Know Everything about RTO Registration Process
Car Insurance

Know Everything about RTO Registration Process

Congratulations on getting a new vehicle! The next step is to register your new vehicle with the regional transport office (RTO). The new vehicle registration process is mandatory for all vehicle owners to drive legally in India. The RTO registration process for new vehicles is relatively simple; it requires you to obtain a unique identification number for your vehicle so that it can be identified correctly.

Visiting the RTO in your area is essential for new car registration, as the RTO regulates all motor vehicles in the country. It is a crucial step in vehicle ownership as the registration number of any vehicle is permanent and is valid up to 15 years from the date of issue and does not change under any circumstances, even when the ownership is transferred to someone else. Here you will learn about the RTO registration process for a new car along with simple steps to follow and new car RTO registration charges, among other things.

How Do You Register Your New Vehicle?

You usually have three options for registering your new car with the RTO:

  1. Do it yourself (which you will learn in this guide)
  2. Ask your dealer
  3. Hire an agent

Generally, the car dealer applies for car RTO registration and obtains the permanent registration number for your vehicle on your behalf. However, in some cases, the dealer may provide you with a temporary registration number and you may have to do the rest of the procedure.

What Is the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Registration Number?

Since new vehicle registration at the RTO can take some time, you are given a temporary registration number from the dealer. This is because the car dealer registers the vehicle with the RTO on a temporary basis. As soon as you purchase a vehicle, the dealer provides a temporary registration number for the vehicle, which is valid for a month. This is done to stay compliant with the legal guidelines of the country.

It is the owner’s responsibility to obtain a permanent registration number for the vehicle from the RTO under their name. Within one month of purchasing the vehicle, you must obtain the permanent registration number for your new car. This permanent registration number will be registered with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), and it will not change under any circumstances after being issued.

Steps for RTO New Vehicle Registration

Here is a breakdown of the process you need to follow for four-wheeler registration with the RTO:

Step 1:Visit the local RTO in your new vehicle (make sure you have a valid driving license).

Step 2:Fill out Form 20 and submit it with the required documents at the RTO. Here is a list of the required documents:
  • Form 21 or sale certificate issued by your car dealer as a proof of ownership
  • Invoice of the new vehicle provided by your dealer
  • Custom’s Clearance Certificate in case your vehicle is imported
  • Form 51 or vehicle insurance certificate with active insurance that covers third-party liability at a minimum
  • Road worthiness certificate (Form 22), which you can obtain through the Parivahan Sewa website
  • Photocopy of Aadhar card, voter ID, passport, or utility bills (such as an electricity bill) as proof of address
  • Temporary registration number (TRN) shared by your dealer
  • Photocopy of Aadhar card, PAN card, passport, etc. as proof of identity
  • Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUCC), which can be obtained by visiting a registered emissions test centre or through the VAHAN portal of Parivahan Sewa
  • Road tax challan, which can be obtained by paying the road tax through the Parivahan Sewa website online
  • Two passport-sized photographs of the vehicle owner
  • PAN card of the vehicle’s owner if the vehicle costs more than ₹4 lakh
  • Form 34, in case you purchased your vehicle on the hypothecation (HP) scheme

In case your application is missing something, the officials at RTO will guide you through the process.

Once you submit your documents, the RTO superintendent will scrutinise your application and verify all the documents you have provided.

Step 3:Pay the RTO registration cost at the designated counter; you can also pay your road tax during this step.

Step 4:Get your vehicle physically examined by the Inspector of Motor Vehicles (IMV) to verify the information you have provided, such as chassis number and engine number.

After this scrutiny, the RTO superintendent will enter your new vehicle’s data and verify it. The Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO) will approve the vehicle registration after final scrutiny.

Step 5: Receive the registration certificate (RC) of your new vehicle after a few days or weeks on your registered address via post.

Can You Go for an Online Vehicle Registration?

You may be able to apply for new vehicle registration online through VAHAN or Parivahan Sewa, but you will be required to visit the local RTO to get your vehicle inspected for correct chassis number, engine number, and modifications (if any). You can go to the Parivahan Sewa website or VAHAN portal to avoid visiting the local RTO for a car registration application.

