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Fancy Number Plates – Are They Worth It?

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 has made it mandatory for all vehicles to have a registered license plate. License plates are also called number plates and the Regional Transport Office (RTO) issues these license plates using a combination of letters and numbers keeping in mind the purpose of the vehicle. Many people like to personalize their cars by having fancy numbers on their number plates but there are various guidelines to follow.

Follow the Format

The must be on the front and backside of the car and number plates must follow a certain pattern. Eg. TN07CB 1234

● The first part of the number plate in the first two letters (TN), which is the state or the union territory the vehicle is from. Here, “TN” stands for Tamil Nadu. “DL” would stand for Delhi, “AP” is for Andhra Pradesh, “KA” is for Karnataka, etc.

● The second part is the two-digit number “07”, which denotes the district’s sequential number. Each district has its own sequential number

● The third part of the number plate is a unique four-digit number with letters. Some may customize this to their will by paying a certain amount

● The fourth part is a recent development by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). It is “IND” which stands for our country, India. This was added to reduce fraudulent cases of fake number plates.

Different vehicles have different colour combinations to follow for their number plates. Here are some guidelines to follow:








Private Vehicle






Commercial Vehicle






Rental Vehicle






Private Electric Vehicle






Commercial Electric Vehicle






Foreign Embassy






Temporary Registered Car






Self-Driving Cars in Luxury Hotels





Number Plate Rules

● Clear and visible number plate

● Letters must be in English and number must be in Arabic numerals

● No fancy font or colours

● No stickers, pictures, or symbols on the number plates

● As per Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, the size of the number plate must be as follows:


o Two-wheelers and three-wheelers – 200 x 100 mm

o Medium and heavy commercial vehicles – 340 x 200 mm

o Passenger Car – 500 x 120 mm

o Light motor vehicles – 340 x 200 mm


o Height – 65 mm

o Width – 10 mm

o Space between each letter/number – 10 mm

Is it Worth it?

● Buying a fancy number plate is very expensive. They come in various categories such as super-elite, single-digit, semi-fancy, and so on. The price can range from about 1 lakh - 5 lakhs

● One must always follow guideline if they get a fancy number plate and not following these guidelines can end in paying a fine of up to Rs.1000

● If corrections are not made, one’s license could get suspended or even canceled.

● If the license is suspended, insurance providers will think twice before giving insurance, and buying insurance will become a problem

● Insurance will not cover expenses for breaking rules

It is exciting to have fancy number plates but before you decide to buy it, think if it is really worth all that money one has to pay. If anything goes wrong with the formatting, one can end up paying a lot of money to rectify the error. Personalize your vehicle wisely. Click here to know more about what is allowed in car insurance policies.


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