Foreign missions in India do not want the vehicle of their officers, posted in consulates outside Delhi, to be mistaken for taxis.
With instances of consular corps’ vehicles being confused as taxis on the rise, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) wrote to the Union road transport and highways ministry around two months ago urging that the colour of the number plates of consular officers vehicles be changed from the current yellow plates with letters and numbers embossed in black – similar to taxis – to dark blue background with yellow letters and numbers.
“Officials from the ministry of external affairs told us that they were getting complaints of how consulate vehicles were routinely getting mistaken for taxis and stopped by traffic cops because of the same colour number plate. In some instances, consular vehicles were issued tickets too. That is why they requested us for a colour change,” said a road ministry official.
After some deliberations, the road ministry has agreed and last fortnight took out a draft notification to effect the changes in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.
“We have asked for comments and suggestions from stakeholders. A final notification will be issued after 30 days,” said a road ministry official. Diplomats in the Capital have cars whose number plates have deep blue background with letter and number written in white.
But officers with consular status, who are based outside Delhi, still have vehicles with yellow-black number plates.
Taxis in India got the yellow and black format license plate way back in 2002.
Before 2002, taxis, commercial vehicles and three wheelers license plates had black letter and number on a white background.
In US, vehicles of diplomats as well as consul staff have registration plates that have white background with blue letter and number.
While the registration plate of diplomats has D embossed on them, those of consul staff have C written on them.