Driving vehicles is the most dangerous task to do in India. It is very risky because of the negligence on the part of the drivers and also on the part of the traffic police, corruption is the prodigious reason for the increase in violation of traffic rules. But the new traffic rules passed in 2019 are very illiberal, which makes it very difficult for the drivers or riders to violate any traffic rules. For driving a vehicle on road in India the driver needs to be in possession of few particular documents as prescribed under Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The severity of rules and uncompromising fine rates for not carrying such documents, might have a deterrent effect on violation of traffic rules.
“Certificate of registration” means the certificate provided by a competent authority saying that the vehicle has been registered in accordance with the provisions of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.[i]
“Driving license” means the license provided by a competent authority authorizing the specified person to drive any vehicle.[ii]
“Learner’s license” means the license provided by a competent authority authorizing the specified person to drive any vehicle as a learner.[iii]
“PUC certificate” is a certificate issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) certifying the vehicle that the pollution emitted is as per the norms.[iv]
“Certificate of insurance” is a document which provides information relating to the insurance coverage.[v]
“Certificate of fitness” is a certificate certifying that the vehicle is fit to be used in public places.[vi]
Importance of the question:
The object behind making it compulsory for the drivers to possess such documents while driving or before driving a particular vehicle on the roads of India is:
- To ensure that the government has the vehicles registered in the records maintained at national level,
- To ensure that the pollution rates are maintained under control,
- To ensure that the driver of a particular vehicle is competent enough to drive,
- To ensure that a person injured, if any, be compensated for the injury caused by any uncertain road accident,
- To ensure that all the vehicles registered or which are driven on road are fit to use at public places.
Appropriate Authority & Procedure:
The required documents are issued by different competent authorities:
- The driving license is issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Motor Vehicles Inspector’s Office after the owner of such vehicle has completed the driving test successfully and has proved to have attained the required age.[vii]
- The owner may register his vehicle in the nearest RTO office where the vehicle would be inspected by the inspecting authority. The owner can also register the vehicle with the motor vehicle dealers who have the registration powers, in such case, the dealers deliver the possession of the vehicle to the customer only after registering the vehicle.[viii]
- Pollution Under Control certificate or emission test certificate is provided by the Ministry of Road and Highways (MoRTH) only if the emission from such vehicle is as per norms.[ix]
- Vehicle insurance or certificate of insurance is issued by the authorized insurer who is carrying on general insurance business under the General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972, and any other government insurance fund authorized under the respective Act.[x]
- Certificate of fitness should be obtained from two different authorities, one from the manufacturer and the other from the State RTO authorities after the vehicle has been inspected on the basis of its condition, pollution certificate, tax, insurance and such other details.[xi]
Insurance claims and documents:
Two types of claim can be made under M.C.O.P., Third Party claim (injury caused to a third person due to the accident) and Own Damage claim (injury caused to self due to an accident)[xii], the documents required to make a claim under M.C.O.P. are :-
In case of accident:
- Claim Form (signed)
- RC copy of the vehicle
- Driving license copy
- Original estimate
- Original repair invoice & payment receipt
In case of theft:
- Claim Form (signed)
- RC copy of the vehicle with original keys
- Driving license copy
- Policy copy
- Original FIR copy
- RTO transfer papers duly signed along with Form 28, 29, 30 and Form 35 (if hypothecated)
- A no trace report from the police [xiii]
Cases and illustration:
In a case, a public interest litigation was filed before the court for making it mandatory to carry original driving license, it was argued that if the person carries duly attested true copies of driving license and other documents related to the vehicle the person shall not be prosecuted, it was held that an applicant for driving license shall first obtain learner’s license acquire expertise in driving and clear the examinations, only after which the driving license shall be issued. But the petition was disposed off as policy decision taken in relation to accidents by reason of rash and negligent driving by unauthorized persons shall not be interfered within the so called public interest litigation.[xiv]
It can be concluded that any person who is in possession of the following documents, which are obtained legally and are original or at least attested photocopies, issued by the appropriate and competent authority under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, can drive any vehicle as prescribed by such documents on the roads of India. The required documents are:-
- Registration certificate
- PUC certificate or Emission test Certificate
- Driving license
- Certificate of insurance
- Fitness certificate and all necessary permits – in case of a transport vehicle.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i] Section 2(4) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
[ii] Section 2(10) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
[iii] Section 2(19) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
[iv] Pollution under control certificate, Ministry of Road and Highways Government of India, https://vahan.parivahan.gov.in/puc/,
[v] Certificate of insurance, five college consortium, https://www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/forms/certificates_of_insurance,
[vi] Fitness certificate, Bombay High Court order, https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/fitness-certificate-to-vehicle-without-independent-test-illegal-hc/63515829, march 28, 2018.
[vii] Driving license in India, Indian driving school, http://www.indiandrivingschools.com/driving-license-in-india.php
[viii] Registration certificate, Coverfox Insurance Broking Private Limited [IN], https://www.coverfox.com/driving-license/registration-certificate/
[ix] Pollution under control certificate, Ministry of Road and Highways Government of India, https://vahan.parivahan.gov.in/puc/,
[x] Section 145(a) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
[xi] Fitness certificate, Bombay High Court order, https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/fitness-certificate-to-vehicle-without-independent-test-illegal-hc/63515829, march 28, 2018.
[xii] Lawrato, Procedure for filing a Motor Accident Claim, https://lawrato.com/indian-kanoon/motor-accident-law/procedure-for-a-motor-accident-claim-9
[xiii] IIFL, How to file vehicle insurance claims, https://www.indiainfoline.com/article/research-articles-personal-finance/how-to-file-vehicle-insurance-claims-113111500232_1.html
[xiv] All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association Vs. Secretary (Home), Transport Department and Ors. – MANU/TN/4583/2017