. The next part 12A represents RTO(regional transport office) to which the vehicle is registered. And the final number of set i.e. 1234 represents the unique identification number for that specific vehicle. This plate is also known as license plate/registration plate.

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3. What are the different types of number plates in India?

We see many vehicles with different color number plates everyday. Ever wondered what these colors are all about. Here is a list of number plates we see in India:-
I. White number plate – A vehicle with white number plate notifies that it is a personal property and is a non-commercial vehicle .These are for personal use only.
II. Yellow number plate – Cars with yellow number plate are used for commercial purpose like carrying passengers and transport of goods .
III. Green number plate with white alphanumeric code – A green number plate means the vehicle is electrical (EV). And if the license plate number is written in white color then it means it is a personal/non commercial electrical vehicle.
IV. Green number plate with yellow alphanumeric code – Have you ever seen an electrical taxi ?  Then if you noticed the number plate of that vehicle then you have seen green colored plate with yellow digits code the vehicle is of commercial use i.e. for the transport of goods and services.
V. Red number plate – There are two types of red number plates in India –
i}  Red number plate with Indian emblem –
If you ever notice a red number plate with Indian emblem then you should be aware that this vehicle belongs to President of India / Governor of a state.
ii} Red number plate with T/R written on it – A newly purchased vehicle is given a temporary registration number until the vehicle is registered to RTO. In this .T/R represents a temporary registered vehicle.
VI. Black number plate – Black or green number plate is issued to vehicles of Indian army. These vehicles are not registered under any RTO. These comes under the authority of Ministry of Defence.
**Meaning of different alphabets in army vehicle number plate:-

• Let’s assume an army vehicle with number plate  


05A212216Z .Here upward arrow is called as Broad arrow. Since the colonial rule this method was used to name vehicles in army and so is also used after independence.
•  The 2 numbers following broad arrow gives the year of manufacturing of vehicle.
•  Now comes the interesting part , the alphabet A after year numbers represents type of vehicle. This A means that it’s a two wheeler vehicle.
•  In the same format other alphabets used are as follows :
° A – stands for two wheeler vehicle.
° B – stands for cars and jeeps.
° C – stands for light motor vehicle (upto 2.5tonnes)
° D – stands for lorry trucks weighing upto 5tonnes.
° E – stands for specialized trucks/ cranes etc.
° X – stands for  armoured vehicles.

In the end the Alphabet  “Z” represents the check code , which is mandatory for all vehicles of service.

VII. Blue number plate- A vehicle with blue number plate is under the authority of ministry of external affairs. These vehicles are also called as embassy or consulate vehicles used by diplomats.
VIII. Black number plate with yellow digits – This vehicle is a rental self driven vehicles used for tourism or other rental services.

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4. Why there is red number plate on some cars ?

Red number plate represents new vehicle and given temporary registration number until it will be registered under RTO . The red number plate with Indian emblem belongs to President or Governor of the state.

Important :- New updated guidelines regarding vehicle registration :
1) Now no red number plates are provided with new vehicle for registration, the new number plates issued are white in color. So to indicate that it’s a personal vehicle.
2) Other important thing is , the  amount of money for vehicle registration is now deposited with the company (agency) from where you buying the vehicle .
3) Since the company takes the money for vehicle registration so they  provide the number plate to owner of vehicle.

Positive factor:- Since the registration process has become so easy , so it saves plenty of time that earlier was wasted in RTO offices and registration process. You can enjoy that time driving your vehicle with family and friends and have fun.

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5. Precautions and responsibilities associated with a car having red number plate – 

Since a red number plate is for a temporary registered vehicle then , it is illegal to drive vehicle until it gets permanent registration. If you’re driving a temporary registered vehicle the. Be prepared to pay a huge fine, because you will be violating rules.

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