Embossed number plating system: Short-term inconvenience to vehicle owners

Kathmandu, November 17

The recently introduced embossed number plating system for vehicles by the government will initially create numerous short-term inconveniences to vehicle owners but its implementation does have long-term benefits.

This new digital number plating system for vehicles is definitely going to control crimes that are committed by using vehicles, reduce vehicle thefts and accidents. However, fitting such high-security number plates is not only costly for vehicle owners but is also time consuming as they will have to go through a lengthy process to acquire the embossed number plates and make repeated visits to the government offices.

For instance, the government started to distribute embossed number plates for private vehicles and vehicles owned by the government and diplomatic agencies under provincial structure from November 6. Though the government has not made it mandatory for vehicles to affix such number plates, those who want to do so can fit such high-security number plates at Big Vehicle Division of Bagmati Transport Management Office (BTMO) in Ekantakuna, Lalitpur.

As the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has been issuing the embossed number plates for vehicles only from the BTMO office at present, it could be inconvenient for vehicles registered outside Kathmandu Valley to come to the Capital for the purpose.

“Though the embossed number plates are currently being issued only from BTMO, we will start providing facility from other DoTM offices outside Kathmandu in the future,” said Tok Raj Pandey, spokesperson for DoTM.

Similarly, the process of acquiring the embossed number plate is also lengthy.

To get new embossed number plates, vehicle owners will have to first deposit a certain fee at Rastriya Banijya Bank and fill up the necessary forms. After filling the online form, vehicle owners are required to print the form and submit various documents sought along with the form and also the bank voucher, at the BTMO office. The BTMO will then notify the applicants via SMS regarding the acceptance of the form after a certain number of days.

The process is not complete yet.

After the application is accepted, vehicle owners will have to wait for another BTMO notification that ensures the embossed number plate is ready. Then the owners will have to visit the BTMO office and queue to affix the embossed number plate on their vehicles.

DoTM has fixed the embossed number plate fee for motorbikes at Rs 2,500. For three-wheelers, the fee is Rs 2,900 and for light four-wheelers and tractors it has been set at Rs 3,200. Likewise, owners of heavy vehicles will have to pay Rs 3,600 to avail the service.

Moreover, if such embossed number plate is damaged following any accident, owners are again required to visit DoTM office and start the process to get the new embossed plate.

It has to be noted that even neighbouring India is struggling to implement high-security registration plates in vehicles effectively. Indian experts have been saying the process of implementing such new plate system is initially going to be an inconvenience for vehicle owners.

Moreover, such security plates were designated invalid in the Indian state of Punjab. The government rendered 1.3 million such high-security registration plates irrelevant and cancelled the contract with firms selected for printing such registration plates after the issued registration plates lacked a key snap lock feature without which the number plate could be easily replaced by a mechanical device.

The embossed number plate system was implemented in Nepal a few months back. Though the government had started installing embossed number plates on vehicles from August 20 on the basis of zonal format, the process was halted after the then Development Committee of the Legislature-Parliament directed the government to introduce provincial format for distribution of embossed number plates.

Like in India, the effective implementation of embossed number plating system is likely to be hampered in the near future. This is because all the provinces in the country will get specific names in the near future while the currently issued embossed number plates have incorporated province name as Province 1, Province 2, Province 3 and alike.

However, Pandey is optimistic that owners will not have to face further trouble in the future after they have affixed embossed number plates under the present format.

On top of that, adequate groundwork before implementing the high-security number plates and its effective implementation thereafter is certain to prove a boon to the transportation industry in the country as it will reduce vehicle thefts and also help curb crimes using fake plates and maintain uniformity.

“Implementing the high-security number plates in vehicles is a gradual process. All vehicles in the country will have these high-tech plates fitted within the next five years,” said Pandey.

The good and the bad


  • Control crimes committed using vehicles
  • Reduce vehicle thefts
  • Minimise accidents
  • Ease vehicle tracking


  • Costly
  • Time consuming
  • Facility only offered at BTMO in Ekantakuna, Lalitpur at present
  • Owner would have to go through the lengthy process again in case the plates get damaged