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How to Transfer An Old Car’s Registration Number To A New One?

Updated On Oct 15, 2023

Transfer Vehicle Registration Number in India

Do you like your existing car's licence number and are thinking about transferring it to your future car? You have company! Many Indian car aficionados choose to give their beloved registration numbers to their new cars. The good news is that you can easily accomplish this process, despite it being a little complicated. Let's explore this subject in more detail and walk you through the procedure step-by-step.

Understanding the Importance of a Registration Number

Before we walk you through the process, it's important to understand why a registration number matters. Every car in India is required to have a distinctive registration number, which acts as the vehicle's identity when driving. In addition to being necessary by law, this number aids in locating and tracing the history of the car, including ownership, accidents, and a host of other details. Thus, when you choose to switch your old car's registration number for your new one, you are effectively preserving a legacy and giving your car a distinct identity.

How to Transfer An Old Car’s Registration Number To A New One?

When Should You Retain the Registration Number?

The following situations warrant the retaining of a registration number: 

1. Sentimental Value: A car's registration number can often evoke strong emotions in its owner, particularly if it has been in the family for many generations or is connected to a memorable occasion.

2. VIP/Unique Numbers: Individuals who wish to obtain a unique or 'VIP' registration number for their automobiles may have to pay an additional fee. These numbers are simpler to remember and frequently stick out, which makes the car easy to recognise.

3. Business or branding purposes: Companies may own a fleet of cars with sequential or distinctive numbers that correspond to their marketing or branding plans. It may be necessary to keep the number in some situations to maintain brand consistency.

4. Numerological Beliefs: Numerology is significant to many people in India. People frequently choose numbers that they think would bring success and riches. Getting this "lucky" number transferred to a new car becomes crucial for them.

5. Status Symbol: Owning a distinctive or low-numbered registration might be regarded as a status symbol in some areas. These people may choose to keep their status after purchasing a newer car.

6. Avoiding the Update Hassle: Updating an automobile's licence plate requires doing it at multiple locations, including parking lots, toll booths, and any memberships connected to the car. This headache can be avoided by keeping the number.

Types of Vehicle Numbers:

1. Normal Series: When a car is registered, it is assigned one of these normal numbers. They have a format where the state code comes first, then the RTO code, and lastly a sequence number. Take MH-02-AB-1234, for example.

2. Fancy or VIP Numbers: These are special numbers or combinations, such as 0786, 007, 1111, or 0001. Owing to their unique qualities, they are typically more sought after and fetch a greater price when sold at auction by the RTO.

3. Shubh/Astro Numbers: Certain numbers may be lucky or auspicious in accordance with numerology or astrology. People are able to deliberately request these numbers, frequently for a fee.

4. Choice Numbers: These are numbers that are still in demand even though they don't fit into the VIP category. They may have been selected based on a pattern (such as1234) or a personal meaning (such as anniversaries or dates of birth).

5. Sequence Numbers for Businesses: Organisations or businesses may decide to assign sequential numbers to their fleet of automobiles. For example, a firm may own automobiles bearing the numbers 0201, 0202, 0203, and so forth.

6. Vanity or personalised numbers: Although they are not as common in India as they are in certain western nations, personalised numbers permit the use of particular characters or phrases. India currently permits selection in numerals but not in alphabets. Nonetheless, the fad is expanding internationally, so it wouldn't be shocking if it eventually made an appearance in India.

The Initial Steps: Compiling the Necessary Documents

Getting all the required paperwork together is the first step in this adventure. You'll require:

  • Genuine Registration Certificates (RCs): For both the new and the old vehicle.
  • A sales receipt for a brand-new vehicle.
  • The new car's insurance certificate.
  • Address Proof: Any document with an official government address.
  • Identifier: Such as an Aadhar or PAN card.
  • Form 18: Request for New Registration Mark Assignment (to be obtained from the RTO).

You are ready to start the process once you have all the necessary paperwork ready.

How to Transfer Your Registration Number?

Let's now go over the detailed process for moving your treasured registration number from your previous car to your new one:

Step1: Go to Your Nearest RTO

The first place to go is the Regional Transport Office (RTO) where the previous registration of your car was held. It's best to speak with an RTO representative or agent to fully grasp the intricacies of the procedure.

Step 2: Submit the Application

After that, send in an application to have your registration number transferred. To do this, you must complete Form 18 and include a justification for your request. Make sure you include a copy of the registration certificate for your previous car along with any other necessary paperwork.

