29 Jul 2020

HSRP - High Security Registration Plate

Have you recently purchased a new car? If yes, that means you must have got it registered at the nearest RTO in your area. The registered number is then embossed on the vehicle number plate that is attached to the car. In this section, we will be discussing everything you need to know about the car number plate.

Let us begin by understanding what a high-security registration plate is.

What are High-Security Registration Plates (HSRP)?

Are you wondering what HSRP is and why are is it keen to know its importance? According to the new RTO number plate rule, each motor vehicle owner (old or new) must have an HSRP on their vehicle. The objective of this rule is to ensure uniformity and orderliness of vehicle registration plates across the country.

From April 1, 2019, each motor vehicle comes with HSRPs attached. That way, new motor vehicle owners do not have to spend their time standing in long queues to get the HSRP after registering their vehicle at the nearest RTO.

The HSRP is nothing but an Aluminium plate fixed on your vehicle using non-reusable locks. It consists of a chromium-based hologram of Ashoka Chakra on the top-left corner, measuring 20 mm x 20 mm and blue in colour. There is a 10-digit PIN (Permanent Identification Number) engraved on the bottom-left corner of the plate.

Some HSRPs come with the hot-stamped film placed on the vehicle registration number. The inscription ‘India’ is seen at an angle of 45-degree. After the unique registration is engraved, it is electronically linked to your vehicle.

HSRP Significance and Advantages

The existing or old number plates are easily tampered with and can be switched in no time. Because of this, many stolen vehicles end up with replaced vehicle registration plates, making it all the more challenging for police authorities to track them. HSRP is a kind of non-removable lock on your vehicle and impossible to replace. Further, this can help authorities get the number of vehicle theft instances across the country under control.

A few highlighting benefits of HSRP are as follows –

  • High security to your vehicle: Nobody can switch the HSRP with another number plate because the breaking of snap lock makes the installation of any other number plate impossible.
  • Efficient management of registered motor vehicles: Having HSRP attached to motor vehicles allows RTOs across India to maintain a record of all the registered vehicles, and, in turn, manage their movements.
  • Easy replacement of damaged HSRP: If there is any damage to the HSRP, get a new number plate issued with the concerned RTO.
  • Security against theft: The HSRP contains essential details of the vehicle, such as the engine and chassis numbers. It also has a 10-digit PIN that helps in identification in case of theft.
  • Get HSRP at your car dealer: Vehicle dealers sell cars with HSRP attached to it. However, HSRP is issued only after the vehicle owner submits essential details at the time of vehicle purchase.
  • Uniformity: HSRPs come with a uniform pattern to avoid any future confusions related to the vehicle.

What is the Cost of HSRP?

While there is no cap on the HSRP price, which means the value can differ across states in India. Usually, the HSRP costs around Rs. 400 for bikes and can go up to Rs. 1100 for cars (depending on the category of the vehicle). Besides, the colour-coded stickers can be attached for additional Rs. 100.

Where Can You Purchase HSRP?

As of now, vehicle owners in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi can buy HSRP at www.bookmyhsrp.com, a dedicated portal for buying HSRP and colour-coded stickers. The website is verified by the Government of India and you will need your vehicle registration number, engine number, and chassis number to book an appointment.

Besides, other State Governments are yet to enforce an online portal for buying HSRP. So, the best way to purchase it, if you’re not living in UP or Delhi, is by visiting your nearest RTO. You can also buy HSRP with an authorised auto dealer. Check the website of your respective State Transport Department for information on authorised auto dealers before buying the HSRP.

We believe that this information helps you understand the importance of High-Security Registration Plates and how to purchase it. Moving on, let us understand what a temporary number plate is.

What is a Temporary Vehicle Number Plate?

All new vehicles have to get their registrations done at the concerned RTO. The auto dealer initially issues a provisional TR label, which is valid for a month. During this time, the vehicle owner needs to visit the RTO, get their vehicle legally registered and acquire a valid number plate. Usually, an authorised vehicle dealer can help you get a permanent vehicle number plate.

According to the new RTO rule, an examiner at the RTO department verifies and authenticates the vehicle and related details. However, note that you are not allowed to drive your vehicle until your vehicle is registered. If you are caught without registration, you will be liable to pay hefty penalties.

How to Read a Number Plate?

While the number plate seems to have random alphanumeric values, each section holds a specific purpose. The primary objective of having the number plate placed in the front and back of the car is to make it easier for others to identify the vehicle.

A vehicle registration number plate is divided into four sections. Here’s a breakdown of a number plate for a vehicle that is registered in Maharashtra.

