A Guide to Obtaining Temporary Vehicle Registration Number

05 Sep 2021


Buying a car can make you feel over the moon. But do remember that there are some technicalities and legal requirements that must be adequately met before you begin the road trips in the newly purchased car. One of these requirements is obtaining a vehicle registration number. For cars that do not have a permanent vehicle registration number as yet, a temporary vehicle registration number can be obtained. It is a mandatory requirement that you must comply with.

Covering the Basics

The vehicle registration number is a unique identification code for your vehicle. Every vehicle is granted with a distinct alphanumeric code. As per the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, every vehicle that’s running on the roads requires to be holding a permanent vehicle registration number which is issued by the Regional Transport Office. Driving a car that does not have a vehicle registration number can result in grave legal consequences. It can take a while before you are issued with a permanent registration number. But you can apply for a temporary vehicle registration number.

Salient Features of Temporary Registration Number

There are certain features of a temporary vehicle registration number that you must keep in mind:

  • It only acts as a proxy until your vehicle is issued a permanent vehicle registration number from the RTO
  • Typically, your temporary vehicle registration number is valid for a period of one month from issuance. The idea behind this is that within a months’ time your vehicle will hold a permanent number and the temporary number will cease to exist
  • In case there is a delay in getting a permanent registration number, there are provisions to extend the validity of the temporary vehicle registration number

Applying for Temporary Registration Number

Just familiarising yourself with what is a temporary registration number is not sufficient; you must also know of the process to get one in place. Here are the steps involved in applying for a temporary vehicle registration number:

Step 1: The first requirement will be to obtain the Form 20 which would serve as an application form for a temporary vehicle registration number. This can be accessed and downloaded online, or attained from your RTO premises.

Step 2: You would be then required to fill in the form 20 with your and the purchased vehicle’s details. This form, along with certain documents, would be then submitted to the RTO operating in your jurisdiction. Alternatively, you can also choose to submit this application set to your vehicle dealer, provided that this dealership holds recognition from the Transport Commissioner.

Step 3: The last step would require you to pay a certain fee to the RTO, after which the authority would release a temporary vehicle registration number for your vehicle.

For certain jurisdictions and states, there is a provision to have the above process completed online. You would be required to access the Parivahan website, input your details online into the application form and upload the required documents for a temporary registration number. An intermittent acknowledgement document would be assigned to you, that you will have to visit the nearest RTO and pay the required charges to be assigned the temporary registration number.

Legal Compliances

As mentioned in the step 2 of the process above, there are certain required documents for a temporary registration number, which are as follows –

  • Form 20: This has been already mentioned as the initial document required right at the beginning of the application process. It serves as an application form which can be downloaded through the online portals or obtained from your nearest RTO
  • Form 21: This implies the sale certificate of your vehicle. It outlines the details of the buyer, seller and also the details of the vehicle. A copy of this certificate must be attached to your application set.
  • Road Worthiness Certificate: This certificate further authenticates the road worthiness of your vehicle and is granted by the vehicle’s manufacturer. It further attests that your vehicle is deemed fit to be taken out on the roads.
  • Motor Insurance Certificate: As per the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, to be able to drive your car on the roads, it is mandatory to obtain a third-party liability vehicle insurance. Getting caught driving without a car insurance policy in place can lead to legal consequences.
  • Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate: In today’s times, the need to be responsible toward the environment is paramount. Motor vehicles emit a lot of gasses which could be detrimental to our environment. Hence; emission tests are formulated which must be undertaken by every motor vehicle to ensure they fall within the emission norms and not surpass it. A Pollution Under Control or PUC certificate authenticates that your vehicle’s emission levels are within the stipulated pollution control norms.
  • Address Proof: You would be required to submit your address proof which can be in the form of your Aadhaar card, electricity bill, ration card, etc.
  • Copy of PAN Card: Typically, all of us hold our unique Permanent Account Number cards. However; in case you don’t hold one, you would have to submit Form 60 & Form 61 to make up for the absence of your PAN details.


Obtaining a temporary vehicle registration number is of utmost importance until you are issued with a permanent registration number. The process is quite straightforward and must be followed through diligently to avoid any unnecessary penalty charges.

Disclaimer: For more details on risk factors, terms & conditions please read sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale. *The discount amount will vary subject to vehicle specification and place of registration

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