What do yellow license plates on a car mean and how do I get them for a cab?
Yellow state registration plates are an obligatory attribute of a commercial vehicle for transporting people. Both passenger cars and buses are equipped with them. Some business activities in the territory of the Russian Federation are impossible without it.
The “Yurist-Konsultant” explains in detail what the yellow license plate means, how to obtain it and which advantages it provides on the road.
What do yellow license plates mean?
Yellow license plates indicate that the vehicle belongs to a category that has the legal right to carry passengers on a commercial basis. Without such license plates neither buses (trolleybuses and streetcars), nor cabs, nor minibuses of route public transport (so called “minibuses”) can legally carry passengers.
The opposite is also deduced from this – for entrepreneurial activities associated with the transportation of people, obtaining yellow license plates is mandatory. The method of obtaining them will be the basis of this article, but first it is necessary to dispel some insinuations.
What do license plates for passenger transportation look like, and what are they not?
Up to a certain point, other types of license plates were also available in yellow. First of all, we are talking about vehicles owned by foreigners. Although such plates are no longer issued, you can still find vehicles with similar identifiers on the roads.
How do you distinguish yellow license plates for passenger transportation from other types? By the alphanumeric format. The old license plate type had several variants, but they never followed the current format (from left to right): two letters – three digits and then a separated area of regional affiliation, like on all other Russian license plates.
“Yellow Region” on license plates – what does it mean?
There is another type of the Russian license plate numberes that uses yellow coloring. However, it is quite difficult to confuse them with commercial transportation of people, because only the area of the sign that denotes the region is yellow:
Let’s say briefly that in this case we are talking about temporary (transit) license plates for transporting a vehicle removed from the register. In addition to the color it is easy to distinguish the sign by the material of manufacture – it is a specially prepared paper laminated with a film.
Who and on what grounds are yellow license plates issued to a car?
Yellow license plates are for commercial passenger transportation. Accordingly, vehicles involved in this type of transportation are marked with such signs. The main types are:
- Multi-passenger public transit (bus, trolleybus, streetcar).
- Minibuses of shuttle public transport.
- Light cabs.
It is no coincidence that we draw attention to the word “shuttle” in two of the three categories. A little later we will explain why you need to know this, but for now just pay attention to this fact.
Commercial transportation of passengers in Russia is an activity which must be licensed. This license will be the basis for obtaining yellow plates. However, this is not all that is required.
How do I get yellow plates in Moscow?
The rules for obtaining yellow license plates, and specifically the requirements for vehicles, are quite different depending on the region of the Russian Federation. Let’s look at the basic steps in the instructions for Moscow, understanding that the details may be different for other constituent entities.
Buses and “marshrutkas” in most cases belong to large vehicle fleets and centrally obtain the necessary numbers. Cabs, of which there are many private entrepreneurs or self-employed people, are another matter. Let’s use a private cab as an example and look at the process.
Basic steps for obtaining yellow plates in Moscow:
Step 1. Preparing a car to work in a cab in Moscow
The requirements of capital authorities to the cars of the cab which start to work after 01.07.2013 (those who received the license earlier can continue to operate the vehicle by former rules, however because of license terms such cars becomes less and less):
- The color of the body is yellow (this is a regional rule, and other subjects may have different color requirements).
- On the sides of the car, in the zone of good visibility, must be placed a graphic image of “checkers” – a contrasting pattern of squares arranged in staggered order.
- A special light of orange color must be placed on the roof of the vehicle.
- When accepting payment depending on the distance, the car must be equipped with a taximeter.
Please note that these requirements are set by the regional governments, which does not prevent certain carriers to impose additional conditions on the vehicles when working on them. Such requirements may not contradict the legislation, but may impose their own norms and rules over and above those required by the authorities.
Step 2: Obtaining a cab driver’s license
Let us remind you, this activity is licensed, accordingly the obligatory step is to obtain a cab license. This is quite a specific process, which we have discussed in a separate article. Here we will only briefly remind you that it is possible to obtain a license by both offline and online methods, and it is a prerequisite for obtaining yellow license plates.
Questions often arise about the special medical examination required to work in a cab. This can be a regional requirement. However, we could not find such conditions in the Moscow rules.
Medical certificate is necessary for getting/renewing driver’s license, as pre-trip inspection within the company is not excluded, but there is no requirement to pass the commission for passenger transportation license, nor for the fact of getting yellow license plates.