The online RTO registration process for a new vehicle usually involves uploading scanned copies of required documents as per the size limit and format instructions given on the website and scheduling an appointment for vehicle inspection on a later date at your local RTO.

Know About Vehicle Registration Forms

Here are some of the important forms that you may be required to furnish at the RTO for your car’s RTO registration:

  • Form 20: Application for registration of a motor vehicle
  • Form 20B: Application for extension of temporary registration’s time period
  • Form 21: Sale Certificate
  • Form 22: Certificate of roadworthiness
  • Form 51: Certificate of insurance
  • Form 34: Application for making an entry into an agreement of loan hypothecation

You can learn more about and download each form related to vehicle registration through the official Parivahan Sewa portal.

Vehicle Registration Fees

You have to pay a fixed one-time vehicle registration fee for your vehicle in India, irrespective of the value of the vehicle, but there is a lifetime road tax for every vehicle that you own. The RTO charges for car registration depend on its type and engine capacity, and the lifetime road tax is calculated on the basis of the vehicle’s market value, category, and location. The minimum fee for new vehicle registration for a bike is about ₹300; maximum fee for registration with RTO for a new car can go up to ₹5000. New vehicle RTO charges are mentioned below:

  • Four-wheeler or car (also known as light motor vehicles (LMV)): ₹600 for non-transport and ₹1000 for transport
  • Imported cars: ₹5000
  • Two-wheelers or bikes: ₹300
  • Imported bikes: ₹2500

In case you want a special registration number for your new vehicle, you can get that by paying an additional fee and choose a personalised registration number during offline or online RTO car registration process. You can find out more details about the fees for vehicle registration and other services offered by RTO through the Parivahan Sewa portal.

Vehicle Registration Status: How to Check the RC Status of Your Vehicle?

The Parivahan Sewa portal lets you check the status of your new vehicle registration application easily online by following the steps given below:

  • Visit the official portal.
  • Go to ‘Vehicle Related Services’ under ‘Online Services’ from the navigation bar.
  • Select your state from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on the ‘Select RTO’ from the drop-down menu and select your local RTO to proceed. Click on ‘Proceed’ once more on the pop-up window.
  • Go to the menu and click on ‘Status’ option. Select the ‘Know Your Application Status’ option.
  • Enter your application number and correct captcha before clicking on ‘Submit’ to proceed.
  • Click on ‘View Report’ to see the status of your application and RC details.

You may also use the mParivahan mobile app to check the status of your RC.

How to Apply for a Duplicate RC?

Dealing with a stolen or damaged vehicle’s registration certificate can be bothersome. But you can easily get a duplicate RC online or offline at your convenience.

Here are the steps to apply for a duplicate RC online:

  • Go to the Parivahan Sewa portal.
  • Go to ‘Vehicle Related Services’ under ‘Online Services’ from the navigation bar.
  • Select your state from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on ‘Select RTO’ from the drop-down menu and select your local RTO to proceed. Click on ‘Proceed’ once more on the pop-up window.
  • Select ‘Application for Duplicate RC’ options and enter your details, including the last 5 characters of your chassis, and click ‘Verify Details.’
  • Fill out the form with the required details and upload the necessary documents before submitting the application.
  • Make the payment for the duplicate RC (₹300 for a private car) and click on ‘Print Out’ to get the acknowledgement and application form.
  • Submit this form along with all the required documents at your local RTO and book an appointment for vehicle verification.

Your request will be approved after scrutiny, if everything turns out fine, you will receive a duplicate of your RC via post. Here is the list of documents required for duplicate RC application:

  • Police certificate or copy of FIR
  • Duly filled Form 26
  • PUC certificate
  • Valid insurance certificate covering a minimum of third-party liability
  • Your address and identity proof
  • A pencil print of the engine and chassis number
  • Copy of the affidavit stating that the original RC was lost
How to Go About Vehicle Registration Renewal?

