What documents need to be carried while driving?

No matter whether you are headed out for a short run or a long journey, peace of mind is the first thing that anyone wants while on the road. But there are certain rules that most motorists, out of ignorance or because they just simply do not care about it, do not follow and hence compromise the very peace of mind. There are certain documents, that the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 makes it compulsory to be carried by the operator of a vehicle. You can never tell when you will be stopped by the authorities, and the risk is high if you are traveling into another state, where they frequently check the out-of-state vehicles. You can now be fined in five-digit figures according to the new Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019. Besides fine, certain documents can also help you out in the unfortunate event of road accidents. Here are important documents while driving your vehicle.

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1. Driving license

A driving license is a license that shows that you are eligible to drive a vehicle on the road, legally under the Motor vehicle Act. Your regional transport office(RTO) issues this official document after you have cleared the necessary paperwork and the driving test. The Motor Vehicle Act makes it a punishable offense if you are driving without a valid license, and you will also have to pay the traffic violation fine. Lastly, if your vehicle is involved in a road accident, then you cannot make an insurance claim if you were driving without a license, dragging you into a financial mess. Thus, having a driving license on you when you operate a vehicle is a must.

2. Registration certificate

The second on the list of important documents while driving is the RC or registration certificate of your vehicle. When you buy a vehicle, the regional transport office will issue a registration certificate, proving that you are the owner of the vehicle. It is a legal requirement and can invite a fine of up to ₹10,000. The document proves the ownership and that you are not driving a stolen vehicle. The registration certificate contains many pieces of information like name, address, important vehicle details, etc. This is the first document that is asked by the authorities when you are stopped for a traffic check. Not only within your local city parameters, carrying an RC is very essential and a must while traveling out of state. 

3. Car insurance certificate

The Motor Vehicle Act makes it mandatory that you must have at least a third party insurance cover, to drive legally on public roads. Not only will it invite a fine, but you are also looking at a jail time of up to 3 months. Having car insurance is like having a financial umbrella that can save you a lot of financial losses if your vehicle is involved in a road accident. Not only it covers the damages of your vehicle, but it also covers the third party involved in the accident. Without insurance, third-party compensation can easily bankrupt you. Besides that, the current insurance policies also look after breakdowns and can cover for road assistance if your vehicle breaks down on a journey, giving that extra peace of mind. 

4. Pollution under control(PUC) certificate

The last legal requirement under the Motor Vehicle Act is having a valid PUC certificate, with a picture of the number plate of your vehicle. This document shows that the emissions of your vehicle are under the specified requirements, and it is not a threat to the environment. The fine, for not having a valid PUC certificate, now has been bumped to ₹2000. You can easily get a PUC certificate for your vehicle at any pollution checking facility at an authorized fuel station. The process is computerized, and the certificate issued is generally valid for 6-3 months, depending on what fuel your vehicle is running on, so you must keep an eye and get it renewed before it expires. 

5. Miscellaneous stuff 

Apart from the documents that are legally required to be carried in a vehicle, there are certain other documents that you can carry to extend that peace of mind. You must have a list of all the emergency numbers in your vehicle so that you do not waste any precious time in the event of an emergency. If you are going on a long journey, then you can also carry important numbers of that particular location or perhaps also carry a map. Make sure that your driving license mentions your blood group and if not, then you can put up a sticker on your windshield, giving out vital details. This can make a day and night difference in cases of a medical emergency. 


So in conclusion, you must fulfill the legal requirement and carry all the important documents while driving that the law requires you to carry. The good thing is that now, you do not have to carry physical documents. Thanks to the DigiLocker service, now you can store all your important documents in a digital format, but the documents must be valid and up to date. Traveling is the best way to have some leisure time, but if you make sure that you take care of certain things, then you can guarantee peace of mind too.

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