Number plates help identify a vehicle, they contain information on which state and district a vehicle has been registered in. But what do you do when you are planning to move states or if you have bought your vehicle at a different location? Here are 7 advantages and disadvantages of outstation number plates to help you decide:

Advantages of outstation number plates

  1. Lowers the cost of owning a car

    outstation number plates lower cost of owning cars
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    The cost of owning a car varies from state to state.  The road tax fixed by the state government is one of the factors which determines the cost difference. For example, the on-road price of a Hyundai Creta’s 1.5 E Diesel (second variant) is Rs 12.87 Lakhs in Bengaluru, Karnataka, while it is Rs 10.99 Lakhs in Puducherry.

    This is because the person in Karnataka ends up paying a higher road tax than the one in Puducherry. The outstation number plate may mean a lower road tax.

  2. May help prevent double taxation

    Ideally, when you change your number plate after moving to a new state, you are supposed to get a tax refund. However, in reality, this involves bureaucratic red tapes and delays. Often, car owners end up paying the tax twice.

    Having an outstation number plate until it becomes necessary to change it could help prevent this. This is a good idea especially if you plan to eventually move back to the state you bought the car in.

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  3. More financially viable for short term migrants

    Most Regional Transport Office (RTOs) allow a period of up to 12 months to re-register your vehicle after you relocate. India however, has a large mobile migrant population. While it makes sense to re-register your vehicle in the long term it may turn out more financially viable for some to not go in for a re-registration immediately.

    Student’s pursuing post-graduation courses away from their hometown, working professionals with frequent job transfers and those planning to shift to a different city in the near future should consider the advantages of having an outstation number plate before going for a re-registration.

    Disadvantages of outstation number plates

  4. Fines for avoiding road tax
    Traffic penalties challan

    An outstation numberplate often puts a target on the car owners back. It is common for the police to pull over cars with such number plates. Each state allows vehicle owners a period of time within which they must re-register their vehicles locally. When driving a car with an outstation number plate, it is important to have documents to prove your term of residence in the state. Additionally, you must have a no-objection certificate from the RTO where you originally registered along with all required documents.

  5. A disadvantage in case of accidents or thefts


    It is advisable to re-register your vehicle if you plan to stay in a state for the long haul. This will prevent complications if there are accidents or legal cases. An outstation number plate is more difficult to track in case of an accident or theft. The number plate determines which jurisdiction a vehicle falls under. As such, if a court case has to be filed, it must be dealt with in the state of origin.

  6. Documents for vehicles with outstation number plates are only available in the state of origin

    If you own a vehicle with an outstation number plate, you must return to the state of origin every time you need to update a document. Whether you want a duplicate registration certificate, a no-objection certificate, or a transfer of ownership, you might have to keep going back to the state of origin to do it.
    Thus, getting your car re-registered will help avoid having to travel back and forth for this purpose.

  7. Selling vehicles with outstation number plates are harder

    If you’re planning to resell your car in the long term, we recommend you re-register it with a local number plate. This will help avoid the cost of transporting it back to the place of origin when you want to sell it.

While the short term benefits of having an outstation number plate outweigh the disadvantages, in the long term re-registering your number plate at a local RTO will save you both time and money.

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