The registration number of a privately owned vehicle is valid for 15 years from the issuing date of the RC. However, in the case of a transport vehicle, the RC expires with the vehicle fitness certificate. Once you complete 15 years of owning your vehicle, you will be required to apply for a renewal RTO registration process using Form 25 at the RTO where the vehicle was originally registered. You cannot apply for RC renewal before 60 days of the expiration date.

The process is quite simple. Follow the steps given below to renew your vehicle registration:

  • Visit the official Parivahan Sewa portal.
  • Go to ‘Vehicle Related Services’ under ‘Online Services’ from the navigation bar.
  • Select your state from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on ‘Select RTO’ from the drop-down menu and select your local RTO to proceed. Click on ‘Proceed’ once more on the pop-up window.
  • Please note that some states, such as West Bengal, may not allow you to apply for RC renewal online.

  • Select ‘Renewal of Registration’ from the options given on this page.
  • Enter your vehicle registration number and the last 5 characters of your chassis number, then click on ‘Verify Details’ to proceed.
  • Provide the necessary information and upload the required documents to complete the application process.
  • Check the details of any pending tax payments (such as road tax) and clear them using the given payment methods on the website.

Once you are done with the tax payment and online application, you can book a slot for vehicle inspection at the selected RTO.

In case you are unfamiliar with the online process, you can also go to the local RTO for the renewal process. Just fill out Form 25 with the required details, such as the registered number of your vehicle and expiration date, before submitting it at the RTO with the required documents. You will be required to pay the renewal fees and pending taxes (if any) before moving ahead with the vehicle inspection. After completion and approval, the new RC will be sent to your registered address via post. You can check the status of RC renewal for your vehicle by using the same steps for new vehicle registration as mentioned above.

RC Renewal Fees

A renewal fee is required to renew your vehicle’s registration after 15 years from the date of RC issue; generally, the renewal charges are similar to issuing charges for RC. Depending on the type of vehicle, you may be required to pay additional fees as well. Renewal charges for some classes of vehicles are mentioned below:

  • Cars (also known as light motor vehicles (LMV)): ₹600 for non-transport and ₹1000 for transport
  • Imported cars: ₹5000
  • Bikes: ₹300
  • Imported bikes: ₹2500

An additional charge of ₹200 will be applicable if you get your smart card renewed as well. Besides, you will have to pay an additional fee of ₹300/month for bikes or ₹500/month for other non-transport vehicles if you delay the renewal application process by more than 60 days before the RC’s expiry date.

Documents Required for RC Renewal

Here is a list of documents that you will require for RC renewal:

  • Duly filled Form 25
  • PUCC issued from an emissions test centre
  • RC book
  • Online RC smart card
  • A copy of PAN Card
  • Pencil print of chassis and engine of the vehicle
  • Vehicle’s fitness certificate
  • Insurance policy certificate with active insurance covering third-party liability at the least
  • Up-to-date road tax payment receipt

If you are applying for RC renewal at the RTO offline, the officials can guide you through the process.

Rules for Vehicle Number Plates in India

Here are the rules for vehicle number plates in India:

  • The first letters of a number plate indicate the union territory or state, denoted by letters like DL for Delhi or UP for Uttar Pradesh. This is followed by the two-digit district code and the four-digit alpha-numerical code, such as XX000 or AA9999, unique to the vehicle.
  • The size of number plates needs to be as per specifications:
    • For two- and three-wheelers: 200×100 mm
    • For cars or LMVs: 340×200 mm or 500×120 mm
    • For commercial vehicles (medium or heavy category): 340×200 mm
  • Temporary license plates need to be yellow with red letters.
  • It is an offence to drive a new vehicle with a temporary registration number printed on paper.
  • The usage of regional language on number plates is banned by MoRTH. You can only use English letters and Arabic numerals on your number plate.
  • According to the new rules, the size, space, and thickness of characters need to be 65 mm, 10 mm, and 10 mm, respectively. This is to ensure proper visibility of the vehicle’s registration number.
  • The colour of the number plate signifies the type of vehicle. Thus, it must be accurate.
    • White number plate with black lettering is used for vehicles that are solely used for private purposes.
    • Yellow number plate with black lettering is used for commercial vehicles.
    • Green number plate is designated for electric vehicles.
  • Did you know that a red number plate with the ‘Emblem of India’ is used for cars used by the President of India or Governors of respective states?