Step 3: Preparation and submission of documents to the State Traffic Police
The Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate (GAI) is in charge of issuing yellow plates. Accordingly, you should apply to the registration department of the State Automobile Inspection Service, providing the following package of documents:
- Passport of the person receiving the plates.
- Documents for the vehicle (PTS, STS).
- Information on the business unit that will carry out entrepreneurial activities on this car: extracts from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities / USRLE / information on the registration of the self-employed.
- MTPL insurance (special version for commercial passenger transportation).
- Confirmation of payment of required fees.
Check of documents, vehicle inspection, and if everything meets the norms, a decision is made to issue special yellow plates.
Step 4: Issuance of license plates
Many Traffic Police offices have a certain stock of ready yellow plates. If this is the case, the plates are issued on the spot after a positive decision is made.
If they are not available, the driver will either be given a separate date to obtain the plates, or he will be referred to a special workshop where the plates will be made and issued.
Benefits for cars with yellow license plates on the road
The benefits on the road for cars with yellow license plates is one of the most debated issues. However, despite a lot of conflicting information in various sources, there is only one rule that applies to all vehicles with the type of license plates in question.
All vehicles with yellow license plates for commercial passenger transportation have the right to move in special dedicated lanes for public transport.
At the same time each category of vehicles with yellow license plates may have different possibilities. For example:
- Special parking lots can be provided for passenger cabs.
- Public transport may stop in the zone of the “No Stopping” sign in specially designated areas.
A little more about the last point. We again focus on the word “shuttle”. This means that such a privilege has the vehicles that originally go by a certain route. That is, buses (streetcars, trolleybuses) and “minibuses” can use it. Cabs are not allowed to stop in the area covered by the 3.27 sign.
What are the pitfalls of yellow license plates?
The main problems, or rather inconveniences, that the owners of yellow license plates may encounter stem from their essence – the designation of the carrier of passengers:
- First, the very process of obtaining them. It is necessary to go through this procedure even if the owner of the vehicle does not actually change, but has decided to start a “private carriage”.
- Secondly, the change of activity will require a new re-registration (license plate replacement). This also applies to the purchase of a car with yellow plates for private purposes – you will need to replace the yellow plates with regular plates.
- Thirdly, the possibility of obtaining yellow license plates in car dealerships does not apply to new cars yet.
We can separately highlight the problem of inspections on the roads. The cars with yellow license plates will be checked by traffic police inspectors for compliance with the norms of cab operation, not as a simple car. It will be necessary to show all the legally prescribed documentation – both for the car and for the right to engage in this activity.
In conclusion, let’s look at some of the most common questions and answers.
This is the current version of the “transit” number, that is, the registration plate needed to move a car that has not yet been registered.
Such an option may be provided by regional regulations. However, information that such a possibility is available to Moscow cab drivers was not true at the time of this writing.
There is an active discussion of such opportunities, there are proposals to limit the free parking time (5 – 10 or even 20 minutes), or stop / stand with working taximeter, but so far the matter has not gone beyond talk.
No. Moreover, this norm applies throughout Russia and is confirmed by the decision of the Supreme Court. Such a possibility exists only for minibus transport, which does not include cabs.
Obtaining yellow numbers for a cab or other type of public transport is a prerequisite. Now you know how the whole process goes. However, there may well be problems of an individual nature in each case that cannot be solved by general methods.
If you have any difficulties related to the car and/or its operation, you can contact our auto lawyers for advice. To do this, simply describe your problem and send a message through a special form on the site, or call directly on the specified number.
What do the yellow plates on a domestic car, and how to get them
The format of an individual license plate for a car periodically changes, is supplemented, modernized. On the main white field, most modern domestic cars now have three digits and three letters.
An additional field provides a region code in numerical form. However, on the road there are license plates that differ from this design.
Among the road traffic, you can see vehicles that have a plate with the state license plate, the main background of which is different from white. The following colors are used:
Each type of plate identifies a certain category of vehicles. In this way it is possible to differentiate cars belonging to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, diplomatic missions, etc.
What do yellow plates mean?
Experienced motorists know what a particular type of license plate on the car means, since the use of yellow plates for a car or other ones is regulated by a government decree. The current regulation came into force on March 1, 2002. According to it, in Russia, yellow license plates with black indexes are used for the following types of vehicles:
- cab cars;
- Public municipal transport;
- Buses that serve as shuttle buses.
