What does A/F mean on a vehicle's number plate?
Every vehicle must be registered under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1989. It is considered illegal to drive without a registration number. Whenever a vehicle either two-wheeler, three-wheeler or four-wheeler comes out of the showroom, it is given a temporary registration number. If a vehicle is not given a temporary number, then the A/F is written on its number plate.
A/F stands for "Applied For". If A/F is written on a vehicle's number plate; its simple meaning is that the owner of the vehicle had applied for the permanent registration number of the vehicle and the traffic department has allowed him/her to write A/F on the number plate till the permanent registration number is not allotted to the owner.
Is writing A/F on the number plate illegal?
Yes. If you run a vehicle printing A/F on its number plate for more than a week; then it is illegal. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) has given you this facility (to write AF) only for the period till the Permanent Registration Number of the vehicle is not generated.
As soon as you get a Permanent Number, you have to write a Permanent Number instead of A/F on your vehicle (car, bike, truck etc).
How much fine will be charged on the violation of the rule?
Central Motor Vehicle Rule (CMVR) does not allow driving without a registration number. Running a vehicle without registration number is a crime. Running a vehicle with A/F plate is also comes in the category of the crime.
It is a misconception among the people that they can run vehicles after writing A/F on the number plate for an unlimited time.
It is wrong to think so and if you get caught driving the vehicle without the proper registration number then you can be fined upto Rs.10,000 or your vehicle can also be seized.
According to the rules, the vehicle registration number should be received within a week. However, during the investigation campaign, officials found that people did not even register vehicles after a month.
However, in most cases, it is a mistake of dealers. "People who are having problems in getting the vehicle registration number from their dealers; they can file a complaint with RTO of their region.
Officials have found that almost every dealer has violated the rules. However, RTO has the right to give notice of terminating the trade certificate of the dealers who violate the rules.
Each dealer has to take separate trade certificates to sell different types of vehicles. Each dealer has a unique trade certificate number. The trade certificate number issued by the dealer for the new vehicle should not be considered as the permanent registration number.
A trade certificate number is a number that is assigned by the RTO to the dealer. Trade certificate number can be pasted on the number plate of the new vehicles, but using this number as a temporary number for a long time is a crime.
By placing the trade certificate number on the number plate, the new vehicle can be run till the permanent number of the vehicle is available and this period can be up to a maximum of one week.
Why the registration number is mandatory?
It is very obvious to think that why the government is so concerned about vehicle registration. The prime reason for this is linked to the safety of the people. It may be that a person commits a crime or make an accident with the help of such a vehicle that do not have a valid registration number. So in such conditions, it would be difficult for the police to catch the offender.
Therefore, it is in the best interests of the people that the new vehicle gets a registration number at the earliest.
image source:Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC
In conclusion, it can be said that getting the registration number is mandatory for all the owners of new vehicles. It is in the interest of the common men and the country as well.