What is Vehicle Registration Process?

Buying a vehicle is a dream come true for many. If you are planning on buying a new vehicle, please note that you will be required to register it with your local RTO. RTO stands for “Regional Transport Office”.

Vehicle Registration

Regional Transport Office is a government organisation that is responsible to keep a track of all the vehicles on Indian roads. For this purpose, every vehicle in India should be registered in the nearby RTO. Every vehicle that is registered will be given a vehicle registration card. Apart from vehicle registration or vahan registration, RTO is responsible for issuing driving licences, inspect vehicle insurance, and keep a tab of pollution created by vehicles.

The RTO assigns a permanent registration number to your vehicle that you will not be allowed to change under any circumstances. As soon as you buy the vehicle, the dealer will assign a temporary registration number which is usually valid for a month. Within one month, you should get a permanent registration number for your vehicle.

Necessity for registration certificate

Vehicle registration is needed for many purposes. Firstly, it proves the ownership of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle is the name of the person on whom the vehicle is registered as per the RTO records. It is required if you decide to sell the vehicle. Without a valid registration certificate, you do not have the legal rights to sell the vehicle or transfer the ownership of the vehicle. Also, in case of an accident, you will be able to track the driver or the owner of the vehicle through the vehicle registration details. This helps people in identifying the people involved in an accident and settle claims peacefully. Transport Ministry of India keeps a track of the number of vehicles in the country and registering every vehicle helps them get the statistics right.

Apart from the above reasons, registering a vehicle is a not a choice but a legal requirement in our country. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 makes vehicle registration mandatory in our country. Registration of vehicle falls under this Act. According to the Act, a person cannot drive a vehicle that is not registered and the registration number should be displayed on the vehicle at all times.

Where to apply for 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.

Documents required for vehicle registration process

  • Duly filled Form Number 20 which is the application for registration of a motor vehicle.
  • Sale certificate
  • Valid insurance certificate
  • Two copies of your recent passport size photographs
  • Physical production of vehicle
  • Temporary Registration assigned by the dealer if available
  • Invoice from the dealer
  • Customs’ Clearance Certificate if the vehicle is imported
  • Copy of your PAN if the cost of the vehicle exceeds Rs.4 lakh
  • Proof of residence
  • Identity proof
  • Citizenship proof

Please carry all the original documents when you visit the District Transport Office.


Please visit the District Transport Office with all the above documents. Once you have submitted all the documents and it has been verified, you will be asked to get your vehicle to the District Transport Office premises for a general inspection.

An Inspecting Officer will verify the vehicle physically and will verify all the details mentioned in the documents. Upon successful verification, the Registering Authority will issue a vehicle registration number and a receipt. Till the registration card is delivered to the owner, the receipt can be used as a proof of registration.

Plate approval

As the owner of the vehicle you will have to get the registration mark on the number plate of your vehicle and get it approved by the Registering Authority within 30 days.


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.

News About What is Vehicle Registration Process?

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notify Bharat series of ‘BH’ series of registration

    In order to free vehicle owners from the hassle of getting an NOC from the current state and then re-registering the vehicle in the next state where the vehicle will be relocated, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified Bharat series of “BH” series of registration. The new series of registration is for those who are in transferable jobs, like in Defence, Railways, other government employees or even private sector employees whose companies are present in multiple states.

    The new system of allotting BH series registration to vehicles will be completely online. It shall come into force from September 15. Vehilces bearing the BH registration will be required to be re-registered in a new state even if the owner relocates to a new state. The new system has been brought in by the government after amending Rule 47 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

    To apply for BH registration, applicants will need to fill up Form 60 and furnish valid employment ID or proof online. The registration number will be randomly generated by computer. Under the BH system, road tax will be levied for two years and in multiple of two thereafter. After completion of the fourteenth year, the motor vehicle tax shall be levied annually which shall be half of the amount which was charged earlier for the vehicle.

    The road tax for a BH registration vehicle will be charged at 8 percent if the cost of the vehicle is below Rs.10 lakh while for those costing between Rs.10-20 lakh it shall be 10 percent. Vehicles costing more than Rs.20 lakh will be charged 12 percent. Diesel vehicles will be charged additional 2 percent while electric vehicles shall be charged 2 percent less tax.

    31 August 2021

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