Registration Procedure for Motor Vehicles in India

Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practising in the Bombay High Court. He can be reached at aditya@adityapratap.com

Introduction to the Registration Procedure for Motor Vehicle

The satisfaction of having an absolute proprietorship of a vehicle can only be achieved if one has duly processed the Registration Procedure for motor vehicle. Registration of vehicles is necessary since vehicles are allowed to be driven in a public place only after registration by the registering authority, as under the provisions of Section 39 of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988.

Motor Vehicle Registration Process

Registration of vehicles is necessary since vehicles are allowed to be driven in a public place only after registration by the registering authority, as under the provisions of Section 39 of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988. It can be done in a two-step process:

  • Temporary RTO Registration Number in India:
    As a buyer, you get this number when you purchase the car. The seller or dealer gives you a temporary number, indicating that your vehicle is not permanent yet. The number is valid only for a short span of time, and within this period, it is necessary to get a permanent registration number. 
  • Permanent Vehicle Registration Number in India:
    Once a new vehicle is registered with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways through a local RTO, you will get a permanent registration number. You cannot change it under any circumstances. If you move from one state to another, you will have to re-register it.

Online Registration Process of Motor Vehicle

With the growing era, people prefer digital platform over manual process. For which there is a website called Vahan for the online registration process of Motor Vehicle.
One needs to fill up all the necessary forms and take the car to the Registration Authority Office (RAO). This is absolutely mandatory and no registration can be complete without a physical analysis of your car. This includes checking the emission and pollution levels and making sure that there is a valid car insurance and proper identification for the vehicle’s owner.
Once the RAO gives the green signal for the vehicle and it’s deemed alright, notified fees is charged. Different states will have different processes for this depending on their taxation rules.
Once the fees are paid out, Temporary-Registration (TR) is given which is valid for a period of 30 days. Proper registration number and card is given within a month.

Duration and Renewal of the Motor Vehicle Registration

The Registration Certificate or the RC needs to be renewed after 15 years from the date of its original issuance. After that, the vehicle registration can be renewed every five years as long as it is deemed fit by the RTO.

Documents Required for Motor Vehicle Registration

After purchasing a vehicle from the dealer, the buyer has to register it before a specific period, which is generally one month. You will need a copy of the following documents for the registration process:

  • Application form CMV20
  • Sale certificate of the car
  • Active insurance certificate
  • Valid address proof
  • Temporary registration issued by the dealer
  • Registration fee
  • PAN card copy
  • Original invoice
  • Sales tax clearance certificate and No Objection Certificate from RTO

Where to Apply for Motor Vehicle Registration?

To get your new vehicle registered, you will have to submit a duly filled form with the prescribed fees to the District Transport Office in your area. The application should be submitted within 7 days from the date you purchased the vehicle.

Can I buy a car in Delhi on TC Number and drive it to Mumbai for permanent registration?

According to Section 39 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 no person shall drive or cause or permit the vehicle to be driven in any public place or any other place unless the vehicle has been registered according to the Act. So, yes one can buy a car in Delhi on TC number and drive it to Mumbai for permanent registration till the expiration of their Registration Certificate as its time barred for 1 month.

Validity and Extend of Motor Vehicle Registration

If you own a private vehicle, the registration is valid for a period of 15 years from the date it was issued. If you own a transport vehicle, the registration is valid till the date the Fitness Certificate of the vehicle expires. Once the registration certificate has expired, the owner must apply for a renewal within 30 days from the expiry date.

About the Author – Aditya Pratap

Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practising in Mumbai. He argues cases in the Bombay High Court, Sessions and Magistrate Courts, along with appearances before RERA, NCLT and the Family Court. For further information one may visit his website adityapratap.in or view his YouTube Channel to see his interviews. Questions can be emailed to him at aditya@adityapratap.com.

Cases argued by Aditya Pratap can be viewed here.

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