The word “fitness” is a very important aspect of life. Be it your own physical fitness or fitness of the assets that you own. If you own a house, you need to maintain the same to increase the longevity of the house, in simple language, you need to keep your house perfectly fit.
Likewise, the vehicle is another vital asset, especially because it is a necessity in today’s day and age. All rules and regulations must be adhered to as well.
Point to note: The roadworthiness certificate or the vehicle fitness certificate for new private vehicles is valid for 15 years and then to be re-registered or renewed every five years thereafter. For commercial vehicles, the vehicle fitness certificate is valid for two years for the new vehicle and then to be renewed every year thereafter.
What is a Vehicle Fitness Certificate?
All commercial motor vehicles need to have a valid vehicle fitness certificate together with the registration certificate. As per the rules of The Motor Vehicles Act,1989, registration of the vehicle is considered valid only if the motor vehicle has a proper and effective vehicle fitness certificate.
Why is a Vehicle Fitness Certificate needed?
The main purposes of the vehicle fitness certificate can be summarized as below:
- To check and monitor the pollution which is produced by the release of smoke from your motor vehicles. This is very important keeping in mind the continuous issue of increasing pollution due to the smoke emission by vehicles
- To maintain and continue your motor vehicle in good and appropriate condition
- Last but not the least, to avoid road accidents which might occur due to the improper condition of your vehicle
Irrespective of the fact that you may have a four-wheeler, or a two-wheeler or any private vehicle or any Commercial motor vehicles like Light Motor Vehicles or LMV used for Transport, Heavy or Medium Goods passenger, all vehicles need to have a vehicle fitness certificate.
The renewal is essential and is compulsory annually for other commercial motor vehicles. This category will comprise all public transportation motor vehicles, for example, buses both busses used by private schools as well as Public Transport, taxis and auto-rickshaws. Any non-adherence for not having a valid vehicle fitness certificate is subject to fines and vehicle seizure.
It is clearly understood that the vehicle fitness certificate is not a choice but a must for every vehicle. But, how to apply for the same?
Why does the RTO issue fitness certificates to vehicles?
Regional Transport Office (RTO) issues fitness certificates to every commercial vehicle, which is mandatory for the vehicles to ply on Indian roads. RTO carries out an inspection process to thoroughly inspect mechanical issues, emission and technical faults and the overall working conditions of the vehicle to ensure there are no harmful byproducts released into the air to pollute the environment along with avoiding road accidents due to mechanical breakdown. Issuance of fitness certificates to vehicles by the RTO aims for on-road safety and environmental protection.
Cost for vehicle fitness certificate
The cost for a vehicle fitness certificate varies depending on the type of vehicle for which you are applying for a fitness certificate. Now that the process to apply for a vehicle fitness certificate is digital, the processing and issuance fees for the same need to be paid online while making an online application. The cost for a vehicle fitness certificate may slightly vary from RTO to RTO. Currently, the following are the fee details (subjected to change in future) for the vehicle fitness certificate.
Conducting test of a vehicle for grant or renewal of a certificate of fitness
Manual -INR 200
Automated- INR 400
b. Three-wheeled or light motor vehicle or quadricycle
Manual- INR 400
c. Medium or Heavy motor vehicle
A grant or renewal of a certificate of fitness for a motor vehicle (additional charges of INR 50 for each day of delay after expiry of the certificate)
A grant or renewal letter of authority
Issue of duplicate letter of authority
An appeal under rule 70
An application that is not covered under this list
(Source: Fees & User Charges | Parivahan Sewa | Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India)
Step by step process to apply for a Vehicle Fitness Certificate
Here is the step-by-step process for the application of a Vehicle Fitness Certificate.
- You need to go to the official site of Vahan Citizen Services and enter the registration number
- Select ‘’Fitness Certificate’’ service from the drop-down menu of ‘’Online Services’’ tab.
- As the new screen appears, you need to enter the Chassis Number of your vehicle with the registered mobile number and generate an OTP
- Then you would need to give the OTP sent to your phone and then proceed to fill all the essential details of the vehicle appearing on the screen with the fee details
- Then you need to confirm the fee and then proceed for making the payment as advised in the screen
- Upon successful payment, the receipt for the fee with the application letter will be produced with which you will have to visit the respective RTO
- You have to go to the Online Services key and then select the option for “Application for Fitness Certificate”.
After the completion of the above online steps, you then need to visit the RTO office and follow the rest of the process as below:
- The RTO Examiner will approve the date and time with the location for your vehicle fitness test
- An important point to note is that if your vehicle is not presented on the particular date, then full fees need to be paid per the law
- If the motor vehicle is not competent for daily usage or needs repair, the examiner might instruct specific repair work to be done before the Vehicle Fitness Certificate is provided. He would mention another date and time for the physical examination of the vehicle after the repair work is done, in order to issue the Vehicle Fitness Certificate
- If the vehicle does not comply with the norms of the RTO, higher officials have the right to cancel the issued Certificate as well
- If your vehicle is not satisfying the terms as per the Motor Vehicle Act, 1989 and if vehicle fitness certificate cannot be issued, the officer-in-charge has to give in writing to you the reason why your vehicle failed and also notify the registering authority the same
- If your vehicle has been repaired, you will have to put an application for the refurbishment of the vehicle fitness certificate
- If the vehicle is reviewed and approved within 14 days from the cancellation date of the vehicle fitness certificate, but prior to the expiry date stated in the certificate, you would not be charged the restoration fee. But, if the motor vehicle is brought for review later, fresh vehicle fitness certificate fee would be required and a fresh Vehicle Fitness Certificate would be issued.
