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A guide to obtaining a temporary vehicle registration number

Published on October 23, 2020. EST READ TIME: 4 MIN

Buying a brand-new car is a long-cherished desire for many and congratulations if you have fulfilled your dream. Apart from covering your vehicle with a comprehensive car insurance policy to protect it from any damage or theft, which might result into a financial loss, another important step you need to take is secure a temporary registration number. Getting your new vehicle permanently registered takes some time and hence you get a temporary one, which will be assigned to you by the dealer. This unique number is a must before your vehicle leaves the showroom and is usually valid for a period of one month. Within this period, you must get your car registered with a permanent number by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) as driving a car without any registration number is an offence. 

So, here are the important steps you should follow to get your temporary registration number.  

  • Apply for temporary registration through Form 20

  • After filling out the form with the required details, submit it to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) authority in whose zone you reside

  • Provide copies of documents required for the temporary number

  • Pay tax and fee, as specified

Documents required for temporary registration:

  • Duly filled up application in Form 20

  • Road worthiness certificate in Form 22: Also known as RWC, this certifies that your vehicle is in compliance with safety standards and safe enough to be driven on public roads. Key components of the vehicle such as wheels, tyres, seats, seatbelts, lights, steering wheel, braking system, engine, and other safety-related items are checked to ensure the vehicle is in good condition.

  • Sales certificate in Form 21: This has to be issued by the manufacturer or dealer to the buyer. This certificate will have details of the vehicle such as model details, year and month of manufacturing, invoice amount, etc.

  • Valid insurance certificate: A document, which shows you have a valid motor insurance policy containing details such as policyholder's name, policy effective date, the type of coverage, policy limits, matching engine number, chassis number, name, address, model details and other important details of the car insurance policy.

  • Proof of address: Submit a copy of any one of the following – Aadhar card, passport, utility bill, voter’s card, passbook of bank account of any nationalized bank.  

  • Pollution under control certificate(PUC): A PUC is issued by the government certifying that the emission levels of your vehicle are within the stipulated pollution norms. Details like the serial number of the PUC, date of the emission test, the test reading and validity date of the emission test will be mentioned in the certificate.

  • Copy of PAN card or Form 60 and 61 in the absence of a PAN card
    Although the temporary number is valid for one month, you can apply for its extension, but for maximum two times and the process for the same is as below:

  • Specify the reason and period up to which the extension is required

  • If you have already applied for an extension earlier and are applying once again, you will have to pay a penalty as per Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989

  • Pay fee and tax for the extension as specified

The documents required for extension of temporary registration are the same as mentioned above.

Charges/Fees: The charges for getting your vehicle temporarily registered differs from state to state. You have to contact the local RTO for details.


Remember the temporary registration number is valid for a period of one month only, after which you have to apply for a permanent number, which will be issued by the concerned RTO authority. Getting your vehicle permanently registered is mandatory, failing which you are liable to pay hefty fines. And before you zoom out of your parking lot, make sure you have all the necessary documents such as driving license, invoice of the vehicle, motor insurance certificate, and most importantly the temporary registration paper. Safe driving!

This blog has been written by

S. Gopalakrishnan | Motor Insurance Expert | 40+ years of experience in insurance industry

A veteran in insurance industry. S. Gopalakrishnan is a name to reckon with in the field of reinsurance, he has headed the Reinsurance department and has rich experience in other fields of motor insurance. He loves to share his opinion on latest topics in the insurance industry and how he can help people in safeguarding their assets using insurance products.

Mr. S.Gopalakrishnan recommends "HDFC ERGO for your vehicle insurance needs, it has always put customer’s interest at the forefront, with round the clock assistance to deal with emergency breakdown issues and hassle free claims process. You can be assured of complete and reliable guidance through the whole process."

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.

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