Registration number – Papa, Boss, Modi, Ram, Yogi, et al to be charged by RTO Lucknow

If you though a registration number was meant to identify a vehicle, think again. For some, it's an extension of themselves, and stylizing these numbers is common practice.

With a crazy number of fancy number plates, it may sometimes be difficult to know what’s special about a registration number sequence, whereas others are easier to identify. The marketplace adapts quickly and font tweaks help attain a desired result.

The ones that get you to stop and take notice are numbers that generally look like words and sometimes it takes a bit of thought to determine what the number sequence may actually be. It’s a prevalent practice to write the registration number in a stylized number so it looks more like a word than a number. 8055 is a commonly sought. In the right font there’s nothing that’ll stop you from reading it as ‘BOSS’.

Using fancy fonts for a registration number to attain a desired result is a violation of Section 51 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, which dictates the specifics that need to be adhered to. While such activities warranty penalties, it is in fact quite difficult for the transport department to curb the practice despite traffic police policing such violations.

Since the market is innovative, solutions are found in quick time and new designs created constantly. This makes it all the more difficult to track the emergence of numbers as sought after. Evolution of number plate creatives continues unabated. The number 4129 is at times written in hindi in stylized font as Daaru in Hindi. All registration numbers are to be written in English but the norm is openly flaunted. The number sequence of 8148 is stylized as ‘BIG B’. 4141 takes the form of PAPA. 0214 reads like ‘RAM’. 4061 can read like YOGI. 4749 is MODI in hindi. The list keeps evolving.

Even though the Motor Vehicle Act identifies the practice as an an offence, since the penalty associated with it is low, people aren’t deterred from altering registration number fonts to suit their preference. The RTO has now decided to play one up and has identified 25 such numbers that are easily modified and in demand. The proposal is to make these in demand numbers paid to acquire akin to VIP numbers because challans have not quite done the trick.

Making the number plates pricey to acquire is aimed to discourage the practice, and would of course be a revenue channel for the department.
About 350 registration numbers are distributed through an online auction. Numbers identified in this category fall under – ‘Most attractive numbers, ‘Most important numbers’, ‘Attractive numbers’ and ‘Important numbers’. Registration numbers proposed by RTO Lucknow are likely to be made paid numbers.