Eligibility, Validity, Processing time, Renewal of vehicle fitness certificate
Like a driving license, there are certain terms and conditions with eligibility criteria for applying for a vehicle fitness certificate which a registered owner of the motor vehicle may apply for.
- Motor Vehicles which are used for Non-Transport Class is renewable for 5 years from the approval date post the date of expiry of the registration certificate or if the same has been submitted prior to the expiry date, then 5 years from the expiry date
- Motor Vehicles which are used for a Transport Group, the renewal of vehicle fitness certificate is termed and considered as the renewal of registration certificate and the validity stands for 1 year from the approval date or if the same is submitted within due time which is 15 days prior to the expiry date then validity will be for 1 year from the expiry date.
You need to note that the processing Time limit for renewal of Registration Certificate with vehicle fitness certificate is 3 business days.
Renewal of Vehicle Fitness Certificate
Let us now see the process of renewal of vehicle fitness certificate, so that you know next time when it is the time for a renewal of vehicle fitness certificate, you know what to do. Here is the same mentioned below:
- The RTO officer will obtain the duly filled application form CFRA you Form which is the application of renewal of fitness as per the law, with the necessary charge and copy of the required documents like the certificate of registration, certificate of insurance, Tax Token of the motor vehicle, PUC (Pollution under control) certificate, etc.
- The RTO officer will obtain the obligatory payment in VAHAN- a unified system for availing online services by citizens of India for transport, for the receipt and direct the file to Motor Vehicles department
- The Motor Vehicles Department will then examine your vehicle and submit the detailed study on the status of the vehicle in the website of VAHAN
- The RTO officer will approve the respective cases which are approved and scrutinised by the Motor Vehicles department
- During the approval time, the system will do a check basis the inspection date if there is any variance in the fees which is payable and if noticed, that change in fees needs to be paid by you prior to the approval
- The RTO official will take the print of the renewed vehicle fitness certificate and get the same duly signed by the appropriate authority
- Then the Vehicle fitness certificate would be laminated and sent to you for your record
List of documents needed to obtain a Vehicle fitness certificate
Here is the list of the documents that are needed to apply for a vehicle fitness certificate:
- Application form number 22 which is the initial certificate of compliance with pollution and safety standards of roadworthiness
- Receipt for Tax duly paid
- The Original Registration Certificate
- Certificate of Insurance
- A valid Pollution Under Control Certificate
- Professional Tax Certificate, if needed
- Certificate of Permit, as per the requirement
- Pencil imprint of motor Vehicle Chassis
- Address Proof – It can be any one of the following
Proof of age: It can be any one of the following
- Copy of your Aadhaar Card
- Copy of your Ration Card
- Copy of your Voters Identity Card
- Any valid Life Insurance Policy document
- A copy of your valid Passport
- Payslips either issued by any Government office or any corporate
- Copy of your Pan Card
- Copy of your Aadhaar Card
- School matriculation certificate
- Copy of your Voter’s identity card
- Copy of your valid Passport
- Birth certificate
Along with all these documents, you must have a valid insurance policy. It is not only mandatory to have one, but is a relevant document for your vehicle’s overall fitness and wellbeing.
How to download fitness certificates?
With the digital process, you can get your vehicle fitness certificate and duplicate fitness certificate anytime. You need to follow some simple process online for the same.
- Visit the official VAHAN website and enter the vehicle registration number to proceed
- Select ‘’Duplicate Fitness Certificate’’ from the drop-down menu of the ‘’Online Services’’ tab.
- Enter the chassis number, vehicle registration number and your mobile number to generate OTP.
- Enter the OTP that you receive and click ‘’show details’’
- Fill in all the relevant details, make the necessary payment by checking on the‘’ I accept the terms and conditions’’ box.
- Generate the application letter and wait for the duplicate fitness certificate to arrive at your registered address via post.
Fine for not having a valid vehicle fitness certificate
A most vital piece of information for you to know is about the penalty which gets imposed for not having vehicle fitness certificate. The Motor vehicle Act 1989 imposes a penalty of INR 100 for not producing a vehicle fitness certificate for the 1st time. For the following offences, the amount rises up to INR 300. Point to note that penalty for not taking a valid vehicle fitness certificate might be as high as INR 2000 till about INR 5000.
So, why to get into all legal complications and pay fines unnecessarily, instead have the vehicle fitness certificate within the stipulated time and get your vehicle absolutely compliant from all aspects. Also keeping our environment clean and out of pollution is our responsibility also as a citizen of India. So that we can have a pollution-free environment always.