As a vehicle owner, it is not just the vehicle’s physical health and maintenance that you need to be on top of, it is also the vehicle’s official paperwork and documentation. Different sets of documents, ranging from the vehicle’s fitness certificate, to the insurance card, to the Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, have been made mandatory by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, so that the vehicle runs in the optimal condition and is safe for the passengers, the pedestrians and the environment. If you are found to be driving without being in possession of valid vehicle documents, you can see yourself paying hefty amounts in the form of penalties. Even when you do carry those papers around with you when you drive, you may not remember to update those certificates and papers, which can deem them invalid. A big problem arises when one such expired document turns out to be your vehicle’s registration certificate.
A registration certificate (RC) of a vehicle is an official document that states that your vehicle is officially registered with the government of India. It serves as a proof of ownership of the vehicle and is used for renewal and re-registration of the vehicle. Obtaining a vehicle registration certificate is not a difficult task. You can either get your vehicle registered at your nearest Regional Transport Office (RTO) yourself, or can ask your vehicle dealership to get it done for you on your behalf. Along with that, you can also apply for your vehicle’s registration certificate online on the Vahan e-service portal, and can check the vahan application status there as well.
The portal has been curated by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to help assist you with all vehicle related documents in an easy manner, and guides you through various processes such as verifying vehicle’s registration details, how to check fitness certificate of vehicle online, checking the blacklist status of a vehicle, to name a few. Through this portal you can also get to know if the registration certificate of the vehicle is due for renewal. A vehicle consuming petrol has an RC valid for 15 years, while a vehicle running on diesel has a validity of 10 years. Once you apply for a renewal, your vehicle’s registration certificate is renewed for the next 5 years, and so on. You must make sure that you apply for renewal 60 days prior to the date of expiry of registration. In case you are found to be driving without a registration certificate, you are required to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000 for the first offence, and Rs. 10,000 for the subsequent offences.
To renew your vehicle’s registration certificate, you need to submit Form 25, along with the vehicle’s valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, the original RC of the vehicle, vehicle’s insurance card, vehicle owner’s identification proof, such as the PAN card, and the pencil print of the engine and the chassis. Post submission of the documents, the vehicle will be subject to an inspection by the RTO to check its fitness. If the RTO approves, then the vehicle’s registration certificate will be renewed for the next 5 years.