Types of Vehicle Number Plates in India


We see different kinds of number plates of different colours on the vehicles running on the road. Let us take a closer look at what each type of number plate denotes.

All vehicles(motorised) in India have a registration or licence number. The RTO issues a vehicle registration plate number aka number plate for each vehicle. There are 8 types of number plates in total issued by the RTO. Here is all you need to know about them.

White Number Plate


This is the most common type of number plate you’ll get to see – a white plate with registration plate number written in black. This plate denotes that the vehicle is private and can be used for only private purposes. This implies that you cannot transport any commercial goods in your vehicle unless they are for personal use.

Yellow Number Plate


Yellow plate with black registration plate number denotes that the vehicle is a commercial vehicle. Your cab is an example for such type of vehicle. You need a commercial permit to drive such a vehicle. Taxis, rickshaws and other goods carriers come under this category.

Green Number Plate


This green plate with white registration plate number represents an eco-friendly car. This denotes that the vehicle is powered by electricity. A vehicle sporting a plate of this colour can be private or commercial. The only difference between a private and commercial vehicle in this case is the use of white and yellow colour font respectively for depicting registration number.

Blue Number Plate


Blue coloured number plate with white letters is issued to vehicles reserved for foreign diplomats by the respective authority.This type of number plates consists of alphabets such as DC, CC, UN standing for Diplomatic Corps, Consular Corps, United Nations respectively. This type of number plate has a country code instead of state code. Here is a table for the same-





Great Britain





United States


Black Number Plate


Black number plates with yellow registration plate number are for commercial vehicles whose drivers don’t require commercial driving permit. It is usually seen on vehicles which are for rental or used by luxury hotels for transport.

Number plate with an arrow pointing upward


This type of number plate is authorized by the Indian government for the Indian Army. They usually have black/green background – the stars in red stand for the Army, sky blue for Airforce, and navy blue for Navy.

Red Number Plate


These type of number plates suggest that this is a brand-new vehicle which has not been given a permanent vehicle registration yet, so will be using a temporary number with 1 month validity.

Red number plate with Indian emblem



This type of number plate suggests that the car belongs to the President of India or the governors of various states. It’s a very special type of number plate with the Indian emblem on red background.

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