Important: Yellow license plates can be used on cars or buses for public transport.
The use of color plates is stipulated by the state standard of the Russian Federation GOST R 50577-93. They can be owned by both the full owners of the four-wheeled vehicle, and the lessees. The exception is the lessee or trustee, who cannot claim this option.
What are the privileges of these license plates
Under current law, yellow-colored license plates on a car provide the same benefits to the vehicle and the driver as to all other public transportation. One of those privileges is the ability to drive in a special lane.
Not everyone knows why professional cab drivers prefer yellow license plates to other plates. This is due to the fact that such license plates on cars allow you to park and stand in parking lots for any length of time without fear. Such designations are needed for licensed activities, saving you from unwanted fines for illegal transportation of passengers, and sometimes helping from the seizure of the car.
Who can get yellow plates?
Not everyone can get license plates with a basic yellow background. There are conditions under which a car owner may receive a distinctive sign. These factors include:
- The owner of the vehicle can only be a legal entity, one of the forms of activity which are passenger transportation;
- Individuals will have at least to register as an individual entrepreneur in order to be able to qualify for the possession of special signs;
- In some regions it is allowed to include additional conditions for applicants, for example, in Moscow it is necessary to have a car of yellow color.
Some formalities can be bypassed by owners in other regions. An example is applying to the Moscow Region Registration and Enforcement Office, for which it is not obligatory to have a certain color for the vehicle. Please note that the procedure for obtaining the yellow plates is a bit more complicated than in the capital.
Procedure for obtaining yellow plates
One of the mandatory conditions of the procedure is the availability of a license for passenger transportation. Before you get yellow numbers for a cab, you must take into account that such a document is issued for a period of no more than 5 years. At the same time, the vehicle must not be more than 10 years old from the date of issue.
When a suitable car that is intended to be used for commercial purposes is selected, then obtaining the yellow plates will take from 7 to 30 days, depending on various factors. During the set period of time, the responsible inspectors of the traffic police are engaged in checking the documents provided.
Registration activities for car owners wishing to obtain yellow license plates are regulated by law. In 2018, the procedure consists of the following steps:
- Before going to one of the offices of the traffic police with the application and license, it is necessary to pass a medical examination. Engaging in transportation with an expired license is not recommended, as it equates to activity without permits.
- Owners of passenger cabs are required to have the necessary attributes of this type of transport, which usually include a taximeter, orange roof light device, decor in the form of checkers on the side surfaces, apparatus for issuing receipts, etc.
- A set of documents is submitted to the department of traffic police. The list of mandatory papers includes, in addition to the driver’s passport or the owner’s documents, a diagnostic card, and a valid insurance policy. The obligatory attribute is an extract from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities or Unified State Register of Legal Entities, which serves as proof of registration of commercial passenger transportation activities.
The driver may not operate his own car, and the transport received on the lease agreement. This document must also be submitted to the traffic police. The entire package is submitted for consideration, and if the outcome is favorable, after a certain period of time the motorist receives the necessary state license plate.
Sometimes there are cars whose state license plates do not have a completely yellow background. This design is used only for the additional field, where the region is indicated. Such license plates are called “transit plates”, and they are only issued by law to the cars that leave the territory of the Russian Federation after the time interval set for them.
Cars with two-color license plates have no advantages when driving on any type of roads. This type of marking may be of interest only to traffic police officers who are obliged to control the traffic.
Originally, transit plates were installed behind the windshield. But in this situation they were badly recognized by the video fixation means, which contributed to the unpunished behavior of some car owners.
What do yellow license plates mean in other countries
The practice of issuing colored license plates is supported not only in our country. License plates with a yellow background are also issued in other regions of the world, for example, in the EU countries. But there such a plate is issued as a transit sign, and its validity is limited by five days. Exceptions to this rule are such countries as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium.
Travellers in Cyprus will also notice colorful government signs on cars. The yellowish background is relevant for civilian cars, and such plates are attached to the rear bumper (white plates are used in front). Red color is used for rental cars.
To get a yellow license plate for cars in Kazakhstan can only residents, not citizens of the country. According to this feature, permanent residents, but not citizens, can be calculated in the traffic flow.
Multicolored license plates in Russia are issued according to the established rules. For public transport and cabs, car owners get sun-colored license plates if they have a license and for vehicles under 10 years old.