Role of RTO in India: Functions, Activities, and Responsibilities

The Role of RTOs in India

The Government of India has the responsibility of keeping a database of all the vehicles and the drivers in India and this responsibility is carried out by each State and Union Territories through their RTO or Regional Transport Authority. The head of an RTO is the Transport Commissioner who supervises all such activities related to safekeeping the data of vehicles plying on the Indian Road, issuance of licenses and permits in India and all related certifications.

What is an RTO?

The Motor Vehicles Department was formed under section 213(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and is the main act which is pertinent to the motor vehicles and its related services all over India. The motor vehicle department is in control of imposing several requirements of this act. Every state and city in India have their own RTO or Regional Transport Office and RTA or Regional Transport Authority.

As per the act, every RTO or RTA is responsible to carry out certain roles and activities. RTO or RTA is a Government organization with the purpose of keeping the record and monitor all the motor vehicles in different States and various Union Territories. The main intention is to ensure the proper functioning of vehicles which are allotted under specific series in a particular state. The RTO office identifies the vehicles that are not taxed. The role also involves identifying cars entering different Indian states.

An RTO also keeps a tab of vehicles exceeding the prescribed speed limit on the roads as caught on the speed cameras. Hence, RTO or RTA or any State provides many facilities and services both offline and online to the general public like you and me for our convenience and ease.

List of Most Important Functions and Activities carried out by the RTO

Every department or office has certain duties and responsibilities in any organization. Likewise, any RTO has also some important jobs and activities to carry out. Let us see how the main functions and activities which an RTO or RTA does for you to understand the role of an RTO.

1) Main Functions by an RTO

  1. To impose the requirements of several rules under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, CMVR Act or the Central Motor Vehicles Rules Act, 1989 and also the State Motor Vehicles guidelines as stated by the Indian Government
  2. To ensure continuous growth and expansion of road transport by managing various kind of permits
  3. To levy the applicable tax and collecting the same as per the Motor Vehicles Act
  4. To issue badges for public service

2) Activities performed by an RTO

1. To issue Driving Licences:

  • Driving in India without a valid driving license is a criminal offence. More importantly, you need to have a valid driving license before driving a for your and others safety. However, the RTO also has other activities like the issuance of driving license in this category, which can be summarized as:
  • Issuance of learner’s license as well as conducting the driving tests
  • Issuance of permanent driving license and doing the necessary paperwork for the same
  • Issuance of duplicate license in case you have lost, misplaced your driving license or the same is damaged
  • To renew a driving licence
  • To issue the international driving permit (IDP) for anyone who wishes to drive out of India with the Indian driving license
  • To issue a licence pertaining to motor vehicle driving school
  • To issue a licence for the driving instructors for professional coaching
  • To issue a licence for conductors for commercial vehicles

2 Vehicle Registration

Registration of every vehicle is mandatory with the RTO as soon as you buy the vehicle before plying it on the Indian roads. This is the way RTOs maintain the database for all vehicles in India. Thus, an RTO takes the necessary actions for this process and some of them are:

  • To issue and renew the Registration Certificate for your Motor Vehicle
  • To transfer the ownership in Registration Certificate from one person to another in case of sale of the vehicle
  • Change of Registration details of the vehicle when the car/bike is transported to a different state for a period of more than 12 months
  • To record for any hypothecation in registration book if you have taken your vehicle on loan and then removal of hypothecation when the loan is completed
  • To capture any changes in your Vehicle Registration Certificate in case of physical modification of the vehicle or any other change that needs to be recorded
  • To issue No Objection Certificate in case you are transferring your vehicle from one state to the other
  • To issue a fitness certificate for your vehicle to see whether your vehicle meets all the norms under pollution control, especially necessary for all commercial vehicles
  • To issue permits for tourist as well as for transport vehicles like:- 

                1)Permits for Commercial vehicles carrying goods from one place to another within the State

                2)National Permits for Commercial vehicles carrying goods across the geographical boundaries of india

               3)Permits for Passenger-carrying vehicles like taxis, auto-rickshaws, rental cabs, e-rickshaws, etc.

