Owning vehicles that are older than 15 years has become a very expensive affair from April 1 after the State Transport Department hiked the fee for renewal of their registration certificate (RC) and fitness certificate (FC) by 3 to 10 times. Officials said this was part of a countrywide move as per the amended motor vehicles rules.
Now, RC renewal for a 15-year-old car would cost Rs 5,000 as against Rs 600 previously, while it is Rs 1,000 (old fee Rs 300) for two-wheelers and Rs 2,500 (old fee Rs 600) for auto-rickshaws. For imported two-wheelers, it is Rs 10,000 (up from Rs 2,500) and Rs 40,000 for imported cars (from Rs 5,000).
The hike is higher in the case of commercial vehicles older than 15 years. The fee for conducting test and issuing renewal certificate of fitness has been fixed at Rs 400 (manual) and Rs 500 (automated) for motorcycles; Rs 800 (manual) and Rs 1,000 (automated) for three-wheelers or LMV; Rs 800 (manual) and Rs 1,300 (automated) for medium goods/passenger vehicle; and Rs 1,000 (manual) and Rs 1,500 (automated) for heavy goods/passenger vehicle.
The fee for conducting tests and issuing renewal certificates of fitness for transport vehicles is Rs 1,000 for two-wheelers; Rs 3,500 for three-wheelers; Rs 7,000 for LMV, Rs 10,000 for medium goods/passenger vehicles and Rs 12,500 for heavy goods/passenger vehicles. An additional Rs 50 would be levied for each day of delay after the expiry of the fitness certificate.
Sources in the Transport Commissionerate said they were enforcing the new fees, as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways made changes in the Vahan software that is used by all the RTOs in the State. “The fee has been hiked throughout the country, not only for our State. It came into effect from April 1,” the official said.
Fee not harsh on those registering new vehicles
Compared to older vehicles, the registration charges for new vehicles would continue to be reasonable at Rs 300 for two-wheelers, Rs 600 for three-wheeler and LMVs, Rs 2,500 for imported two or three-wheelers and Rs 5,000 for imported four-wheelers. Additionally, the vehicle owners will also have to pay a fee of Rs 200 if the RC is a smart card type issued or renewed in Form 23A.
In case of delay in applying for RC renewal, an additional fee of Rs 300 a month or part thereof would be collected for two-wheelers and Rs 500 for all other classes of non-transport vehicles.
The new fee structure has come into effect from April 1 after the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) issued a Gazette notification dated October 4, 2021, amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, to be known as the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (23rd Amendment) Rules, 2021.
Auto drivers to protest fitness certificate fees
Tamil Nadu Autorickshaw Workers’ Union has decided to hold protests against the steep hike in the fitness certificate renewal fees for 15-year-old vehicles along with increasing fuel costs.
“The fitness certificate fee hike from April 1 is kind of rubbing salt into the wounds of autorickshaw and other vehicle owners who are already facing income loss,” said Tamil Nadu Auto Rickshaw Workers’ Union general secretary M Shivaji.
The fitness certificate fee hike has come at a time when the petrol and diesel prices have been hiked steeply in the last 10 days along with the toll rates on the National Highways. “Autorickshaw drivers have been forced to give up a major part of their income to the increasing fuel prices, toll rates and FC fees,” he said in a statement.
He said that earlier, the auto drivers were spending Rs 800 on fitness certificate fees, apart from the vehicle expenditure. “Now we have to spend Rs 3,500 additionally for the fees,” he said, adding Rs 50 per day would be levied for the delay in getting FC.
Southern India Motor Transport Association advisor Sundararaj Ponnusamy said his association was against the government’s move to force scrapping policy on 15-year-old vehicles. “Rather than forcing the vehicles to be scrapped after 15-years, the government should allow the vehicles to be used by replacing or reconditioning the engine,” he said, adding the hike would impact the driver-cum-owner vehicles, who are entirely dependent on it for their livelihood.