15 March 2018 05:12:49 IST

The hassles of getting your car re-registered in another State

You were able to retain the same mobile telephone number even after you moved lock, stock and barrel from Delhi to Chennai.

And, you were hoping that you would be able to also retain the same registration number of your favourite hatchback after you had moved base only to find that you are not as lucky with your vehicle.

Paperwork, money

You realise that not only is there a lot of paperwork involved in transferring the registration, but you also have to fork out quite a lot of money officially. It is then you think that you might have been better off selling the car in Delhi and going in for a new one in Chennai. But, then your car is just two years old and still has a lot more life left in it.

Agreed that being able to retain the mobile number is not the same as being able to have the same registration number for the car and that it is not a simple question of giving an updated proof of residence.

When you bought your car, you would have paid life-time road tax for it, which is valid only in that particular State. And, when you move out of that State, you would need to pay road tax again, which can be quite steep.

Although you are eligible for a refund of the road tax paid, in practice it is quite tedious to get it done.

Road Transport Bill

However, if only the Road Transport and Safety Bill had been passed by the Parliament and the Bill had become law, you would have been able to retain the registration number even after you have moved to another State.

For, the bill has a separate chapter titled Unified Vehicle Registration System that proposed retaining the old registration number itself with you just required to update your address within 90 days of shifting residence.

Not only is the paperwork involved in transferring a vehicle’s registration cumbersome, there is so much of to-ing and fro-ing and greasing palms at the regional transport offices.

And, if you do not transfer the registration within the specified time period, you are sitting duck for the traffic police! Not only does the tax rate vary from State to State, the paperwork that is required to be done is also quite different.

Take the case of a journalist colleague, who had a harrowing experience as he had to handle transfer of vehicles twice – first when he moved from Hyderabad in the then undivided State of Andhra Pradesh to Bengaluru and again when he moved from Hyderabad to Kochi and back.

He says the first experience was one he would like to forget as he not only spent days figuring out how to handle the whole process, running from one office to another to secure clearances, he lost nearly ₹36,000 in the form of life tax he had paid as he felt it was easier to sell the car in Bengaluru than take it back with him to Hyderabad.

Another car owner Kunal, however, has been luckier. He has a hatchback that he bought while he was working in Chennai and which he took with him when he shifted jobs and moved to Hyderabad.

This was around the time Andhra Pradesh was being bifurcated into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and he was advised to wait for things to settle down in Telangana before re-registering his vehicle. He still hasn’t done so; and, he has been lucky in that he has not been questioned so far.

Procedural hassles

On paper, the rules are quite simple. You need a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the regional transport office where you vehicle was originally registered. This is the first step in the process of re-registering your vehicle in your new State of residence. With this, you have to go to the RTO concerned in the State you have moved to, fill up forms, hand over the NOC, furnish proof of address, attach a copy of the vehicle’s insurance, that the vehicle meets pollution norms and, voila the vehicle will be re-registered within a specified time period.

You can even get a refund on the residual value of the life-time road tax you paid when you bought your vehicle, after showing proof that you have moved to a new State and completed the formalities for re-registering it there.

But, the hassles involved in doing all this puts you at the mercy of middlemen and touts, who charge quite a hefty fee, unofficially that too.

(Inputs from V Rishi Kumar, Hyderabad; Anil Urs, Bengaluru, G Balachandar, Chennai; Rahul Wadke, Mumbai; Mamuni Das and Ronendra Singh, Delhi)