Regional Transport Office (RTO) or Regional Transport Authority (RTA) is a government body that is responsible for carrying out all the duties and functions that are detailed in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Every state and city in India has its own Regional Transport Office that falls under the Motor Vehicles Department. The department, headed by the Transport Commissioner, has been formulated under section 213(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which states that "The State Government may, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of the Act, establish a Motor Vehicles Department and appoint as officers thereof such persons as it thinks fit." The primary role of an RTO is to maintain a comprehensive database of all motor vehicles registered in that particular city, state or union territory, and to monitor and enforce the various rules and regulations mentioned in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Any Regional Transport Office (RTO) across various cities, states or union territories in India have certain sets of functions that they are deemed to carry out. The main functions of an RTO are three-fold:
In order to comply with the functional requirements mentioned above, all RTOs perform the following main activities, as per the vehicles act:
This includes issuing and renewing registration certificates for motor vehicles, transfer of ownership of the vehicle, change in registration details, hypothecation removal and issuing fitness certificate to the vehicle
This includes collection of Motor Vehicle Tax, or Road Tax, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, conducting any motor department’s action cases and collection of vehicle inspection fee
This includes issuing a learner’s permit and subsequently a driving licence, conducting driving tests, renewal or duplication of driving licence (in case of loss or theft), issuing licence for driving instructors, conductors for commercial vehicles and for professional motor vehicles driving schools
This includes vehicle inspection for fitness certification, for giving clearance to accidental vehicles, and validity check for insurance and Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate
This includes issuing various tourist and transportation permits such as International Driving Permit, inter-state and national permits for commercial vehicles, permits for passenger carrying vehicles and school buses, and All India Tourist Vehicle Authorisation and Permit