Vehicle registration numbers and plates, in whatever shape and form, have a common objective in whichever part of the world you may be in. It is an inventory and security means to identify and control the existence of vehicles in any country.
Usually made of plastic or metal, the number plate is required by law to be attached to a vehicle in an acceptable visible and unambiguous manner to aid relevant authorities during inspection and identification.
The registration number or identifier is an alphanumeric code that identifies a vehicle within the entire country or within a state or province. This identifier, wherever it may be, is unique. In some countries like Malaysia, transfer of vehicle ownership is permissible whereby the vehicle registration number can be transferred from one vehicle to another as long as the source vehicle takes on a new unique number.
While most countries tag the vehicle registration to the vehicle, there are some that attach it to the person.
Database and Legal Requirements
In most of the countries around the world, local ordinance or laws require that the registration plate be attached to both the front and back of the vehicle.
The unique registration number of a vehicle is stored in national databases whereby this number or vehicle identifier is the primary key that links to other salient information describing the vehicle. In countries which are computerized, each registration number will contain essential details such as year of manufacture, engine capacity and number, chassis number in addition to name of the make and colour. Also stored in the databases will be the name and contact information of the current and all previous owners of the vehicle.