• Vehicle Ownership Transfer

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    With the price of cars going north as each day passes - with the increase of taxes imposed on new cars, luxury cars and cars from foreign car manufacturers, a lot of people are choosing second-hand cars over brand new cars. In fact, according to a report, the sale of luxury second-hand cars in India has increased by over 15% in the last two years, mainly due to the stiff taxes imposed on new luxury cars. When selling a car, it is important that you change the ownership to the person buying the car. The change of ownership has to be done at the RTO the car was registered in and the legal liability of the car is passed on to the new owner. Failure to transfer ownership or make the RC transfer, will result in you being notified for any legal offence caused by the new owner of the car. For this very reason, changing the ownership of the car irrespective of the depreciation of the value of the car for changing hands is a must. Let’s take a look at how a vehicle ownership transfer is done.

    How the RC (Registration Certificate) transfer is done

    Once the car is sold, the transfer of ownership has to be carried out by the new owner within 14 days of the sale. The new owner as well as the previous owner has to intimate the RTO that the car is registered in and submit a list of documents to begin the process of transfer of ownership. As soon as the transfer of ownership documents have been submitted, the RTO will take about a month to completely transfer the ownership. Once the transfer is done, both parties can check online to confirm the transfer of ownership.

    List of documents to be submitted to transfer vehicle ownership

    Listed below are the documents that will have to be submitted at the RTO for vehicle owner transfer:

    • The original registration certificate of the car.
    • Form 29 - this form is to notify the RTO that both parties have agreed to the transfer of the vehicle ownership. Both parties have to attest the form and submit their passport photographs as well.
    • Form 30 - this form is for the official transfer of ownership. Here too, both parties have to attest the form and attach 2 copies of their recent passport size photographs.
    • Form 28 - this is a no objection certificate to change the registration of the vehicle from one RTO to another. This form will have to submitted in case of interstate transfer of the vehicle as well.
    • Residential proof of the buyer.
    • Existing car insurance certificate of the car. This will transfer the no-claim bonus as well (if the previous car owner has not raised any claim).
    • A report from the National Crime Records Bureau. This is just to prove that there are no pending criminal cases involving the vehicle.
    • PUC (Pollution Under Control) Certificate.
    • Lastly, the buyer will have to pay the transfer fee to the RTO.

    If you are buying from a second-hand dealer, the whole documentation process and the cost is usually taken care by them and is inclusive of the buying price.

    As already mentioned, the whole process of transfer of ownership will take approximately a month or so to be completed. Note, you have to initiate the process within 14 days from the date of sale as mentioned on the sale agreement and the transfer of ownership form. Once the RC transfer is complete, both parties can check online to confirm that the transfer of ownership has actually taken place. They can check the details on the transport department portal, based on the state of registration.

    What to keep in mind when transferring the ownership of a vehicle 

    • The seller of the vehicle has to ensure that the cheque or demand draft that has been handed to him/her by the buyer clears before he/she finalises the sale.  
    • The buyer and seller have to ensure that Form 28, Form 29, and Form 30 are attested before they are submitted at the Regional Transport Office where the car is registered.  
    • The seller of the car has to ensure that the Insurance Company is informed about the transfer of ownership of the vehicle.  
    • The seller has to ensure that once the ownership is transferred and printed on the registration certificate of the vehicle, the buyer of the vehicle sends him/her a copy.  
    • The buyer has to ensure that the car that is being sold is still on a loan. If there are any dues, the buyer has to ensure that the loan is cleared before he/she buys it.  
    • The buyer of the vehicle has to ensure that the process to transfer the ownership of the vehicle takes place within 2 weeks or 14 days from the date of the sale. If not, the sale deed will not be valid to carry out the transfer of ownership.  
    • The buyer of the vehicle has to ensure that he/she carries all the attested forms and copies of the forms when carrying out the transfer of ownership process at the Regional Transport Office.  

    Once all the documents have been submitted at the Regional Transport Office, the RTO executive will hand over an acknowledgement slip to the buyer. The buyer can the use the acknowledgement number to check the status of the transfer of ownership online on the website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Usually, the registration certificate of the vehicle with the new ownership will be mailed to the residence of the buyer within 30 days.  


    1. Is it possible to transfer the ownership of the vehicle if the seller of the car is in another state? 
    2. Yes, you will have to submit Form 28, Form 29, and Form 30 as well as a No Objection Certificate from the RTO where the vehicle is registered to the RTO in your jurisdiction.  

    3. Is the transfer of vehicle ownership an expensive affair? 
    4. The fee to transfer vehicle ownership usually varies from one state to another but it is not too expensive. Usually, the fee is around Rs.100.  

    5. What do I do if I have to transfer the ownership of a vehicle in a case where the original owner has died? 
    6. If the original owner of the vehicle has died, you will have to submit the death certificate of the original owner of the car along with the other required documents.  

    7. Is a copy of the registration certificate enough to transfer the ownership of the vehicle? 
    8. No, the original registration certificate will be required to carry out the process.  

    9. Is it possible to add 2 names of ownership on a registration certificate? 
    10. No, that is not possible.  

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