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Monday, February 10, 2014

Registration of Vehicles and the craze for Fancy Numbers !

We own vehicles and possess valid Driving License to drive them too…. honestly, how many of us underwent the process, passed the test and obtained License in the proper manner ?  …. There are always crowds in front of RTOs ….. in  the interesting film ‘Indian’ ~ there was dual roles – the real hero was that of Senapathi, a meticulous old man fighting to weed out corruption ~ the other was Chandra Bose alias Chandru, a small-time broker outside the RTO who gets people the license for bribes. Senthil was Panee[r]Selvam – the RTO Officer….

The Motor Vehicles Act provides for the registration of all motor vehicles in the country. Each motor vehicle is assigned with a unique Registration Number.  Once the vehicle is registered, a certificate known as ‘RC’  is issued to the owner of the vehicle. Do you remember the REgn Nos. of all the vehicles you owned ? ~ and can you tell those that your close relatives owned / used ?  - in my school days, used to see vehicles with MSV; TMP; TMV; TMY, TMX, TMZ etc., [one of the vehicles owned by my uncle was :  Lamby TMV 6145]

The registration also called licence plate [commonly Number plate] bears the Registration Number [strangely, Honda Activa dealers charge you for Vehicular Number plate as accessory !!!] ~  licence plates are placed in the front and back of the vehicle. By law, all plates are required to be in modern Hindu-Arabic numerals with Latin letters.  Plates for private car and two-wheeler owners have black lettering on a white background. Commercial vehicles such as taxis and trucks have a yellow background and black text.  Only the President of India and State Governors  can travel in official cars without licence plates; they would have the Emblem of India in gold embossed on a red plate.

The current format of the registration index consists of 3 parts, They are
•        The first two letters indicate the state to which the vehicle is registered.
•        The next two digit numbers are the sequential number of a district. Due to heavy volume of vehicle registration, the numbers were given to the RTO offices of registration as well.
•        The third part is a 4 digit number unique to each plate. A letter(s) is prefixed when the 4 digit number runs out and then two letters and so on.

Numbering of vehicle in India is done at Regional/Sub Regional Transport Offices located in various states. Each vehicle number has prescribed format.  For example – if it is TN-06 .. ….  – the last 4 digits are unique to the  vehicle – TN06 is Chennai South-East RTO ; so all motorized vehicles irrespective of whether they are 2 wheeler; 3wheeler or 4 wheeled ones would have the same TN06 …. But there will never be two vehicles with the same 4 digits + same RTO code.   Again though the last four digit numbers are unique – you may not get the number of your choice – as numbers up to 100 are generally registered for Govt – again not necessarily always.  Then there are special numbers.  

In Tamil Nadu, the letter G is reserved for Government (both the Union Government of India and State Governments) vehicles and the letter N is reserved for Government Transport Buses. For e.g. TN 69 G 3333 could be a government vehicle registered in Thoothukudi District, whereas a TN 72 N 2222 could be a government Bus registered in Tirunelveli District. In Andhra Pradesh, the letter Z is reserved for the State Road Transport (APSRTC) buses; the letter P (AP 9P — Khairatabad RTO) is reserved for the state police vehicles.

There are some – who fancy the numbers and there are some who want to avoid numbers – commonly many people want to avoid numbers totaling ‘8’ – some would say that numbers ascending would be good …. !! it is sentiment ~ and may not have any rationale.  In Tamil Nadu, as also in most other RTOs, the Fancy numbers are allotted in advance in payment of prescribed fees.  

Here is a strange and interesting [not the latest news though – but pertaining to Feb 2012] …….. A farmer from Punjab’s Muktsar district shelled out Rs 12 lakh to get a “VIP number plate” for his scooter which cost him Rs 45,000. Ricky Brar, a resident of Khunde Hallal village, was the highest bidder at an auction held at the local transport department office……. He secured the number ‘PB-30-J-0003’ for Rs 12 lakh at the auction.  A man sitting next to Ricky at the auction wanted the same number for his brand new Mercedes. But, Ricky out-bid him by Rs 2 lakh. Before the auction, Ricky bought a new scooter for the number.

“I love VIP numbers and 3 and 7 are my lucky numbers,” said 28-year-old Ricky, an MBA. He also owns a Scorpio with a VIP number ‘PB-31-F-0007.’  Last week, Ricky learnt that the transport department would issue his most awaited series of numbers. “I already have a car. I wanted something else, not a car,” he said.    But, a dealer told him scooters would not be available for the next month. So, Ricky managed to buy an LML Vespa scooter from a government employee for Rs 45,000. He developed the craze for special numbers while in college.

The number 0001 in the same series was auctioned for Rs 3.91 lakh, 0002 for Rs 1.11 lakh, 0004 for Rs 18,000, 0005 for Rs 80,000, 0006 for Rs 12,000, 0007 for Rs 1.1 lakh, 0008 for Rs 60,000, 0009 for Rs 1.12 lakh and 0010 for Rs 40,000.

Any comments please !!!!
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. Very very Interesting info. I recollect of my friend Mr Guru, who is fond of VIP Nos got 9595 for his santro in 2003 or 04

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