All about Important Vehicle Documents

For many vehicle owners in India, getting fined for not having all the relevant and important documents has happened at least once in their lifetimes. Many times we may forget to have these documents with us or on our person as we navigate the roads in our vehicle, and can end up getting caught and penalised by the authorities. However, the ground reality is that many people are not properly aware of the significance of the vehicular documents, and do not know which documents are the ones that they need to keep with them in their vehicles before they hit the road.

The most important, and mandatory, documents that one must have in their vehicle are the registration certificate of the vehicle, the insurance policy documents, Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, the fitness certificate RTO provides, and a valid driving licence of the person driving the vehicle. In case the driver of the vehicle has a learner’s permit, there should be another person in the vehicle with them with a valid driver’s licence. In case of commercial vehicles, the driver of the vehicle must have a commercial driving licence and a badge. In case the vehicle has been temporarily registered, you must have the temporary registration certificate, the insurance certificate and the road tax certificate with you in the vehicle.

It is important to remember that failure to produce these documents can result in hefty fines and penalties. Taking into account the rising cases of non compliance with traffic laws and regulations, the authorities have heightened the fines and penalties as per the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. According to the law, if a motor vehicles department official or a police officer in uniform stops and asks for vehicular documents, you need to pull over to the side and furnish the documents to them. While they may inspect the documents, however, they cannot confiscate the documents from you. Failure to comply or produce the documents will result in an e-challan issued against you. You can make the e-challan payment online through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)’s online portal called the ParivahanSewa, or offline at your local Regional Transport Office (RTO) in India.

To make the process even simpler for the vehicle owners in the country, and to reduce the amount of paperwork, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also allowed digital copies of the documents to be accepted by the authorities at the time of inspection on the road. However, only the original documents digitally available and stored on the DigiLocker app are considered valid. Photographs on your mobile phone or scanned copies are not accepted as valid. In case you do not have the documents with you at the time of inspection, but have your driving licence, you can still take the buffer time of 15 days to produce the documents to the authorities by visiting the RTO or the zonal traffic police station. Hence, it is important that you should have the aforementioned documents with you, either physically or digitally on the DigiLocker app, to comply with traffic norms and avoid heavy traffic fines.

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