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The term ‘RTO’ is often brought up in conversations around applying for a driving license and registering a new vehicle. The RTO is responsible for handling several road transport-related operations in the country. Even if you want to check your car/bike insurance status, the RTO can help.But what does RTO mean? What are the various roles of RTO? Let’s find out in detail.
RTO, or Regional Transport Office, is a government body responsible for implementing the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Every state and union territory in the country has a dedicated RTO. The RTOs can have multiple DTOs (District Transport Offices) under their administrative control.
Apart from overseeing road-transport operations, the RTO also maintains a database of all the vehicles and drivers in the state/union territory, including the owner’s name, vehicle registration date, make model, age, and car and bike insurance validity.
The RTO is responsible for issuing and renewing a driver's license. Here's a quick overview of how you can get a driving license through the RTO-
• Apply for a learner’s license
• Clear the learner’s license test
• Receive the learner’s license
• Apply for a permanent driving license
• Clear the practical test
• Receive permanent driver’s license
Every vehicle, be it a two-wheeler or four-wheeler, is registered at the local RTO. You receive a number plate for your vehicle after registration. Follow these steps to register a vehicle at the local RTO-
• Take the vehicle to the RTO office
• Submit a duly filled Form 20 along with documents like-
– ID proof
– Address proof
– Passport size photograph
– Sale certificate
– Valid bike/car insurance certificate
– Purchase invoice
– Temporary dealer registration (if available)
• An Inspecting Officer will inspect the vehicle and the documents
• If everything is in order, you’ll receive a vehicle registration number and Registration Certificate (RC)
After selling the vehicle, vehicle owners should transfer the Registration Certificate to the new buyer within 14 days. To transfer the RC, you need to visit the RTO with the following documents-
– Registration Certificate (RC)
– Duly filled forms relevant for vehicle transfer (eg: Form 29, 30)
– No Objection Certificate if the vehicle is transferred to a different RTO
– ID proof
– Address proof
– Bike/car insurance copy
– PUC copy
As mentioned above, the local RTO also maintains a database of all the vehicles registered in the state/union territory and their owners. Some of the information is available in the public domain. For instance, you can visit the official website of the local RTO to check the status and expiry of your car or bike insurance.
Follow these steps to check insurance status/expiry-
• After visiting the RTO website, look for the ‘Online services’ section
• Click on ‘VAHAN citizen service’
• Select the RTO office
• Click on ‘Status’ and then ‘Know your vehicle details’
• Enter vehicle registration number, engine number, and chassis number
• If all the information is correct, the details of your vehicle, including insurance status and expiry date, will be displayed on your screen
Vehicle ownership made easier with online services
An increasing number of vehicle owners now purchase and renew vehicle insurance online as it is more convenient and quick. But besides purchasing bike/car insurance online, you can now also avail a host of RTO services through digital channels.
Thanks to the government's digital push, many RTO services like applying for and renewing the driving license, changing the RC book address, and more are available online. However, the exact services and the steps to avail them digitally can vary between RTOs. You can visit the official website of the local RTO for more details.
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