What is RTO?

RTO stands for Regional Transport Office, also known as RTA (Regional Transport Authority). It exists in every state and Union Territory. RTO is responsible for carrying out the functions and activities of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. It’s a government body that assures all the provisions of this central act is enforced in their regions. It ensures that all the vehicles on the road must function in compliance with the law. For example, all running vehicles must have valid third-party insurance. It also maintains all the vehicle and driver databases in different states and Union Territories (UTs).

Functions of RTO

RTO functions as per the rules and regulations of the Motor Vehicle Act. Therefore, it is responsible for vehicle registration and vehicle inspection. It also checks on safety protocols. So, it issues various driving licenses and various forms. These forms include the Report of Inspection, Accident Information Report, etc. It also issues Registration of Motor Vehicle and Certificate of Insurance. Also, it also performs duties of revenue collection. Hence, it has fixed its rates & fees for all processes. RTO is liable to ensure the norms for environmental concerns. It also has RTO codes for all states and UTs.

The major functions of the RTO are as follows:

1. Collection of Taxes & Charges

All vehicles must pay the road tax levied by the government on different types of vehicles. The tax rates vary according to the type and size of the vehicle. The collection of these taxes is known as Motor Vehicle Tax (MV Tax). It is the responsibility of the RTO of that respective area. Apart from this, RTO collects the innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle (IMV) fees. It also charges for departmental action cases.

2. Road Safety

RTO must see that all motor vehicles avoid over-speeding and follow traffic rules. Also, that they obey all points of road safety measures. In addition, it ensures that drivers comply with the rules under Motor Vehicles Act to avoid unwarranted risks. Likewise, RTO also keeps a record that all registered vehicles have third-party liability insurance. As a result, it may cancel the driver’s license or the vehicle’s registration if found without a insurance.

3. Vehicle Registration

RTO is the one that carries out the registration of motor vehicles. It also provides transport permits and issues NOC (No Objection Certificate). There is a NOC requirement when a vehicle’s registration is transferred from one RTO to another state’s RTO. It is to use a vehicle purchased from one state to another. Therefore, RTO is also concerned with the registration update of the vehicle with the new owner when there is a vehicle sale.

4. Provision of DL

It is the RTO that issues the driving licenses to the riders and drivers. So, the RTO conducts driving tests and obtains all details about the driver. It also checks the authorized class of vehicles. RTO issues Learner’s Driving License, Permanent DL, Commercial DL, or International Driving Permit accordingly. It also performs License renewal or duplicate license issuing. Also, it matters if the vehicle is with/without gear. The license type differs if the vehicle is a passenger-carrying one or for goods transportation.

5. Vehicle Inspection

Time-to-time inspection of the vehicles is done by the RTO. It is to check the condition of the vehicles running on the road. Hence, they check if the vehicles are registered and all other relevant documents. Also, if they have an updated and valid No Pollution Certificate/NPC. They also see if the vehicle is in proper condition and worth driving on the road being harmless to others.

6. Environmental Norms

RTO ascertains if the vehicles on road can address the environmental concerns by keeping a check on their pollution status. Accordingly, RTO issues a Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate to vehicles. In other words, it checks the condition of the vehicle and the related equipment. For instance, the smoke released from its parts. Also, it refers to the CNG/LPG conversion of vehicles to reduce pollution.

7. Providing Unique Number Registration to Vehicles

Some people want to have a unique number on their vehicle plates. Therefore, you can approach the RTO if you wish to have such a fancy registration number. Similarly, you can use the online mobile application of mParivahan.

Note: mParivahan is a mobile application for all RTO-related information. It is designed and developed by the National Informatics Centre.

Difference between RTO and DTO

RTO stands for Regional Transport Office. Whereas DTO is an acronym for District Transport Office. A state may have one or a couple of more RTOs. So, there can be innumerable DTOs, as many as the number of districts or more. RTO covers a large region to look after the rules and regulations for vehicles and transportation. It may have several DTOs under it. However, a DTO looks after the norms and laws of the Motor Vehicles Act in a district. In conclusion, the major difference between the two is the jurisdiction area.

Wrapping it up:

Every state has its specific website of RTO which you can visit. Herein, you can raise the relevant request online by submitting forms like vehicle registration, DL, PUC, and so on. You can also do it on the mParivahan mobile app or visit the nearest RTO. The office is present in all states and UTs with several DTOs functioning under them. It seeks coordinated development of road transport through tax collection as well as the management of the permits under the Motor Vehicles Act. It is further governed by the parent agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

FAQs
What are the documents required for vehicle registration at RTO?
The documents required for vehicle registration at RTO are a duly filled Form 20, invoice from the dealer/purchaser, sale certificate, valid insurance policy proof, PAN card copy in some cases when the vehicle is expensive, address proof, id proof, and a few passport-sized photographs. Also, a temporary registration if at all assigned by the dealer.
For how many years, is the RTO vehicle registration valid?
  • The RTO vehicle registration is valid for 15 years from the date of registration after which you need to get the vehicle checked and re-registered within 30 days after the expiry
  • For some transport vehicles, it ends with the expiry of the Fitness certificate of the vehicles
How to do RC transfer at RTO when selling a vehicle?
  • Submit duly filled Form 29 for the vehicle’s new ownership, Form 30 for transfer of ownership, and also Form 28 of NOC if the ownership is being transferred from one RTO to another
  • PUC and insurance copy of the vehicle
  • Photographs of the seller and buyer as well as other relevant proofs like IDs, residence, a certificate from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
How to apply for a driving license at RTO?
  • Fill in Form 2/4 and submit it for both the learners’ or permanent license. Submit age & residential address proofs and Medical Certificate Form 1(A)
  • Fix a date to give the practical test and clear it to obtain a license
  • Apply for the permanent license after getting a learners’ one
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