High security number plates only for vehicles registered in Karnataka after April 1, 2019
Prasanna Kumar, a two-wheeler owner, was stopped by the traffic police in Vijayanagar earlier this week. After checking his DL and insurance, one of the cops asked him why he has not got the high-security number plate. “When I told it is only for new vehicles, he insisted that all vehicles have to get it and repeatedly asked why I haven’t got one yet. I asked him for the deadline to fix one. He didn’t give a proper reply. He backed off only when I repeatedly told him that it’s only for new vehicles. I was lucky. I’m sure many people get penalised illegally for this,” he said.
As similar complaints of traffic police insisting that motorists replace their old vehicle number plates with High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) are pouring in, the Transport Department and city traffic police division have clarified that HSRP is not mandatory for vehicles that were registered prior to April 2019.
More than 1.75 crore vehicles were registered before April 2019 in Karnataka. Motorists have been complaining about the traffic police insisting on them replacing the old number plates. Some vented their ire on social media complaining that police penalised them on the charge of fixing ‘faulty number plates’.
Another motorist, Shiva B., told The Hindu, “I have been using my bike for over six years. Recently, the traffic police, while checking the vehicle documents, asked me why I had failed to replace the old number plates with new ones. I had an argument with the cop for some time over the high security number plates. I did not get a convincing answer from them.“
Responding to the complaints, Transport Commissioner N. Shivakumar said, “HSRP is not mandatory for old vehicles. It has come into effect from April 2019 and manufactures, through licenced vendors, have to fix the registration plates. Earlier, we had floated a tender to identify vendors for supply and installation of the HSRP. However, the process was stalled due to legal issues. Now, the Karnataka Government has to decide on the issue,” he said.
He further said that the traffic police cannot insist on HSRP for old vehicles. “Number plates have to be installed as per the specification of the motor vehicles rules. As per the existing rules, a penalty can be imposed against motorists for using defective number plates,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Traffic (West) Kuldeep Kumar R. Jain said, “No instructions have been given to the traffic police to insist that motorists replace the old number plates with the new ones. They have to follow applicable rules on number plates.”