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RTO Office: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Functions and Services

Published On Aug 17, 2023

RTO Office: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Functions and Services

Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) are government offices responsible for regulating road transportation in India. They play an important role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of our roads by registering vehicles, issuing driver's licenses, enforcing traffic laws, and investigating traffic accidents. This article provides a comprehensive guide on RTOs' functions, services, types, and tips for managing them effectively.

Functions of Regional Transport Office (RTO)

We may be familiar with RTO as their basic function is to issue licences and register vehicles. Still, there are certain strings of responsibilities that you should know about as laid out in the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. 

RTO Office: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Functions and Services

1. Issuance of Driving Licences

A driving licence is not the only thing that the RTO issues. Check out the other responsibilities of the RTO that fall under the licence category:

  • Testing and issuing of learning licence 
  • Renewal of Driving licence
  • Issue of international driving licence
  • Issue of licence for motor driving school
  • Issue of licence for driving instructors. 
  • Issue of a conductor’s licence

2. Registration of Vehicle

Having a driver’s licence alone is not enough. Authenticating the vehicle utilised is also essential. Some of the responsibilities that fall under this category are:

  • Issue and renewal of Registration Certificates for Motor Vehicles
  • Transfer of ownership in Registration Certificate 
  • Entry/Hypothecation in R.C. Book. 
  • Recording of changes in the Registration Certificate 
  • Issuance of NOC (No objection certificate)
  • Issuance of fitness certificate
  • Permits for tourist & transport vehicles
  1. Revenue collection for the Government

Certain taxes are levied on motor vehicles, like the one-time Road tax, which is collected by the RTO. These can be categorised as mentioned below:

  • Road Tax on motor vehicles (also known as MV Tax- Motor Vehicle Tax)
  • Collection of IMV Fees
  • Departmental Action Cases
  1. Inspection of Vehicles at check posts

Timely inspection of vehicles is also carried out by the RTO. The vehicles on the road are to adhere to the rules laid out by the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988.

  1. Environmental Upgradation

Keeping pollution under check is a matter of great concern. Under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, RTO is responsible for checking pollution generated by vehicles through:

  • CNG/LPG Conversion
  • PUC Testing Centres
  1. Road Safety Measures

RTOs play a crucial role in ensuring road safety and implementing measures to reduce accidents and improve overall road safety. Driving license requirements and road safety awareness campaigns are a few of them. Moreover, RTOs investigate traffic accidents to determine the cause and liability. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and issuing accident reports.

Other than these, RTOs enforce traffic laws and regulations. This includes issuing citations for violations and impounding vehicles. RTOs may also approve and regulate motor driving schools.

Vehicle Registration Process at RTO:

In most cases, the registration process is handled by the vehicle dealer. Here’s how the vehicle registration process at RTO pans out.

  • Step 1 – Complete the registration form fill-up and submit it to the District Transport Office.
  • Step 2 – Submit the necessary documents. Here’s a list: form 20, vehicle’s sales certificate, invoice, insurance policy for the vehicle, applicant’s photos, and identity proof.
  • Step 3 – An inspecting officer will evaluate your form and the necessary documents. Once approved, you shall receive a vehicle registration number and a receipt. 
  • Step 4 – Get the registration mark on the vehicle’s number plate in thirty days and seek approval from the registration authority.

Transfer of RC from One State to Another:

If you are moving from one state to another for a long period with your vehicle, then you need to register your vehicle at the new location’s RTO. Here’s how it’s done.

  • Step 1 – Deregister the vehicle from the RTO where it is currently registered. Seek a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the respective RTO.
  • Step 2 – Submit the NOC in the new state’s RTO as per the jurisdiction.
  • Step 3 – Complete the formalities as per the state’s RTO, for example – payment of applicable road tax.

Transfer of Vehicle Ownership:

You will have to approach the applicable RTO and inform them about the sale of your vehicle. You will have to pay the transfer fee and submit the following documents to transfer the vehicle’s ownership to the new owner.

  • RTO Form 28
  • RTO Form 29
  • RTO Form 30
  • Insurance policy
  • Pollution Under Control Certificate
  • National Crime Records Bureau Certificate

Summing It up

Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in India play a crucial role in ensuring both the safety and efficiency of road transportation. Apart from issuing driving licenses and registering vehicles, RTOs also handle various responsibilities, including vehicle inspections, revenue collection, etc. They actively promote road safety awareness and enforce traffic laws.

Frequently Asked Questions :

1. Within how many days do I need to register a vehicle?

Once you have bought a vehicle, make sure to apply for its registration within the next 7 days.

2. What types of documents are acceptable to prove residency when registering a vehicle?

You need to provide a copy of proof of address while registering your vehicle, such as a passport, landline phone bill, IT return, employer certificate, etc.

3. For how many years has a personal vehicle been registered?

A personal vehicle is registered for a period of 15 years. After that, you have to renew the certificate of registration for a period of five years at a time.

4. How long is a transport vehicle's certificate of fitness valid for?

The certificate of fitness is valid for two years and has to be renewed every year thereafter.

5. What is the minimum educational qualification required to hold a Driving Licence?

The minimum educational qualification to hold a driving Licence to drive a vehicle is 8th standard. Moreover, the person is required to read and write at least one regional language along with English.


This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.
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