• Regional Transport Office

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    The Regional Transport Office (RTO) is a government organisation established to oversee all transport-related operations in India. The primary objective of the department is to maintain a database for all vehicles operating in the country and issue licenses for drivers. In addition, the department also engages in various other duties like tax collection, pollution check, and enforcement of road transportation rules. If you are a vehicle owner, you may have to visit the RTO for various things like registration, new license application, license renewal, etc.

    RTOs are located throughout the country, and they currently function under the rules put forth by the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988. These rules are applicable throughout the country and are enforced by the RTOs of the respective states. One of the major duties of an RTO is to improve vehicle security and reduce vehicle-related crime. RTOs also play a major role in enforcing strict rules in the case of accidents.

    Functions of RTO

    Vehicle traffic is increasing in India day-by-day. The role of RTO in regulating traffic is increasing along with this. Some of the key roles performed by RTO are listed as follows:

    • Enforcing the motor vehicle rules established by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
    • Registering new vehicles
    • Maintaining a database for all registered vehicles
    • Issuing licenses to vehicle owners/drivers
    • Routinely inspecting vehicles
    • Issuing certificates to assert the fitness of vehicles
    • Collecting one-time road tax for motor vehicles from vehicle owners
    • Managing the permits issued to trucks, autos, taxis, etc.
    • Implementing any new rules issued by the government with regard to motor vehicles
    • Checking emissions and issuing pollution certificates for vehicles

    Online and offline activities of RTO

    With the advent of the Internet, it is no longer necessary for people to visit the RTOs to get certain things done. This saves them the trouble of standing in long queues and filing applications for certain activities. It is worth noting that not everything can be done online. For most of the activities listed above, you may have to visit the nearest RTO and get it done.

    Some of the activities that you can do online are listed as follows:

    • Applying for a new driving license
    • Scheduling an appointment for visiting the RTO
    • Renewing the driving license
    • Downloading a copy of your existing driving license

    For the following activities, you have to visit the nearest RTO to get things done:

    • Registering a new vehicle
    • Writing a test for learner’s license
    • Taking a test for getting a new driving license
    • Settling disputes following accidents

    Registering a vehicle at RTO

    When you buy a new vehicle, it must be registered in the RTO database as per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. In many cases, vehicle dealers register new vehicles in exchange for a price. This is a relatively simple process, especially if you don’t wish to go through the hassle of visiting the RTO. Most of the time dealers quote the price of a vehicle by including the registration charges. However, you can also do this by yourself by visiting the RTO directly. The following list of documents must be submitted while registering a new car or bike.

    • Form 20 application form for the registration of a vehicle
    • Passport size photographs - at least 3 numbers
    • Form 21 (sales certificate) issued by the vehicle dealer
    • Identity proof - PAN, Voter ID, Aadhar, Passport, Driving License, etc.
    • Proof of residence - Aadhar, family card (ration card), rental agreement, account statement from a nationalised bank, utility bill, voter ID, etc.
    • Form 34 with details of loan hypothecation (if necessary)
    • Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate
    • Insurance certificate obtained from the dealer
    • Original sales invoice issued by the dealer
    • Temporary registration number
    • Sales tax clearance certificate (if the vehicle is bought in one state and registered in another)
    • No objection certificate from RTO (if the vehicle is bought in one state and registered in another)

    Once you have collected all these documents, you can proceed with the registration process for your vehicle. You can take your vehicle to the RTO and file for registration by submitting these documents. An officer will inspect your vehicle and the submitted documents. Once the verification process is over, you can receive the certificate from the RTO. This process could take up to 7 days.

    Fees to be paid while registering a vehicle

    During the registration process, the vehicle owner has to pay a registration fee to the RTO. If the registration is done by the dealer, the dealer may charge the registration fee in addition to the actual cost of the vehicle. The following taxes and fees may be applicable during the registration process of a vehicle:

    • Registration fee: This is the fee charged by the RTO for the verification of documents and the registration of the vehicle. The charges may vary depending upon the type of vehicle being registered.
    • Road tax: Customers who buy a new vehicle must pay a one-time road tax to the RTO. If you have already paid the road tax to the dealer, you must collect the necessary documents from the dealer and submit it along with the documents.
    • Hypothecation charges: People who have taken a loan on the vehicle must pay some additional charges to the RTO for processing the hypothecation. You can enquire the RTO regarding these charges at the time of registration.

    How to get a duplicate registration certificate

    There are times when you might end up losing your registration documents. There are provisions for getting a duplicate registration certificate from the RTO. If your registration certificate is destroyed, lost, or stolen, you can get a duplicate certificate using the following ways:

    • File a complaint with the police if you have lost the registration certificate.
    • Approach the RTO with a copy of the filed complaint.
    • File form 26 requesting a duplicate copy of the registration along with the police complaint copy.
    • Once the necessary documents are filed, the RTO will verify the documents and issue the duplicate certificate.

    Ownership transfer of a registered vehicle

    Motor vehicle resale is a major business in various countries across the world, and India is no exception. When you buy or sell a used vehicle, the ownership must be transferred from the seller to the buyer. RTO plays a major role in this process by facilitating the transfer of ownership to the new owner. The steps involved in the process are listed as follows:

    • File a request for transfer of ownership with Form 29 and 30
    • Vehicle registration certificate
    • Vehicle insurance certificate
    • PUC certificate
    • Affidavit for the sale of the vehicle
    • Identity and address proof of the buyer

    Once these documents are filed with the RTO, the concerned officer will verify all the documents and issue the certificate for the transfer of ownership.

    Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

    1. How much time do I have for registering my vehicle?

    You must register your vehicle within 7 days from the date of purchase.

    2. Can I submit the documents online?

    Yes. You can submit all the necessary documents by visiting the official website of the concerned RTO. However, you need to visit the RTO directly with your vehicle in order to get the registration certificate. The entire vehicle registration process cannot be performed online.

    3. What is Form 28?

    It is for the grant of no objection certificate from the RTO. This is usually required when a vehicle is bought in one state and registered in another.

    4. Are the RTOs open on Saturdays?

    Most RTOs in India are closed on second and fourth Saturdays of every month.

    5. How long is the registration certificate valid?

    A vehicle registered for personal use is valid for a period of 15 years. Following this, the certificate must be renewed every 5 years.

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