Many people have craze on their vehicle registration numbers. Some of them want fancy numbers while the others want numbers according to their belief in the numerical astrology.

Whatever it may, it will be interesting to know about the theory of formation of vehicle registration numbers in the state, keeping it as a unique identifier for each vehicle.

Old and Current Methods for giving Vehicle Registration Number in Kerala

Till the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, we used a combination of three English alphabets followed by numerals, from 1 to 9999, to make a unique registration mark.

First letter ‘K’ represents the state of Kerala, the second letter shows the series and is fixed by the Government of Kerala when the previous one was exhausted. ‘L’,’R’, ‘E’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ were the alphabets used for the second position. The alphabet in third position represents the District in which the vehicle was registered. Table below shows the alphabets used for representing each District.

1 Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) – ‘T’, ‘V’
2 Kollam (Quilon) –  ‘Q’, ‘U’
3 Pathanamthitta –  ‘B’
4 Alappuzha (Alleppey) – ‘A’, ‘Y’
5 Kottayam – ‘K’, ‘O’
6 Idukky – ‘I’
7 Ernakulam – ‘E’, ‘F’
8 Thrissur (Trichur) – ‘H’, ‘R’
9 Palakkad (Palghat) – ‘P’, ‘G’
10 Malappuram – ‘M’, ‘L’
11 Kozhikode(Calicut) – ‘Z’, ‘D’
12 Wayanad – ‘W’
13 Kannur (Cannanore) – ‘C’, ‘N’
14 Kasargod – ‘S’
15 State Transport Undertaking (KSRTC) – ‘X

Present System

On the commencement of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, wef 01/07/1989, the registration mark of vehicles is formed in a new format. The Government of India has allotted ‘KL’ as the state-code to Kerala State; which forms the first part of registration mark for the vehicles registered in this state.

The second part was a numerical District-Code starting from 01 for Trivandrum, ending at 14 for Kasargod and 15 for Sate Transport Undertaking (KSRTC). When three Sub Regional Transport Offices are upgraded as Rural Regional Transport Offices, district code is
extended to them as 16 for Attingal, 17 for Muvattupuzha and 18 for Vadagara.

Later, considering the exponential increase in the registration of the vehicles and difficulty in allotting groups of numbers from Regional Offices to Sub Regional offices, Government has decided to allot registration codes for every office. Code numbers 19 to 60 are allotted to each Sub Regional Transport Office.

The last part is numerical part starting from 1 to 9999. When the number comes to 9999 a third part is introduced in between the second and last numerical parts. This third part represents the ‘series’ starting from A to Z avoiding ‘I’ and ‘O’. When the series comes to ‘Z’ new series starts from AA to AZ and then BA to ZZ avoiding ‘I’ and ‘O’.

Examples of registration Number in Trivandrum : KL-01-8899, KL-01-A-5521, KL-01-AK-47 (‘KL’ –state code, 01- Office code, AK-Series, 47-Running Number).

The puzzle of registrations in India has been difficult; the established fact is that British India had re-registration in 1940, probably after the vehicles act of 1939. Madras and Bombay had new registrations issued. Other states would have followed after they were organized under the union of India. The India Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and its explanatory India Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 were implemented from 1st June 1989 on which date all the old series in existence in all the states and UT ceased and the new 2 Alphabet series started.

The contents are not completely ours and majority of it are taken from various sources like, Krishna’s Blog and Wiki etc.