For many, many people in the State, “0001” is a magic number for registration of their vehicles. There are even those who are ready to spend more than Rs 1 lakh to get the number.
The registration number ‘OD02 BD 0001’ collected Rs 1.11 lakh for the RTO-1, Bhubaneswar while another car owner paid Rs 1.04 lakh to get the ‘OD02 AT 0001’ number, a Transport Department official has revealed.
Gone are those days when Ministers were allotting fancy numbers according to their free will. The department has introduced online auction of such numbers and an advance registration number booking system since June 2016.
Anyone intending to participate in the online auction has to register his/her name and select the number during the bid registration period from the 1st to the 7th of each month. The online bidding is open from the 8th to the 15th of the month and the highest bidder is allotted the number, the official said.
Online auction is now available for 61 notified numbers in four categories.
The owners can book their choice apart from the fancy numbers in advance throughout the month on a first-come-first-serve basis for Rs 5,000 for two-wheelers and Rs 10,000 for vehicles other than two-wheelers.
This craze for the fancy numbers has filled the State coffers as over Rs 5 crore was earned from the online auctions of such numbers and advance registration number booking of vehicles in the first six months of this fiscal (2019-20).
The auction of fancy numbers fetched Rs 1.07 crore from 338 vehicle owners while advance booking of vehicle registration numbers garnered Rs 4.38 crore from 5,389 people, the official said.