Vehicle Smart Card Registration Certificate (RC) in India – Everything You Need to Know


5 min read

Updated on Feb 15, 2024

All you need to know about vehicle Smart card RC and why securing one is of utmost importance in India.

It’s not just the driving license that’s the most important document to drive on Indian roads. The Registration Certificate or RC of your vehicle is another very important requirement mandated by the Indian government under the 184 MV Act. Without the RC, the vehicle owner is forbidden to ride/drive the vehicle on the road.

RC Details: What It Is And How It Works

RC full form points to Registration Certificate which needs to be possessed by every Indian vehicle driver. It is a legal document affirming the registration of the vehicle with the Government of India. It is therefore absolutely necessary to get your vehicle’s RC in place before beginning to drive the vehicle on the road.

Generally speaking, an RC is issued for 15 years and holds validity until that time from the date of its issue. Upon expiry, RC renewal can be made for a total of 5 years, with a temporary RC issued with a validity of just 1 month (no renewal allowed). This is just a working arrangement until the vehicle’s actual RC has been issued to the owner.

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Meaning of Registration Certificate (RC) Smart Card

RC Smart Card is nothing but a slight upgrade over the traditional RC book. Both are a confirmation of your vehicle’s valid registration under the Motor Vehicles Act. However, the RC Smart Card, as the name suggests, is in the shape of a card which is extremely handy and convenient to carry around in the wallet.

This is unlike the RC book which is a slightly bigger document to hold or carry all the time. With the introduction of digitalization, it is now fairly easier to secure an RC Smart Card in place of an RC book. Moreover, in case you have an RC book and wish to get it converted into an RC Smart Card, you can easily get that done by following a simple procedure:

  • You’d be required to submit a letter to the traffic police superintendent of your area, stating clearly the prime reason for converting the RC book into a Smart Card.
  • Along with the letter, submit a copy of the insurance certificate of your vehicle, emission certificate of the vehicle, and the original RC book at an RTO office near you.
  • Pay the fee required for the procedure. The Smart Card RC should be delivered at your registered address within a week or so.

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What is Registration Certificate (RC) Number of Vehicle?

The RC number refers to the registration number of your vehicle which is issued once the vehicle is successfully registered with the government. Each vehicle has a unique RC number and this number is also present on the Smart RC Card, along with some other important details regarding your vehicle:

  • The month and year in which the vehicle was manufactured
  • The engine number and chassis number of the vehicle
  • The color of the vehicle
  • The date of registration
  • The date of expiry of the RC
  • Details of the vehicle owner – their name, address, and signature

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What are the Documents Needed to Obtain an RC?

Since the RC of a vehicle is such an important requirement for driving on Indian roads, it is necessary to have all the various documents required for obtaining it in place. The following documents need to be submitted duly at the nearest RTO:

  1. Form 20 – application form for vehicle registration duly filled and submitted at the RTO
  2. Form 21 –  certificate of sales issued by the vehicle dealer
  3. Form 22 and Form 22-A – a certificate of roadworthiness issued by the vehicle manufacturer
  4. Passport size photographs of the vehicle owner
  5. A copy of the pan card of the vehicle owner
  6. A copy of motor insurance duly attested
  7. Original invoice received from the dealer and manufacturer of the vehicle
  8. RC owner details – proof of address of the owner duly attested
  9. Form 34 which the vehicle owner and the financier for the vehicle duly sign and submit
  10. The required registration fee for obtaining the RC

Once all of the above documents and the required fee are duly submitted at the RTO, the procedure for issuing the RC to the vehicle owner is initiated.

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Procedure to Secure an RC Book

An RC book is a small, book-like official document stating that the vehicle has been registered with the Government of India. Once a vehicle (two-wheeler or four-wheeler) has been purchased, the immediate next step is to get it registered with an RTO (Road Transport Office) near you.

Note that every new vehicle, whether privately owned or commercial, must be registered with the RTO and must possess a valid RC. An inspection authority at the RTO office would thoroughly inspect the vehicle as part of the registration process. Upon satisfaction of the inspection, the RTO would then issue an RC book or RC Smart Card.

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How to Do an Online RC Check?

As mentioned earlier, with everything around us getting digitized, a vehicle RC is no exception. You can now do an RC status check online by simply visiting the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, namely

Here, you can do a quick RC online check to determine the current status of RC issuance, RC renewal in case of expiry, or any other RC-related task. An online RC verification facilitates the process and saves unnecessary wastage of time and effort.

Read More: Duplicate RC Book Online

Summing Up

An RC is a highly important document before even thinking of driving the vehicle on the road. Just like an RC, another very important mandate by the Indian government is possessing a third-party motor insurance issued by the Indian government, in compliance with the Motor Vehicles Act. It is absolutely essential to have your vehicle RC, driving license, and the insurance policy with you at all times to safeguard yourself from any untoward event.

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FAQs: Vehicle Smart Card Registration Certificate (RC) in India

What is RC number in RC card?

RC number means Registration Certificate Number, which appears on RC cards. Every vehicle in India that is registered is given this special identification number. The RC card is a significant document that includes information on the car, including the number plate number, engine number, registration date, owners name and address.

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Nov 10, 2022
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PayBima is an Indian insurance aggregator on a mission to make insurance simple for people. PayBima is the Digital arm of the already established and trusted Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd., a reputed name in the insurance broking industry with 17 years of experience. PayBima promises you the easy-to-access online platform to buy insurance policies, and also extend their unrelented assistance with all your policy related queries and services.

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