              4)Permits for Chartered and School Bus

              5)Temporary permits

              6)All India Tourist Permits

3 Collection of Tax 

Tax of any kind is collected with a purpose to maintain certain basic needs of any country and acts as an important source of revenue or income to the Government. Likewise, an RTO performs a very crucial function of collecting tax, like road tax which is a source of income for the Government to maintain the necessary infrastructure. These areas below:

  • To collect Road Tax (also identified as MV Tax or Motor Vehicle Tax) on motor vehicles
  • To collect various fees, including IMV (Inspector Motor Vehicle) fees
  • To conduct any department’s action cases

4 Vehicle Scrutiny at various check posts 

  • Appropriate scrutiny of vehicles is also done by the RTO at necessary points of compliance of motor safety norms like:
  • Inspection of all accidental vehicles before it is fit to ply again
  • Random validity check of
  • PUC (Pollution Under Control) certificates
  • Insurance Certificates
  • Driving License

5 Safeguarding the environment 

In light of increasing pollution every day, keeping the same under control is very important. Therefore, the Motor Vehicles Act,1988 makes the below two features very crucial which an RTO implements:

  • CNG (compressed natural gas) or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) Conversion from petrol or diesel
  • Testing Centres for all Pollution Under Control centres of the State

6 Safety of roads

RTO performs this important function as well by continuously making all of us aware of the safety measures to be taken on roads in various ways.

All India RTO Code List 2024 & link for their official website

As you know there are 29 states in India with 8 Union Territories and each State as well as the Union Territories has its own RTO offices with a certain designated code and their respective website. You must be aware of these codes for your knowledge. So, let us see the RTO code list in a tabular format as below:

India RTO Codes for States

Name of the State Code of RTO Official website of RTO
Arunachal Pradesh AR
Andhra Pradesh AP
Assam AS
Bihar BR
Chattisgarh CG
Gujrat GJ
Goa GA
Himachal Pradesh HP
Haryana HR
Jharkhand JH
Jammu & Kashmir JK
Kerala KL
Karnataka KA
Maharashtra MH
Manipur MN
Madhya Pradesh MP
Mizoram MZ
Meghalaya ML
Nagaland NL
Orissa OD
Punjab PB
Rajasthan RJ
Sikkim SK
Tamil Nadu TN
Telangana TS
Tripura TP
Uttar Pradesh UP
West Bengal WB Home

India RTO Codes for Union Territories

Name of the Union Territory Code of RTO Official website of RTO
Andaman and Nicobar Islands AN
Chandigarh CH
Daman and Diu DD
Dadra and Nagar Haveli DN
Lakshadweep LD
National Capital Territory of Delhi DL
Puducherry PY
Leh-Ladakh LA Online Services

How to register a vehicle in an RTO?

Vehicle Registration is a procedure whereby after buying the vehicle you obtain the number plate of your vehicle and the same is registered under records of the government. The main purpose of registration is to establish a linkage between you as the owner and the vehicle by a distinct identification number which is nothing but the registration number plate. It is of utmost importance to register the vehicle keeping in mind the uniqueness which is given to you and your vehicle. Also, without proper registration, you will not get the insurance coverage.

What are the documents required for the same?

There is a list of necessary documents that need to be submitted in order to register your vehicle with the RTO. There is a fee that needs to be paid as well for the same. After the documents have been authenticated and your vehicle is scrutinized, a vehicle number will be issued to you. And after 7 days the registration certificate will be issued and this will stand as proof for the registration of your vehicle. Let us see the documents now for this process.

  1. Application for registering the car Form number 20
  2. Sales Certificate Form number 21
  3. Road Fitness Certificate to be obtained from the manufacturers by Form number 22
  4. Pollution Under Control Certificate
  5. Certificate of Insurance
  6. Your address proof as to the buyer like an Aadhaar card, Ration card, any Utility bill, etc.
  7. Your age proofs
  8. For vehicles which are imported, the custom’s authorization certificate with the license and the bond
  9. Temporary registration number, if any
  10. Form number 34 in case you have taken the vehicle on loan or hypothecation
  11. Permit records for transport vehicles
  12. Parking charge by the respective Municipal Corporation
  13. Invoice from the dealer
  14. Your PAN card copies with proper attestation or form 60 as appropriate
  15. Passport size photographs
  16. Sketch imprint of the Chassis and the Engine
  17. Approval for the design from Transport Minister for registration of trailer or semi-trailer vehicles

Vehicle registration at Regional Transport Office

When purchasing a new vehicle,one of the first tasks is to register it at the local RTo. This Process involves submitting necessary document, including proof of identity, adderess, and vehicle details. The RTO then assigns a unique registration number, incorporationg the relevant state code, to the vehicle.

Re-registration of a motor vehicle in a new state

In cases of relocation to a different state, the owner is required to re-register the vehicle at the RTO of the new state. This ensures that the vehicle complies with the regulations and RTO code of the new region.

