What is a Two-Wheeler RC Book and Why is it Important?
Bike Insurance

What is a Two-Wheeler RC Book and Why is it Important?

So, you've just taken delivery of your brand-new two-wheeler and can't wait to take it for a ride! But wait, before you go zipping through the neighborhood, you must first ensure you have all the paperwork in place for your new motorcycle, including its RC.

Not sure what is RC for two-wheelers or why it is so important? Well, you have come to the right place! This quick read will tell you everything there is to know about RC books and their importance for your two-wheeler.

What is an RC for two-wheelers?

RC is short form of Registration Certificate. It is a document that proves the vehicle belongs to you and is registered with the Regional Traffic Office. It contains all the details of your two-wheeler, including its registration date and number, the engine and chassis number, the bike's make and model, and so on. It will also contain the owner's details, i.e., your name and address.

How do you get an RC for two-wheelers?

For new bikes, the registration process is usually taken care of by the dealer itself. They will approach the RTO and get your bike registered on your behalf. Once that is done, you will receive the RC smartcard through speed post at your place of residence.

For second-hand bikes, RC can be obtained at the nearest Regional Transport Office (RTO). The officials will first inspect your vehicle to assess its roadworthiness. They will also go through the paperwork for the bike. If everything is in order, they will issue the two-wheeler RC book.

Are RC books and smartcards the same thing?

Yes, they refer to the same thing, which is your vehicle's registration certificate. Earlier, the registration certificate was provided in the form of a booklet. It contained all the vehicle details, which were physically penned into the book by the RTO officer at the time of registration.

However, the RC book has been phased and replaced with a more compact and tamper-proof registration certificate, i.e., the RC smartcard. This smartcard contains all the details of your bike printed on its back. It also has an RFID chip that contains the same information, should the print on the back fade away over time. This chip also prevents duplication or forging, making it much more secure than its predecessor, the RC booklet.

How long is the RC valid for?

Generally speaking, a two-wheeler RC book is valid for 15 years. After this, you would have to get the vehicle registered once again. At the time of re-registration, the RTO officials will examine the vehicle, and if they find that it is in road-worthy condition, they will provide an RC for an additional 5 years.

Why is the RC important?

There are several reasons why the RC book is important for your two-wheeler. Firstly, it is the link between you and your motorcycle. Since your name and address are mentioned on the card, it is proof that the vehicle is registered in your name and that you are the vehicle's rightful owner. These details are also stored on the RFID chip, ensuring that smartcards cannot be forged or duplicated.

Secondly, as per Section 39 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, the RC book is required to legally operate your vehicle on Indian roads. Riding around town without your RC could invite a fine of up to Rs. 5,000. If you are caught by the traffic police without the RC a subsequent time, the fine could shoot up to Rs. 10,000.

The RC book is also important from an insurance point of view. Getting a motor insurance policy without an RC book can be very tricky, if not completely impossible. Similarly, making a claim without an RC can also be a very complex procedure. Therefore, it is best to keep your RC safe and have a copy at all times, especially when riding your motorcycle.

What to do if you lose your RC book?

As mentioned earlier, it is against the law to ride your two-wheeler without a valid RC book or smartcard. Therefore, if your RC is lost or stolen, you should apply for a duplicate RC as soon as possible. Not sure how to do this? It's quite simple! Follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Visit your nearest police station and file an FIR.

Step 2: Next-up, get a copy of Form 26 for a duplicate RC and fill it up carefully. You can download Form 26 from the https://www.parivahan.gov.in/ website.

Step 3: If you have purchased your bike with the help of a loan, then you also need to submit a duly signed form by the financier

Step 4: Attach all the other important documents required (listed below) and submit them along with your duly filled Form 26.

Documents that need to be submitted alongside Form 26:

  • A copy of FIR
  • A valid insurance certificate
  • NOC from bank/financier (only in case the bike is purchased on loan)
  • Valid PUC certificate
  • Duly filled Form 26
  • Copy of Tax payment (for the last 4 quarters)
  • Address Proof
  • Identity Proof

Do note: Along with all the required documents, you would also be required to pay a fee of Rs. 300. This covers the administrative costs and the cost of a new smart card. After submitting the documents and making the payment, you will be issued with an acknowledgement slip which should have an estimated date for the arrival of your new RC.


The two-wheeler RC book is an extremely important document. Without it, it is illegal to ride your bike in India. Doing so could invite hefty fines and could even result in the seizure of your bike. Therefore, if you have lost your RC book, it is essential that you apply for a duplicate as soon as possible. The process to apply for a duplicate RC is simple and affordable. Lastly, the RC should be kept safe at all times. It is recommended to have a copy when riding your vehicle, with the original kept secured at home.

It is also essential to have an active two-wheeler insurance policy too. Third-party insurance is the minimum coverage you need to be able to ride your bike on the roads. You can also opt to increase your coverage by taking comprehensive insurance too. Talk to us at SBI General today to know how you can buy coverage for your bike.

We hope this article has been helpful. Good luck, ride safe and always remember to wear your helmet.

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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