Meaning behind strange number plates of Indian Army vehicles

Ever thought why INDIAN ARMY vehicles are numbered like the one in the pic? Why there’s an arrow? small sized digits and then number with huge size? what does these symbols mean?
Curious already? Well, here’s how to read and understand the Vehicle numbers on Indian army vehicles in 6 easy steps.


  1. The numbers are registered by the ministry of defence in New Delhi. So that these vehicles can be recognised easily, They don’t have to hang a Huge board as Army or Defence.
  2. The arrow prevents the number from being read wrongly in case the number plate (and/or the vehicle bearing it) turns upside down.
  3. The first two numerals show the year of the model.
  4. The Alphabet after that shows you the class of vehicle.
  5. the numbers later on give you the vehicle number.
  6. The arrow also indicates defence property.

The vehicle registration process is different for different types of vehicles. The private vehicles we use for our personal use or the public transport buses use a number plate of format [MH.xx.yy.zzzz]. The first two initials are of the state/Union territory in which vehicle was registered, then followed by two digits sequential number of a district. Due to heavy volume of vehicle registration, the numbers were given to the RTO offices of registration as well. Then comes the actual 4 digit registration number of the vehicle prefixed with one 2 alphabets which are used when there are many vehicles in the area and there is need to repeat the 4 digit registration number.