Transfer of vehicle ownership at Regional Transport Office

When selling or transferring a vehicle, the ownership details must be updated at the RTO. The new owner needs to submit the necessary documents, and the RTO facilitates the transfer of ownership, updating the records accordingly.

Different types of RTO forms

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways offers various RTO online forms, each serving a specific purpose:

Form 20:  Used for motor vehicle registration applications.
Form 21: Issued as a sales certificate.
Form 23: Provides a registration certificate.
Form 24: Utilized for the registration of motor vehicle.
Form 29: Notifies the transfer of ownership of the motor vehicle.
Form 38 A: Generates an inspection report.
Form 50: Functions as a Bill of Lading.
Form 51: Issues a Certificate of Insurance.
Form 54: Compiles an information report of an accident.


RTO and motor insurance 

RTO services and motor insurance are closely linked, with several key points of intersection:

  • Integration with RTO services
  • Proof of Car insurance or two-wheeler insurence is required for various RTO services sech as vehicle registration, transfer of ownership, and renewal of permits. 
  • Motor insurance documents are essential duroing vehicle inspections conducted by the RTO for registration or fitness certification.

RTO processes and insurance documentation –

  • During vehicle registration: Proof of insurance is required to register your vehicle with the RTO.
  • Transfer of Ownership: Insurance transfer documents must be submitted to the RTO when transferring vehicle ownership.
  • Fitness certification: Car insurence documents may be requird during vehicle inspections for fitness certifiaction at the RTO. 

In conclusion, the RTO isan essential governmental organization that plays a vital role in the regulation and monitoring of transport and motor vehicles in india. The RTO code list and state codes are essential for identifying the RTO office in charge of a particular vehicle or transport. Understanding the functions and activities of the RTO is crucial for vehicle owners and motorists in india. By following the regulations andguidelines set by the RTO, motorists can ensure their safety and the safety of other road users.

Frequently Asked Questions:-

Q1. What is the Regional Transport Office (RTO)?

A1. The RTO is a governmental organization responsible for regulating motor vehicles and transport within a specific region, typically a state or union territory, in India. It oversees functions such as vehicle registration, issuance of driving licenses, collection of taxes, and enforcement of road safety regulations.

Q2. What are the main functions of the RTO?

A2. The main functions of the RTO include enforcing rules under the Motor Vehicles Act, managing permits for various types of transport, collecting taxes and fees, issuing driving licenses, registering vehicles, conducting vehicle inspections, promoting environmental protection measures, and ensuring road safety.

Q3. What documents are required for vehicle registration at the RTO?

A3. Documents required for vehicle registration include application forms, sales certificates, road fitness certificates, pollution under control certificates, insurance certificates, address and age proofs, vehicle sketches, approvals for imported vehicles, and proof of parking fee payment, among others.

Q4. How do I obtain a driving license from the RTO?

A4. To obtain a driving license, you need to apply for a learner’s license, pass a driving test, and then apply for a permanent license. The RTO conducts driving tests and issues learner’s licenses, permanent licenses, duplicate licenses, international driving permits, and licenses for driving instructors and conductors of commercial vehicles.

Q5. What is the procedure for transferring vehicle ownership at the RTO?

A5. To transfer vehicle ownership, both the seller and the buyer need to submit relevant documents to the RTO. This includes the sale certificate, insurance transfer documents, address and identity proofs, and forms for ownership transfer. The RTO updates its records accordingly after verifying the documents.

Q6. How can I pay road tax to the RTO?

A6. Road tax can be paid to the RTO either online through its website or offline at designated RTO offices. The tax amount varies depending on the type of vehicle and the state regulations.

Q7. What is a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the RTO?

A7. No Objection Certificate (NOC) is issued by the RTO when transferring a vehicle from one state to another. It certifies that there are no pending dues or objections against the vehicle, allowing for smooth transfer of registration to the new state.

Q8. How do I renew my vehicle’s registration at the RTO?

A8. Vehicle registration renewal can be done by submitting the required documents and fees to the RTO within the stipulated timeframe. The RTO issues a renewed registration certificate upon successful renewal.

Q9. Where can I find the RTO code list for different states and union territories?

A9. The RTO code list for different states and union territories, along with their official websites, is available on the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways or through various state government portals.

Q10. Is motor insurance mandatory for vehicle registration at the RTO?

A10. Yes, proof of motor insurance is mandatory for vehicle registration at the RTO. Insurance documents are required to ensure compliance with legal requirements and provide financial protection in case of accidents or damages involving the vehicle.

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