  • Fancy lettering or pictures are not allowed on a number plate.
  • All vehicles registered after 1st April 2019 must bear a high security registration plate (HSRP), which is made of aluminium and has a laser-etched code below the International Registration Code of India (IND) and Ashok Chakra hologram unique to the vehicle. The HSRP comes with snap-locks and cannot be used after a tampering attempt.
  • You can get a fine of ₹100 under Section CMVR 105(2) or ₹4500 under 177 Motor Vehicle Act if you own a vehicle with a number plate displaying ‘Applied For.’
Bharat Number Plate Registration

The MoRTH has introduced the Bharat or BH series number plate to create a unified system for vehicle registration across India and avoid duplication of numbers. This series also assigns a unique registration number to each vehicle. Vehicle owners of the BH number plate can seamlessly move from one state to another with the same registration number without needing to change vehicle registration, which is required within 12 months after you move to a new state.

The following groups of people are eligible for the BH series number plate:

  • State and central government employees
  • Bank employees
  • Employees working in private companies that have branches in over 5 states or union territories
  • Defence personnel
  • Administrative services employees

In addition to this, your vehicle must have a valid PUC certificate and no pending road tax to be eligible for the BH series number plate. You can apply for this series through the VAHAN portal.

Secure Your Valuable Asset!

Apart from being a legal requirement, a car insurance plan can help you avoid financial loss in case your car is damaged, stolen, or lost beyond repair. In addition to a third-party liability insurance, you are recommended to invest in a comprehensive motor insurance plan for your new vehicle from a reliable insurance provider. You can use a car insurance calculator to calculate your car’s tentative premium.

With a 98% claim settlement ratio, SBI General can be your beneficiary and ensure your peace of mind while you enjoy your new ride.


Q. What is the importance of vehicle registration with the RTO?
A. New vehicle registration has the following purposes:

  • Vehicles RC serve as proof of ownership.
  • RC is required to sell or transfer ownership of the vehicle.
  • RC helps in claiming insurance in case of an accident.
  • All vehicle owners are required to have a valid RC under the law.

Q. How long does it take to get a registration certificate after an application?
A. The complete process of new vehicle registration can take about 20-25 days or more.

Q. What is a special number plate?
A. At the time of registration, you can request for a special combination of numbers for your vehicle by paying additional charges. People can choose special numbers such as 1111, 7777, or 8787 as per their preference and availability.

Q. Is the RTO registration fee structure same for every state in India?
A. Yes. The charges for vehicle registration, duplicate RC, and RC renewal, among other services, are the same for all states in the country.

Q. Is it necessary to have an insurance certificate to apply for duplicate RC or RC renewal?
A. Yes. It is illegal to drive a vehicle without valid insurance that covers at least third-party liability.

Q. What are the RTO charges for new vehicle registration for a car?
A. The fees for RTO registration for your new car is ₹600 for non-transport vehicles and ₹1000 for transport vehicles.

Q. Can I download my vehicle’s RC?
A. Yes. You can go to the Parivahan Sewa portal to download the RC of your vehicle or access it through the mParivahan or Digilocker mobile apps.

Q. Is there a difference between RC renewal and duplicate RC?
A. Yes. You apply for RC renewal only after your RC is expired, which is 15 years from the date of issue. But you can apply for a duplicate RC if your original RC is lost or damaged.

Q. Can I renew my RC after 15 years of owning my vehicle?
A. Yes. You can renew your vehicle RC after the lapse of 15-year registration validity, but there is a hefty fine for each month you delay after 60 days from the expiry date of the RC.

Q. Is it necessary to carry the original RC while driving in India?
A. Yes. However, if you have your RC uploaded on Digilocker or you can access it on mParivahan, you can drive throughout the country without any legal troubles.

Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.

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