Vehicle registration plates of Nepal

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A typical Nepali motorcycle plate

Na 4 pa 4904 In Nepal, all road vehicles with or without a motor (except bicycles) are tagged with a registration number. Licence plates are commonly known as number plates. The licence plate number is issued by the zonal-level Transport Management Office, a government agency under the Department of Transport Management.[1] The licence plates must be placed in the front as well as back of the vehicle. The plates are required to use either Devanagari or Latin script. In practice, the registration plates of Nepal are bilingual. As per the latest guidelines issued by the Traffic Police Division, the plate must not be reflective or digitally printed.[2]

The President of Nepal travels in an official vehicle that has no number on its plates. Instead it has the Coat of Arms of Nepal embossed on it.


The licence plate of Nepal is more detailed in comparison with other countries. The current licence plate format for vehicles in Nepal consists of four parts composed of letters and digits in the LL NN LL NNNN format:

  • The first part indicate the zone code, signifying the zone in which the vehicle is registered.
  • The second part is the set number which is prefixed when the four digit number runs out from the last part.
  • The third part indicate the type of vehicle like private, public, governmental, national corporation, tourist etc. as well as the class of vehicle like two-wheeler, light vehicle, heavy and medium-sized vehicle etc.
  • The last part signifies four digits running in sequence.

Zonal Code[edit]

Main article: Zones of Nepal

All fourteen zones of Nepal have their own abbreviated code for reference purpose. These codes are normally single letter in Nepali and two letters (sometimes three letters also, but the third letter 'a' can be omitted) in English. The following is the list of zonal codes in both languages:

Zone Code in Nepali Code in English
Mechi मे ME
Koshi को KO
Sagarmatha SA
Janakpur JA
Bagmati बा BA
Narayani ना NA
Gandaki GA
Lumbini लु LU
Dhawalagiri DH
Rapti रा RA
Bheri भे BH
Karnali KA
Seti से SE
Mahakali MA

Classification of vehicles[edit]

For the purpose of vehicle registration Vehicle & Transport Management Act, 2049 (1992) and Vehicle & Transport Management Rule, 2054 (1997) of Nepal, classifies vehicles into the following 5 main categories on the basis of size and capacity:[3]

  1. Heavy and medium-sized vehicle: This includes bus, truck, dozer, dumper, loader, crane, Fire engine, tanker, roller, pick-up, van, mini bus, mini truck, mini van etc. having the capacity to carry more than 14 people (for passenger vehicle) or more than 4 tons (for cargo vehicle).
  2. Light vehicle: This includes car, jeep, van, pick-up, micro bus etc. having the capacity to carry less than 24 people or less than 4 tons.
  3. Two-wheeler: This includes vehicle having two wheels like motor cycle, scooter etc.
  4. Tractor and power-trailer:
  5. Three-wheeler: This includes vehicle having three wheels like tempo, auto-rickshaw etc.

The above mentioned each categories are further divided into 5 sub categories on the basis of ownership and service-type which are as follows:

  1. Private vehicle: Vehicles which are for entirely personal purpose uses red license plates with white letters.
  2. Public vehicle:
  3. Government vehicle: Vehicles owned by government agencies and constitutional bodies such as ministries, departments, directorates, along with the police, military, etc., falls under this category which uses white plates with red letters.
  4. National Corporation vehicle: Vehicles which are registered under the name of public corporations that are fully or partially owned by the government fall under this category. These vehicles uses yellow plates with blue letters.
  5. Tourist vehicle:


Private (Non-commercial)[edit]

In Nepal, private vehicles which are solely for personal use have a red license plate with white letters. The third part of the licence plate format for private vehicles is प or PA for motorcycle, च or CH for light-vehicle, and क or KA for heavy-vehicle. So a privately owned motorcycle registered in Bagmati Zone could have the number बा ४६ प १२३४ or BA 46 PA 1234. In the same way, a private car registered in Koshi Zone could have the number को २ च १२३४ or KO 2 CH 1234.

Private (Commercial)[edit]

Private vehicles used for commercial purposes have black license plates with white letters. The third part of such vehicles is ज or JA for light-vehicle and ख or KH for heavy-vehicle. So a privately owned bus used for commercial transport and registered in Narayani Zone could have the number ना ४ ख ४३२१ or NA 4 KH 4321.


The Government vehicle's number plate is white with red letters.

Public/National Corporation[edit]

The National Corporation like Nepal Telecom, Dairy Development Corporation, Nepal Electricity Authority etc are using Yellow number plates with blue letter.


In order to save the Custom tax while importing branded motor vehicles, people are taking advantage from Tourist purpose declaration. They are paying minimal tax for GREEN plate with white letter Tourist Vehicle.

Diplomatic vehicles[edit]

Vehicles registered in Nepal under the name of foreign diplomatic agencies such as embassies, consulates, or missions use blue plates with white letters.


External links[edit]