Come April 1, 2019, all motor vehicles will be fitted with tamper-proof, high security registration plates (HSRP). This HSRP or third number plate will be fitted on the inside of the windshield of each new manufactured vehicle by the vehicle manufacturers themselves. It will also be placed on the top left corner of the number plates both at the front and back with a laser-branding of a permanent identification number with a minimum of 10 digits into the reflective sheeting on the bottom left of the registration plate. The HSRP will come with a chromium-based hologram sticker, details of registering authority, registration number, laser-branded permanent number and engine number. The HSRP will be such that once its taken out, it will have to be destroyed in order to avoid theft.
The third number plate will also have colour coding for the fuel used in the vehicle. The colour coding is done in order to detect polluting vehicles from the non-polluting ones. CNG and petrol vehicles will have light blue plates while the diesel ones will have orange plates. This number plate’s cost will be inclusive in the final MRP of the vehicle which means, the vehicle dealers authorised to carry out this task cannot ask customers to pay extra for this number plate.
For existing vehicles, the dealers of the vehicle manufacturers will have to affix such plates, supplied by the vehicle manufacturers, on old vehicles after placing the registration mark. These registration plates will be linked to the government’s Vaahan database and will be unique to each vehicle.
The Supreme Court had ordered the roll-out of HSRPs back in 2005 after the 2002 Parliament attack in which vehicle tampering was involved by terrorists. Inspite of SC’s orders, few states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra did not implement it. On 6 December, 2018, the Government of India issued a notification in the Gazette of India under the Motor Vehicle Act for the implementation of HSRP. The notification intends to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 10 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Responding on the matter, The Supreme Court made it clear that the Centre does not have any power to issue such an order or rule and this can only be executed by the State governments. The SC has directed states to implement the rules after selecting a single vendor who would be responsible for this thorough procedure.
Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari told PTI that this move will benefit the consumers and the registration or the number plate will have 15 years of guarantee. This new scheme is a huge relief to vehicle owners as they won’t face any harassment and there will be a nation-wide implementation of the order. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has adopted this scheme after a lot of consideration, objection and suggestions from the public.