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‘Bharat’ series of all-India vehicle registration numbers
RELOCATING A CAR or a two-wheeler to another state can often be a hassle One needs to get a no-objection certificate from the current state, re-register the vehicle in the state where one is relocating and pay road tax all over again. To free vehicle owners from all this, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified the Bharat series or BH series of registration that people can opt for. It comes into effect from September 15. Those who are in transferable jobs such as those in Defence Railways, other government employees, or even private-sector employees whose companies are present in multiple states are often faced with this bit of lengthy paperwork and procedure about their vehicles.
What has been the system so far?
At present, when a person relocates to another state and wants to take her vehicle along with her, she has to first get a NOC from the state where the vehicle is currently registered. The government calls it the parent state of the vehicle. The parent state’s NOC is a must for the assignment of new registration in another state. So is fresh registration: Under Section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a vehicle can reside in another state with the same registration for 12 months during which it has to be re-registered in the new state. The vehicle owner also applies for a refund of the road tax in the parent state on a pro-rata basis. This is because when one buys and registers a new personal vehicle, the state government or the parent state charges the road tax upfront for the whole registered life of the vehicle, which is 15 years.
When the same vehicle relocates in another state after say, five years, the parent state has to refund the remaining 10 years’ road tax it has already received. In the new state, the vehicle owner pays the road tax calculable for the remaining period of the vehicle’s life, say 10 years. This provision to get a refund from the parent state is a very cumbersome process and the procedure varies from one state to another one has to one’s their way through the bureaucratic mazes of the Regional Transport Offices and encounter several hurdles The government-state as well as Centre-has not yet come up with a system wherein the remaining road tax is transferred from one state to another.
How will the new system work?
The system of allotting BH series registration to vehicles will be completely online, without the vehicle owner having to figure out complicated red tape. The government, by amending Rule 47 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, has mandated that vehicles bearing the BH registration mark will not require to be re-registered in a new state once it relocates.
Who is eligible?
Anyone who is a government/PSU employee state or Centre is eligible. In the private sector, an employee of a company that has offices in at least four states/UTs is eligible to get the number on a voluntary basis. She has to apply by filling up Form 60 and furnish her valid employment ID/proof online. The state authorities will verify this and then assign the registration. The registration number will be randomly generated by computer.
What about the road tax?
Vehicles registering under the BH system will be levied road lax for two years and in multiples of two thereafter, instead of the owner paying upfront for the entire 15 years This frees the owner from needing to seek a refund before or after relocation because the tax has not been pre-paid. After completion of the 14th year, the motor vehicle tax will be levied annually which will be half the amount that was charged earlier.
For a BH registration vehicle, the road tax will be if the cost of the vehicle is below Rs 10 lakh,10% if the cost is between Rs 10-20 lakh, and 12% if it is more than Rs 20 lakh. Diesel vehicles will be charged 2% extra. Electric vehicles shall be charged 2% less tax. The road tax charged varies from state to state, but this is largely the range anyway. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways received several suggestions and carried out deliberation with states before coming up with this notification.
What does a BH number look like?
A typical BH number may look like “21 BHXOOXX AA
In this, the first two digits are the year of the first registration, BH is the code for the series, the four digits (X0000) are randomly generated, followed by two letters of the English alphabet.
Content by PRASHANT SINGH
Faculty of personality development | 5+ years of experience of teaching | Masters in English literature | 10 times CDS qualified, | Defence enthusiast, educator and explorer