By April, new vehicles hitting the city roads will come with high security registration plates (HSRP). The existing vehicles would also have to comply within two years.
A senior Transport Department official said that a schedule is being drawn and each vehicle owner would be given a specific date to visit their respective Regional Transport Office (RTO) for replacing the existing number plates with the HSRP.
The move to introduce the high security registration plates has been under review since 1989. After the Supreme Court criticised the State governments in September last year for the repeated delays in implementation, most of the States floated tenders for the project. The Supreme Court on Friday set a deadline of March 31.
In Tamil Nadu, five entities have prequalified, based on a set of technical criteria, and the financial bids were opened last week. The Transport Department official said that an evaluation is being carried out and the company that will implement the project will be announced shortly.
Based on the experience of other cities, the new embossed high-security plates are expected to be available for around Rs.300, which would have to be paid at the time of registration.
While the scheme would be implemented throughout the State, a pilot implementation would happen in a few RTOs in Chennai first. Eventually embossing/fixing stations would come up within the premises of all the RTOs and unit offices in the State.
The official said that the number plates would have features such as a laser hologram and a non-removable/non-reusable snap lock to prevent counterfeiting and duplication.
Any attempt to remove or replace the number plate will damage the snap lock making it impossible to install any other number plate in the vehicle.
All plates would also have a unique identification number and can be tracked all across India, the official added. It would also eliminate the problem of fancy number plates.