Vehicle registered in one State need not be re-registered: Jammu & Kashmir High Court

A Bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul clarified that if a motor vehicle registered in one state is held in another state for more than 12 months, the owner must apply for a new registration mark from the Registering Authority whose jurisdiction the vehicle is located.  In this case, the court was hearing a petition challenging a circular released by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Kashmir on March 27, 2021.

According to the circular, owners who purchased their vehicles bearing a registration mark from outside the UT would be required to apply for a new registration mark in accordance with Section 47/50 of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 within a period of 15 days. After reviewing the Act’s provisions, the Court determined that once a company is registered in one of India’s states, it is not necessary to be registered elsewhere in the country. Only after a motor vehicle registered in one state has been held in another state for more than twelve months may the owner of the vehicle applies to the registering authority in the state where the vehicle is currently located for registration. It also stated that a life time tax, which is imposed at the time of vehicle registration under Section 3 of the Motor Vehicles Act, cannot be imposed on a vehicle that is registered solely on the basis of a presumption that a vehicle registered outside the Union Territory of J&K has remained in the Union Territory of J&K for more than 12 months.

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