Step 3: Start the Procedure for Verification

The RTO starts a verification procedure as soon as your application is received in order to confirm the legitimacy of the paperwork and the vehicle information. In order to stop any fraud or improper use of registration numbers, this step is essential.

Step 4: Make the Required Fee Payments

Once your documents have been examined and accepted, you must pay the fees associated with the transfer procedure. Depending on the particular rules set forth by the RTO, the charge schedule may change.

Step 5: Give Your New Car a Registration Number

Following approval and payment of the required cost, the RTO will formally assign the registration number of your previous car to your new one. A fresh registration certificate with the transferred number will be issued by them.

Step 6: Revise the Insurance Information

To guarantee seamless coverage, remember to update your new car's insurance policy with the transferred registration number as soon as you receive the new registration certificate.

Things to Remember

  1. Time-Dependent Procedure: A registration number transfer can be a laborious procedure that frequently takes several weeks. Be patient, then!
  2. Legal Requirements: Make sure your previous car is clear of any debts or commitments before starting the transfer procedure.
  3. The Need for Experts: If the process seems too much for you to handle, think about enlisting the help of professionals or agents who deal specifically with RTO-related activities.
  4. Examination of the car: As part of the verification process, be ready for an RTO inspector to conduct a physical inspection of your cars.
  5. Notification to the Provider of Insurance: As soon as the transfer procedure is finished, tell your insurance provider so that the records are updated.

Is it possible for someone to transfer their previous car's registration to a new car?

Yes, but the RTO has the last say on approval, and a thorough verification process is required.

Are there any particular requirements for the kinds of registration numbers that might be transferred?

Generally speaking, there are no set requirements. For exact information, it is advisable to speak with the local RTO.

Is it possible to transfer a registration number between Indian states?

The process of transferring registration numbers between states is more involved. To ascertain the viability and the specifics of the procedure, it is recommended that you speak with the relevant RTOs.

The Advantages of Changing Your Registration Number

Although it may seem difficult, there are advantages to switching your old car's registration number to your new one:

  1. Retaining a Unique identification: You can keep your old car's unique identification by transferring its registration number if it has sentimental worth or is numerically unique.
  2. How to Avoid the Trouble of Learning a New Number: Transferring the registration number eases the transition to your new car by saving you the trouble of having to remember a new one.
  3. Keeping Things Continual: The continuity of corporate activities can be preserved by keeping the same registration number, particularly for business cars, without the need to update numerous paperwork and records.

Final Thoughts

It takes more than just keeping a connection with a string of digits when you transfer the registration number of your cherished old car to your brand-new, sparkling car. It's about preserving a small portion of your journey's history and adding a touch of emotion to your former vehicles.

Remember that a registration number can serve as more than simply a required means of identification; it can also serve as a symbol of significant occasions and recollections. So go ahead and continue creating those treasured memories by giving your new car a familiar character.


  1. Is it possible for me to transfer the registration of any car to my new one?

Indeed, you may, but the vehicle you want to transfer its registration from should be yours. The procedure entails communicating with the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and following the legal and procedural guidelines that they provide.

  1. What is the usual duration of the registration number transfer process?

Although the time frame can change, the process typically takes several weeks. To save any inconvenience, it is best to begin the process well in advance.

  1. How important is Form 18 in the transfer procedure?

In order to seek the transfer of a registration number from an old car to a new one, you must submit Form 18, the official application form. It starts the transfer procedure by acting as an official request to the RTO.

  1. I want to transfer the registration number; is there anything I need to pay?

Indeed, there is a charge associated with transferring a registration number. The precise amount may differ based on a number of variables, including as the RTO's unique regulations.

  1. Is it possible to move the registration number from my previous car to a different kind of vehicle (such as a motorbike from a car)?

Within the same class of vehicles, registration number transfers are often permitted. It may not be legal to transfer a car's registration number to a motorbike or vice versa. The best place to get comprehensive information on this is to speak with the local RTO.

  1. After switching the registration number, is it still essential to update the insurance policy?

Yes, in order to ensure smooth coverage, you must notify your insurance provider to update the details of your auto insurance policy with the new registration number when the registration transfer is successful.

  1. What occurs if the transfer procedure takes longer than expected and the previous car's registration runs out in the interim?

It's critical to stay in contact with the RTO and update them on the situation in such circumstances. To prevent any legal issues, they might offer a grace period or recommend an alternate course of action.

  1. Is the procedure for transferring registration numbers the same in all of India's states?

The general stages stay the same, although the specific procedural specifics may alter slightly throughout India's states. For exact details on the procedure in your area, it is best to speak with the local RTO.


This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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