Ordeal of re-registering non-Karnataka vehicles

Thousands of people come to Bangalore in search of jobs every year. They bring along their two-wheelers and four-wheelers, all registered in their native states. But this is the easy part. The nightmare begins when they are required to re-register their vehicles and pay the hefty Life Time Tax (LTT). 

Rough estimates by the state transport department indicate that annually, about 10,000 to 12,000 outstation vehicles of all hues are brought into the City. With huge inward migration in search of jobs and greener pastures, this number is only growing.

With big numbers has come big problems. Ask any outsider about their ordeal of getting their vehicle registration numbers converted to “KA” numbers, and hear about their zillion visits to the concerned Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to get the paperworks dones. 

This is despite the claims made by RTO officials that transfer and re-registration is a simple process and requires only the invoice of the vehicle to determine its cost, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the owner’s home state and the registration certificate as proof of the vehicle’s age.But the process is anything but a cakewalk, notes Shameek S, an IT professional who had a job transfer from Gurgaon to Bangalore. “I came here in 2013, bringing along my Wagon R to tackle the commuter woes in a new city. Before coming here, I browsed the internet to learn about the procedure for an outstation vehicle to get registered. I thought I will manage to get it done,” he recalls.

That preparation was barely enough. “Only after coming here did I realise how cumbersome it is to go through the process. I went thrice to the concerned RTO. Each time they would ask me for some documents or its verification. After three visits, I decided to pay the agent and get it done. I paid him Rs 2,000 additionally and finally managed to get my number changed after a long wait.” 

Senior transport department officials assert that the process has long been simplified and if all the documents are in order, it should not take more than a day to complete the formalities at the RTO. However, officials do admit that due to heavy rush at the RTOs, people have to stand in queue some time for hours to get it done. This is attributed to the workload in the RTOs.

Those who are on a transit in the City can pay the LTT according to the rules and get a refund at the time of leaving. An outstation vehicle, the officials say, can get the registration number changed to a Karnataka number within 12 months.

But this explanation is a far cry from the bitter reality, notes Gaurav, an engineering student from Bihar now in Bangalore. “I had brought my bike from my hometown. I thought since I have to be here for another five years, it is better to get the number converted. A lot of my seniors in the college had also told me about how the outstation vehicles get targeted by the traffic cops.”

So he went to the RTO in Indiranagar with all the required documents. All the papers were in order, since the bike was only a year old. “But once inside, I felt I was totally lost as there was nobody who was willing to guide me through the process in any of the counters. I was asked to come the next day by the time I figured out on how to go about it. The next day I reached in the afternoon, and I was told that since the amount of tax to be paid is on the higher side I had to get a Demand Draft made. Only after my third visit did I get the work done, that too after asking here and there and after much running around.”

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