India announces new rules for foreign registered vehicles

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Under the new rules, such vehicles will not be permitted to transport local passengers and goods in India.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a notification that brings in new rules for vehicles that have been registered in international countries. Once they are in use on Indian roads via Carnet – a customs document that allows owners to drive their cars at no cost across international borders – these vehicles will have to comply with rules and regulations under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

  • Foreign vehicle owners will need to carry valid documentation
  • Owners won’t be allowed to transport local passengers or goods

Owners of such vehicles will need to carry a valid registration certificate, driving license or an international driving permit (IDP), insurance policy and a valid pollution under control (PUC) certificate (if applicable in the origin country), during their stay in India. However, one should note that if the vehicle’s registration is displayed in a foreign language, then owners are required to exhibit it in English at the front and rear of the vehicle.

The rules also state that if the aforementioned vehicle documents are also in a foreign language, then an authorised English translation, duly authenticated by the issuing authority, will need to be carried along with the originals. These new rules will also impose a restriction on vehicles registered overseas, whereby owners shall not be permitted to transport local passengers and goods within the country.

Other notifications by MoRTH

Recently, the Ministry issued a notification on standardising the process for the issuance of International Driving Permit (IDP) across the country. In January 2021, the Ministry had made it possible for individuals to renew their IDP’s while overseas without requiring their medical certificates and valid visas. The MoRTH had also approved a draft notification to make six airbags mandatory in passenger vehicles back in January 2022, and therefore, all new cars manufactured from October 1, 2022, will have six airbags.

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