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Regional Transport Office (RTO)

RTO stands for Regional Transport Office and it’s a government body that is responsible for overseeing all the issues related to transportation in the country. As per the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, RTOs have been set up throughout India.

While primarily the task of the RTO involves preserving a database of Indian vehicles, they also undertake several other duties such as issuing driving licenses, collecting road tax, regulating transportation rules, granting pollution fitness certificates, etc. To ensure safety on the roads, every union territory and state has its own RTO, which enforces the rules according to motor vehicles law.

What Services Does The Regional Transport Office (RTO) Perform?

RTOs function according to the Motor Vehicles Act. Here’s an overview of major functions that RTOs all over India carry out:

  • Driving License – There are a plethora of services that fall under the driving license umbrella. Firstly, it’s the issue of licenses. The four main types of driving licenses issued are a learner’s license, permanent license, commercial driving license, and an international driving permit. Other than this, the RTOs deal with renewal of licenses, duplicate licenses, issue of a conductor’s license, issue of license for driving instructors, issue of license for motor driving school, conducting driving tests, etc.
  • Road Tax and Other Fees – Road tax is a one-time tax levied on vehicles by the government and the RTO collects it. You typically have to pay this when you register your vehicle for the first time. Besides road tax, the other fees are IMV fees and fees for Departmental Action cases.
  • Inspecting Vehicles – According to the Motor Vehicles Act, a vehicle that plys on the road should comply with certain rules. And the RTO conducts inspections from time to time to ensure the same is in order.
  • Environmental Concerns – RTOs conduct activities related to PUC (Pollution Under Control), liquid petroleum gas or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion, etc. at various testing centers.
  • Road Safety – To keep individuals safe, the RTO ensures the appropriate road safety measures are in place as said in the Motor Vehicles Act.
  • Vehicle Registration – A RTOs primary function is to maintain a database of vehicles. When new vehicles are registered, they not only issue a license but also enter all your details into a database. Other than issuing a number plate, some other tasks related to vehicle registration are issuing No Objection Certificates, vehicle transfer services, recording of changes in Registration Certificate, permits for tourist and transport vehicles, issuing fitness certificates to transport vehicles, entry/hypothecation in R.C. Books, etc.

Step By Step Process Of Different RTO Functions

1. Process of Obtaining a Driving License

Although the process to obtain a driver’s license seems difficult, in reality, if you know the procedure and steps, you can complete the process in no time. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Age and address proof (electricity bill, passport, voter’s ID, Aadhar card, etc.)
  • Fill and submit the Form no.2/4
  •  Form no.1(A) which is a medical certificate
  • Apply for a learner’s exam
  • Once you pass the learner’s exam, apply for a permanent license
  • Fix a date for your practical test

After you pass the practical exam, your permanent license will reach you by post within seven working days.

2. The Vehicle Registration Process at RTO

The process doesn’t end with purchasing a vehicle. There are a few steps that follow. After your purchase, you need to register your vehicle at the local RTO. The RTO will give you a permanent license plate that is unchangeable. The procedure for the same is as follows:

  • To register your vehicle, you have to submit a filled form to your District Transport Office within seven days from the date of purchase.
  • The documents you need for registration are:
    • ID proof and address proof (voter’s ID, ration card, electricity bill, Aadhar card, etc.)
    • If the cost of the vehicle exceeds INR 4 lakh then you need a copy of your PAN card
    • Passport size photograph
    • Invoice from the dealer
    • Temporary registration, if available
    • A valid insurance
    • Sales certificate
    • Duly filled Form 20

An RTO officer will verify all these documents. After successful verification, the RTO will issue you a receipt and your vehicle registration number.

i. Plate Approval – Within a period of 30 days, your number plate must be approved by the registering authority.

ii. Validity – The vehicle registration for private vehicles is valid up to 15 years, and for transport vehicles, it’s valid until the date of expiry of the fitness certificate.

iii. Renewal – When the expiry is approaching, ensure you apply for renewal within 30 days.

3. Transfer of RC From One State To Another

If you plan to move your vehicle to another state, you must transfer the RC. For this you the first you have to do is deregister your vehicle from the original state of registration. Here’s what you have to do:

a. You need to submit Form 28 for a NOC to the RTO of the original state.

  • You need Form 29 if you plan to sell your vehicle in the new state
  • Submit the NOC to the new RTO
  • You have to pay the applicable road tax in the new state
  • Post which, the RTO will give you a new vehicle registration number

4. Transfer of Vehicle Ownership

After the sale of your vehicle, within 14 days or two weeks, you must intimate the RTO to apply for the RC transfer and vehicle ownership transfer. The documents you need are as follows:

  • Transfer fee
  • Residential proof
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate
  • A copy of the insurance
  • A valid Pollution Under Control certificate
  • No Objection Certificate in case you want to transfer the vehicle to a new RTO (Form 28)
  • A notice form (Form 29) to change ownership of the vehicle.
  • Report of transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle (Form 30).

The time taken for this process is between 7 to 30 days, depending on RTO to RTO.

