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About Registration Certificate (RC)

As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, all vehicles are required to possess a registration certificate (RC)as well as a mark of registration on the vehicle itself, in order to be driven in public or elsewhere. Failure to abide by this section of the act would result in the owner being penalized under the same piece of legislation. The RC is essentially a document verifying that your vehicle is registered with any Regional Transport Office within the country.

The certificate is initially valid for a period of 15 years, following which, it must be renewed periodically every 5 years. For many years, the registration certificate was a set of documents or an R.C. book, however, they can now also be issued as PVC cards that either possess embedded chips or a QR code that can be scanned in order to access the vehicle and its owner’s R.C. information. This measure was adopted in order to improve accessibility and connectivity to the government’s online databases such as VAHAN or SARATHI. In fact, all but 3 states in India now have offices affiliated with VAHAN.

Source : VAHAN


Process to Apply for RC Book/RC Smart Card

Vehicle owners can either register their automobiles personally at the nearest RTO or have their dealer perform the process before having the new vehicle delivered to them. Certain dealerships only deliver automobiles to their customers with the registration certificate completed, undertaking the application process themselves.

If you are applying for the registration certification on your own, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Visit your nearest RTO with your vehicle.
  2. The RTO vehicle inspecting authority will inspect your vehicle.
  3. Fill Form 20 for obtaining a new RC.
  4. The RTO authorities will take an imprint of the vehicle chassis number.
  5. Submit the required documents (see the list below).
  6. Pay the registration fees and collect the receipt.
  7. The RC will reach your registered address shortly.

Documents Required for Vehicle Registration

Here’s a list of documents you require when obtaining a vehicle registration certificate:

  • Form 20: Duly filled with accurate information
  • Form 21: Sales certificate as issued by your motor vehicle dealer
  • Form 22 and Form 22A: Roadworthiness certificate issued by the car manufacturer
  • PAN Card copy
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Dealer and Manufacturer Invoice copy
  • Motor Insurance Plan copy
  • Proof of Address
  • Registration fees (check the application amount in the table below)
  • Form 34: Duly signed by the owner and financier

Complete Details Given in RC Book

The R.C. information provided by the RC smart cards or the R.C. book are the same and consist of the following:

  • Registration number
  • Name and address of the vehicle owner
  • Make and vehicle class
  • Type of vehicle body
  • Cubic capacity
  • Seating capacity
  • Type of fuel consumed
  • Registration and expiry date
  • Month and year of manufacture
  • Wheelbase
  • Chassis number and engine number
  • Colour
  • Unladen weight
  • Owner’s Signature

Application Process for Obtaining Duplicate RC

In case you lose the RC of your vehicle or your original copy is torn beyond fixing, you can obtain a duplicate RC through the following process.

  1. First, file an FIR at your nearest police station in case you lost the RC.
  2. Then, get Form 26 from the RTO and apply for a duplicate RC.
  3. Get it signed by your car financier if you have purchased the vehicle on a car loan.
  4. Submit the duly filled Form 26 with the necessary documents and complaint letter at the RTO.

The documents that you may require when obtaining a duplicate RC are as follows –

  • Form 26: Application for a duplicate RC
  • FIR copy if you’ve lost the RC
  • Original RC in case it is damaged
  • Tax token and tax payment details for the last four quarters
  • Motor insurance plan copy
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your vehicle financier
  • Active PUC

How to Convert RC Book to RC Smart Card

In case you want to convert your RC book RC smart card, follow the steps given below –

  1. Write a letter to the superintendent of traffic police in your respective city. State your objective clearly that is getting an RC book converted to RC smart card.
  2. Carry your car insurance or two wheeler insurance plan along with the PUC.
  3. Pay the prescribed charges.
  4. Submit your original RC book along with the documents at the RTO.
  5. The RC smart card will be issued shortly and reach your registered address within a week.

Fees for getting RC

The registration fees can vary depending upon the type of vehicle as well as its make and manufacturing location. Broadly, the registration fees can be divided into these strata:

Type of Vehicle


Two wheelers

Rs. 300

Light Motor Vehicles (Non Transport)

Rs. 600

Medium goods and passenger vehicles

Rs. 1000

Heavy goods vehicle

Rs. 1500

Heavy passenger motor vehicles

Rs. 5000

Imported motor vehicles

Rs. 3000

Imported motorcycles

Rs. 5000

How to Check Vehicle RC Details Online

Checking your RC details online is straightforward. Just follow the steps given below -

  1. Visit the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, VAHAN (https://vahan.nic.in/nrservices/faces/user/login.xhtml).
  2. Select the ‘Know Your Vehicle Details’ tab on the menu.
  3. You will be redirected to a new page. Enter your vehicle registration number (that is your car or bike plate number).
  4. Enter the captcha code and select ‘Search Vehicle’.
  5. The system will display your RC details on the next screen.

How to Check Vehicle RC Details with SMS on your Phone

You can also seek the vehicle RC details with SMS. Here’s what you need to do –

  1. Enter VAHAN <Space> Your Vehicle Registration Number.
  2. Send this SMS to 7738299899.

Upon sending the text message, you will receive the RC details that include the vehicle owner’s name, RTO details, make and model of the vehicle, expiry date, and motor insurance details on your phone.

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  • ✔️Can I download the RC book online?

    Yes. You can download the RC book online by following these steps:

    1. Visit the DigiLocker website (https://digilocker.gov.in/) and register yourself.
    2. Under the tab ‘Issued Documents’, choose the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways option.
    3. Then, select the ‘Registration of Vehicles’ option.
    4. After this, you will be prompted to enter your vehicle registration number and chassis number.
    5. On submission of the requested details, the RC book will be available for download in several formats under the ‘Issued Documents’ tab.    
  • ✔️Can I remove hypothecation from my RC online?

    Yes. If you want to remove hypothecation from the RC, visit the RTO with the following documents.

    ●     NOC from the financier

    ●     Form 35

    ●     Original RC

    ●     Aadhar Card

    ●     Motor insurance plan

    ●     PUC

    ●     Passport-sized photos

    ●     Driving licence

    ●     Payment receipt copy (if you paid online)

    The RTO authority will verify the documents and sign the acceptance form. After this, you can pay for your new RC smart card. Then on your assigned appointment date, you can collect the new RC from the RTO.

  • ✔️Can I obtain the vehicle registration number with my Aadhar card details?

    No. Since Aadhar card contains important personal data of an individual, it cannot be used to find the vehicle details. 

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