Meaning of Indian Army Vehicles Number Plate

Indian Army Vehicle Number Plate Details : In India, every motor vehicle is typically registered with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and is issued a registration number by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of the state in which the vehicle is purchased. According to the regulations outlined in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), these registration numbers must be displayed on both the front and rear of the vehicle using standard number plates.

However, it’s important to note that specific modifications made to Indian Military vehicles and Indian army vehicles are not subject to the Motor Vehicle Act and the standard CMVR rules. These vehicles are registered with the Ministry of Defence instead.

Indian army vehicles enjoy certain privileges, which may include access to restricted areas. Additionally, Indian military vehicles are not restricted to any particular state or city. This eliminates the need for transfer documentation and associated formalities that could potentially delay the transportation process.

Color, Format and Meaning of Indian Army Vehicle Number Plate

Most Indian army vehicle number plates are distinguished by either a green or black background color. These specific color schemes are typically reserved for vehicles used by officers or their immediate family members for official purposes within the Indian army.

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Indian army vehicle number plates commonly feature an upward-facing arrow as the first or third character. This arrow is followed by two digits, representing the last two digits of the year in which the vehicle was manufactured, imported, or procured by the defense department. The arrow that precedes these year digits is known as the “Broad Arrow.” Its primary purpose is to aid in correctly reading the numbers and characters on the number plate, particularly if the vehicle bearing the Indian army number plate is overturned due to an accident or if the number plate is inadvertently turned upside down.

Following the year digits, there is a base code, which is represented by an alphabet. This alphabet indicates the specific type or category of the Indian military or Indian army vehicle.

Base Code Alphabet on Army Military Vehicles and their Meaning

Base Code AlphabetTypes of Indian Military Vehicle
ATwo wheeler vehicle like Bullet Bikes
BCar or jeeps such as Gypsy
CLight Motor Vehicles which weigh 1 to 2.5 tonnes.
DHeavy Motor Vehicles like truck which weigh between 3 and 5 tonnes.
ESpecialized trucks, cranes etc.
PArmy Bus
XArmored Vehicles

A series of 6 numbers follow the base code. These numbers denote the 6 digit serial number or the vehicle number. The last letter on the Indian army number plate is called the check code which indicates the class of the vehicle.

Number plates of vehicles used by respective Chiefs of Staff of the three Indian military or defense forces have a different background color with 4 stars indicating the rank of the respective chiefs of staff.

The number plate of the Chief of Indian army staff has a red background color with 4 stars on it while the number plates of the Chief of Indian Navy Staff and the Chief of Indian Air Force (IAF) Staff has a navy blue or sky blue background with 4 stars on them. Other than the different colors and 4 stars on them, the format and meaning of the number plates on the Chief of staff’s vehicles remains the same. 

Similarly, officers with the distinguished rank of Field Marshal, Marshal of the Indian Air Force and Admiral of the Fleet have 5 stars on their car or vehicle’s number plates. The 5 stars on these Indian army number plates indicate that the Field Marshal/Marshal of the Indian Force/Admiral of the Fleet can wear their official uniform even after their retirement until their demise.

Special Number Plate other than Military Number Plates

Official vehicles used by the Indian President and the Governors of State are easily identifiable by their plain red number plates adorned with the Indian emblem in gold. Notably, these vehicles do not display their registration numbers on the plates.

Vehicles associated with foreign consulates or delegates from foreign consulates can be recognized by their blue number plates with white lettering.

Electric vehicles, often abbreviated as EVs, bear green number plates with white lettering, distinguishing them from private vehicles which sport white number plates with black lettering. Meanwhile, a yellow number plate with black lettering signifies a public carrier or taxi, and a black number plate with yellow lettering indicates that the vehicle is used for commercial purposes.

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