Types of Vehicle Registration in West Bengal RTO

The RTO undertakes two types of vehicle registrations:

  • Temporary vehicle registration – When you buy a new vehicle, the dealers give you a temporary registration. This permit allows you to use the vehicle for 7 days, which you can extend up to one month. After this, you have to apply for a permanent vehicle registration permit.
  • Permanent vehicle registration – Every vehicle must have a valid registration. After you purchase your new vehicle, you can submit the needed documents and obtain permanent registration.

List Of State Wise Codes Of Indian RTOs

Every state in India has different codes on the vehicle’s number plate which helps you easily identify vehicles. In this table you will find the various states and their respective codes.

Andhra PradeshAP
Himachal PradeshHP
Jammu and KashmirJK
Madhya PradeshMP
Arunachal PradeshAR
Tamil NaduTN
Uttar PradeshUP
West BengalWB

Union Territories And Their RTO Codes

Akin to states, union territories too have different codes. Here’s a table with union territory and their respective codes.

Union TerritoryCode
Andaman and Nicobar IslandsAN
Dadra and Nagar HaveliDN
Daman and DiuDD

Quick Look At The Various RTO Forms

The RTO has different forms which serve different purposes. To simplify for you, here’s a table with all the needed details of a few forms.

Form 1Physical fitness declaration
Form 1AMedical examination
Form 2Learner’s license before you apply for a permanent one
Form 4Main application form for the main license
Form 8Add a vehicle to your existing license
Form 9Renewal
Form 20Application for registering a motor vehicle
Form 21Sale certificate
Form 23Certificate of registration
Form 24Registration of motor vehicle
Form 29Notice of transport of ownership of a motor vehicle
Form 38 AReport of inspection
Form 50Bill of lading
Form 51Certificate of insurance
Form 54Accident information report
Form 57Certificate for foreign insurance

4 Easy Steps To Download RTO Forms

With web-based services, RTOs have made it easy to get things done from the comfort of your home. To download the RTO forms, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Visit the Parivahan website –
  2. Select the ‘Information Services’ option from the menu.
  3. Choose ‘Download Forms’.
  4. Choose the type of form you need and download it.


If you want a personalized vehicle number, you can register online on the Parivahan website ( Typically, every state is given a computer-generated number between 1 and 9999. For any personalization, you need to make a bid on a specific date and pay a certain amount for it. Many people can bid for the same number so keep an eye out for the results online. In case another bidder is given your choice of number, the amount you paid is returned back to you.

The Registration Certificate is an important document, and you need to keep it safe. However, in the unfortunate event, you lose it, or it gets stolen, you can apply for a copy. For this, you must:

  • Lodge a complaint with the police the moment you misplace the document
  • Take the complaint and visit the RTO
  • Fill and submit Form 26, the application for a duplicate copy, and attach a copy of the police complaint
  • Once the RTO verifies the documents, they will issue a copy to you.

To check the vehicle registration details online, you have to:

  • Visit the Parivahan website (
  • From the menu options pick ‘online services’
  • Select ‘know your vehicle details’
  • This will redirect you to another page
  • Here you will have to enter your vehicle number and hit search
  • You will then see all results related to your vehicle.

Yes in India car premium charges are segregated as per the RTO and dependent in which RTO your car is registered, the premium amount may vary.

No, the insurance company will not restrict or decline to provide insurance policy to your register vehicle RTO but the charges of insurance premium may vary from one RTO to another.

You can also avail SMS service by sending a SMS ‘vahan’ followed by the plate number (registration number) of your car/bike to phone number 7738299899. This service will notify the status of your vehicle’s RC transfer

Yes as per the motor vehicle act, it is mandatory to register a vehicle in India.

The forms of the vehicle registration can be downloaded online from particular state RTO website. The vehicle will need to produce at the RTO office for verification of details and fitness inspection of the vehicle. Hence the entire procedure cannot be done online.

RTOs list special numbers for vehicle on their website. The vehicle owners can bid for the number and the highest bidder gets the special number for their vehicle.

You can apply for transfer of ownership of the vehicle by going on the website Go to the online services tab, select the state and then enter your vehicle registration number and further fill in the details as required.

Documents required for transfer of ownership of a vehicle

  • Original RC book
  • Form 29
  • Form 30
  • Form 28
  • Residential Proof
  • Report of National Crime Records Bureau N.C.R.B (police report
  • Valid insurance certificate
  • Valid PUC
  • Transfer fee

The following are the documents required for RC book change Tax Receipt:

  • Current RC Book.
  • Valid Insurance certificate.
  • Valid PUC.
  • Two copies of Address proof
  • Fitness certificate in case of commercial vehicles.
  • NOC in case of vehicle is registered in other RTO
  • Vehicle Permit if applicable.
  • Passport size photo
  • NOC from financer in case vehicle is on finance
  • Copy of Aadhaar Card
The following are the documents required for RC book change Tax Receipt:
  • Current RC Book.
  • Valid Insurance certificate.
  • Valid PUC.
  • Two copies of Address proof
  • Fitness certificate in case of commercial vehicles.
  • NOC in case of vehicle is registered in other RTO
  • Vehicle Permit if applicable.
  • Passport size photo
  • NOC from financer in case vehicle is on finance
  • Copy of Aadhaar Card