Guide to RTO Vehicle Suitability Certificates
Know how to issue a mandatory document, the Certificate of Fitness, from the Regional Transportation Office (RTO) after a thorough inspection process of a vehicle that checks it for technical problems
A fitness certificate is issued for commercial vehicles, which is considered to be roadworthy. As a mandatory document, the Certificate of Fitness is issued by the Regional Traffic Office (RTO) after a thorough inspection process of a vehicle that checks it for technical problems, mechanical faults, emissions compliance and overall condition.
Why is it necessary?
Commercial vehicles are the country’s lifeline, and millions of livelihoods depend on the trade and transportation that takes place through them. Given that a poorly maintained commercial vehicle can pose a safety risk to the rest of the traffic and / or cause significant damage to the environment, the RTO introduced the concept of a Certificate of Fitness as part of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1989.
How does it help
The tests that the vehicle goes through before a medical certificate is issued identify any problems that can later lead to problems such as frequent breakdowns. A vehicle that has been awarded the Certificate of Fitness is considered suitable to drive on Indian roads. It means that the vehicle’s emissions are within the permissible limits and that no major damage is caused to the environment; and it is in a technically perfect condition and the probability that it represents a safety risk for road users due to mechanical defects is very low.
How often does the inspection take place?
The medical certificate that you receive when you buy a new commercial vehicle is valid for two years. After that, the certificate must be renewed every year.
What is the process?
Until recently, it was only possible to obtain a fitness certificate by visiting the nearest RTO in person. In the meantime, however, the process has been digitized and can partially be completed online. However, the inspection is still a physical process for which the applicant must take the vehicle to the nearest RTO.
Here are the steps you need to follow for the online process:
- Visit ‘Vahan Citizen Services’ (https://vahan.parivahan.gov.in/vahanservice/vahan/ui/statevalidation/homepage.xhtml) and enter the registration number, state, and RTO name.
- Select ‘Apply for a fitness certificate’
- Enter the last 5 digits of the chassis number of your vehicle and click on “Confirm details”.
- Enter the OTP received on the registered mobile number
- Once the verification is complete, fill out all the essential details of the vehicles
- Confirm the fee, then proceed with payment
- The receipt of the fee with the application letter will be issued. Visit the RTO with your vehicle and these documents for an inspection.
How much is it?
600 rupees for a utility vehicle with a manual gearbox or 1000 rupees for an automatic.
Which documents are required?
- Fee receipt and a copy of your application.
- Shape 20
- Form 22
- Form 21
- Original registration certificate
- Vehicle tax receipt
- Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate
- An imprint of the chassis recorded in pencil on a piece of paper
- Proof of address
- Proof of identity
- Passport photos
What is controlled all?
- The condition of the tires. The fitting of bare tires is refused.
- The windshield must be in good condition with no cracks whatsoever.
- Reflective foils and reflectors are to be attached to the designated locations in accordance with commercial vehicle regulations.
- The vehicle must meet the emission standards.
- Headlights, brake lights, indicators and other necessary lights must be in working order.
- There must be no water in the headlight.
- The low beam and high beam function of the headlight should be in working order
- Both rear-view mirrors must not have any cracks and must be correctly fitted.
- Wipers must not be broken or loose.
- The horn should be functional and the sound level must meet the standards.
- The speedometer should be in working order.
- The vehicle should be equipped with a cruise control and have a valid calibration certificate.
The RTO inspector confirms the date and time with the location for your vehicle suitability test.
What happens if the vehicle fails a test?
If the examiner finds some defects or non-compliance, he can instruct certain repairs before the certificate of fitness is issued. A different date and time is provided for the physical examination of the vehicle after the repair is complete.
If the vehicle is checked and approved before the expiration date stated on the certificate, you will not be charged the restoration fee. However, if the motor vehicle is later brought for inspection, a new vehicle fitness certificate fee will be charged and a new fitness certificate will be issued.
What about private vehicles?
There is also a similar concept for private vehicles, but it is called a “roadworthiness certificate”. The ability to drive a private vehicle is valid for 15 years after its registration and must be renewed every 5 years thereafter.