Number Plate - MH05DO1017


  • MH - The first section represents the state or union territory. In this case, ‘MH’ indicates Maharashtra. For vehicles that are registered in Gujarat will have ‘GJ’ and Delhi will have ‘DL’. The use of state in the number plate began in the 1980s.
  • 05 - The next two digits represent the district’s sequential number. Every state has several districts in it, and the districts handle the registration of the new vehicles. Each area will have its own RTO (Regional Transport Office), where vehicle registration and other vehicle-related work is processed.
  • DO - The section in the number plate is a unique number that identifies the vehicle. In case no unique numbers are available, then alphabets are used to replace the last digit. Note that one can buy custom numbers for a premium price.
  • HSRP - The last section in the number plate is an oval symbol that displays ‘IND’. This indicates that the vehicle has been registered in India. At times, the oval symbol also has a chromium hologram on the top that resembles a Chakra. This is called the High-Security Registration Plates (HSRP) and was introduced in the year 2005 with a plan to reduce car theft.

Variation of Format on the Number Plate

Many states in India use a unique format. Here, the first digit of the district code is replaced by a category letter. This letter refers to the category of vehicle, such as-

  • C - cars and SUVs
  • S - two-wheelers
  • E - electric vehicles
  • P - passenger vehicles like buses
  • R - three-wheelers
  • T - tourist licenced vehicles
  • V - vans and pickup trucks
  • Y - vehicles for hire

Unique Colours of Number Plates and Their Significance

The following is the list of colours in number plates and what they represent-

  • White: A white colour number plate is for private vehicles. These cars cannot be used for commercial or any other purpose.
  • Yellow: A yellow colour number plate is for commercial vehicles such as trucks and taxis. The driver of this vehicle needs an official permit to use the vehicle for commercial purposes.
  • Blue: A blue colour number plate is used by foreign delegates. The text on these number plates is in white. Instead of the state code, these number plates have the country code written on it.
  • Black: A black colour number plate is used by commercial vehicles that have a private owner. These vehicles have been exclusively rented for commercial use and do not require a commercial driving licence.
  • Red: A red colour number plate is used by vehicles that seat the President of India and the State Governors. Here, the licence number is replaced by the Emblem of India and is embossed in gold.
  • Upward Arrow: Military vehicles in India have their unique way with number plates. It uses a broad arrow as a prefix for the number. Also, the state code is replaced with digits that resemble the year in which the vehicle was procured. The registration of these vehicles is done by the Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.
  • Green: As per the Government of India, all the electric vehicles will be marked with a green number plate.

Special Formats of Number Plates

Besides the standard number plate format, there are special formats of number plates that include the vehicles of -

  1. The President
  2. The State Governor
  3. Military Officers
  4. Diplomats
  5. State Government Employees

Custom Font for the Number Plate

The font you choose for the number plate should be readable from a distance. Any discrepancy in this will attract trouble when caught by the traffic police in India. Hence, it is advised to use clear and bold letters on the number plate.

To Conclude

By now, you must have a brief understanding of vehicle number plates and its representation. Know that tampering with the number plate or its font can attract hefty penalties under the New Motor Vehicle Act, 2019. Hence, it is advisable to keep the number plate intact and in good condition.

On the other hand, know that owning a vehicle is a responsibility. You have to maintain it regularly. However, certain things in life are unpredictable. It is wise to secure your new vehicle financially against unforeseen mishaps with a comprehensive car insurance plan. You can consider buying car insurance online at Finserv MARKETS and benefit from features such as cashless claim settlements, hassle-free renewals, 24x7 assistance, and so much more.

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  • ✔️Can I get a unique number plate for my car?

    Yes. But you have to submit a written application and pay a certain amount, which depends on the type of number plate you need and your vehicle.

  • ✔️What are the custom fonts?

    Custom fonts should be visible to anyone from a distance. Anything that mismatches can get you in trouble with the traffic authorities. It is against the rule to use unrecognisable or unreadable fonts for your car number plate. It is a wise practice to have clear and bold letters for your vehicle number plate.

  • ✔️What is the meaning of a rising arrow in the car number plate?

    The rising arrow on any car number plate signifies Military vehicles.

  • ✔️How is the HSRP denoted?

    HSRPs are holograms of the Ashok Chakra and the acronym of India written on them as ‘IND’.

  • ✔️What are the unique colours of number plates?

    Car number plates come in the following unique colours:

    ●     White

    ●     Yellow

    ●     Blue

    ●     Black

    ●     Red

    ●     Green

    The significance of each colour is explained in the article above.