5 Things you need to know about transferring car ownership

Look at the complete process of transferring car ownership both online and offline.

 5 Things you need to know about transferring car ownership

Buying a used car? It certainly is the best way to upgrade your vehicle without having to splurge on a new one. Thanks to the rapid rise in used car sales online, you may not even have to search for long. Increased competition among used car providers means better value for both sellers and buyers. 

Online auctions are another attractive option if you want to buy a used car. Whichever mode you choose, getting the ownership transferred in your name is something that must be on top of your to-do list. Only when the original owner transfers the registration certificate (RC) do you get legal rights over the vehicle.

1. When is it necessary to transfer ownership?

If you are buying a used car from a dealer or online portal, or considering picking one up at an auction, a transfer of ownership is critical. As the legal heir of a deceased person, you are also required to get the ownership transferred of a vehicle that you may have received as inheritance. 

Many people would prefer to outsource this seemingly laborious task to an agent but it is a fairly simple process that can be easily done on your own. However, you would need to have all the necessary documents in place and rigorously follow the guidelines prescribed by the local RTO.

Related: I failed to change my car ownership details and paid a heavy price 

2. What are the documents needed for the vehicle ownership?

The RTO will require certain documents to process your car ownership transfer. Here’s a checklist of the documents you will need to keep handy. 

  • Registration certificate: The RC book of the original owner that is to be transferred to the new owner.
  • Proof of address: For KYC purposes, you would need to provide a photocopy of any of the following: electricity bill, telephone/mobile bill, voter ID, passport, ration card, and gas bill, along with 2–3 self-attested photocopies of the same.
  • Car insurance certificate: The existing insurance policy document is required. To get the policy transferred, the seller must notify their insurance company, which in turn will verify the policy details and update the buyer's (your) name on the insurance certificate.
  • PAN: If the sale price of the car exceeds Rs 50,000, PAN details of both parties are required.
  • PUC certificate: This is another key document required while transferring car ownership. As per the rules, PUC renewal is mandatory once every 12 months for new vehicles. However, for older vehicles, renewal is required after every 6 months. If the certificate has lapsed, either the buyer or the seller can renew it at the time of the purchase.

There are several forms required by the RTO in order to process the transfer of ownership. Here are the important ones:

  • Form 28: If you are buying a car that was originally registered out of state, a no-objection certificate (NOC) is mandatory. Form 28 is required if the vehicle is being transferred to a different state. However, the rules vary from state to state. For example, Form 28 is mandatory in Maharashtra even if the vehicle in question was originally registered in a different city.
  • Form 29: This form is a notice of transfer of ownership, which is to be filled up and submitted to the appropriate RTO.
  • Form 30: This is a formal application form for changing the ownership of a vehicle. It is to be filled, signed, and submitted at the RTO along with passport-sized photographs of both parties.
  • NCRB clearance: This form from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will specify if the vehicle you are buying was earlier reported as stolen or otherwise used for criminal activities.
  • Service charge: There is a service fee payable to the RTO for transferring the RC as per your request. The exact amount can vary from state to state. If you go via an agent, you may have to pay a much higher amount.
  • Related: 6 Things to keep in mind before buying pre-owned cars

3. What are the consequences of avoiding car ownership transfer?

According to a ruling by the Supreme Court of India, if you sell your car and do not transfer its ownership, you could be held liable to pay damages in the event of an accident, even if the new buyer is the one driving it. If you are using the services of a broker to sell your car, ensure that the transfer forms are duly signed as your car may change hands several times before the registration process is completed.

4. What is the time frame for completion of transfer of car ownership?

The official time frame for changing ownership of a vehicle is 7 working days. However, it varies from state to state, and the actual process can take up to 30 days. If you are buying a vehicle from another state, it may take longer for the verification process for the transfer of ownership to be completed. Thankfully, you can track the transfer status of your car online on the Parivahan Sewa website.

5. What is the process for transfer of car ownership?

You can choose to apply online or in person for transferring a car’s ownership. However, there are some documents that will still need to be provided in person.

Here's the offline process for transferring car ownership:

  • After the sale agreement has been notarised, you need to submit Form 29 and Form 30 to the RTO, duly filled and signed by both parties. If the vehicle is hypothecated or pledged as collateral to a bank, Form 35 will also be required.
  • Ask the seller for documents like the original registration certificate, insurance certificate, and latest PUC certificate.
  • You will need to secure a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the RTO. A stamped envelope with a return address must be included, along with the required documentation. The officer will verify and attest the documents before giving you an acknowledgement. Once the application is approved, the NOC will be sent to you.
  • The last step involves paying the transfer fee at the RTO where you will be registering your vehicle. You will be given two payment receipts, which will need to be submitted along with documents such as NOC, registration certificate, insurance certificate, PUC, Form 29 and 30, passport-sized photographs, etc.
  • A token of the submission will be provided to you by the RTO once the documents are handed over to them. After about 30 days, the new registration certificate will be issued and sent to you by mail.

Here's the online process for transferring car ownership:

  • Log on to the Parivahan Sewa website and under the ‘Online Services’ menu option, click ‘Vehicle Related Services’.
  • Next, enter your vehicle’s registration number and click ‘Proceed’.
  • On the following page, select ‘Miscellaneous Services Online’ for requesting transfer of ownership.
  • You will now need to enter your mobile number to generate an OTP for authentication purposes.
  • On the next page, select ‘Transfer of Ownership’ and fill in your details, including name and address wherever necessary.
  • Make a payment by clicking on ‘Payment Option’. Once done, the system will generate two receipts in addition to Form 29 and 30. Take printouts of all three.
  • Sign the hard copies and submit the remaining documents to the RTO, such as a photocopy of insurance certificate, original registration certificate, PUC, etc. (or send it via speed post).

Related: How has the motor insurance industry responded to the lockdown?

Final thoughts

As the process of car ownership transfer is not the same across states, the transfer fee and format of forms may differ. Read the RTO’s instructions carefully when filling up the forms, as any discrepancies can delay the transfer process by months. Here's a checklist for Buying/Selling a second hand car.

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