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All You Need To Know About Vehicle Testing In India

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What is meant by Vehicle Fitness?

The term "fitness" refers to a highly significant component of life. Whether it's your own physical fitness or the fitness of your assets. If you own a house, you must maintain it in order to enhance the lifetime of the house; in other words, you must keep your house in great condition. Similarly, a car is an important possession, particularly because it is a need in today's world. All norms and regulations must also be followed.

A vehicle must have a fitness certificate provided by the manufacturer, as well as another fitness certificate given by the state RTO authorities after an examination of its condition, pollution certificate, tax, insurance, and other similar data, according to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.

Failure to pass the fitness test will result in the vehicle being declared obsolete, and vehicles older than 15 years will be required to be de-registered. The scrap value of the previous car is projected to be between 4-6 percent of the ex-showroom price of the new vehicle.

Vehicle Fitness Certificate

One of the major causes of unsafe vehicles plying on the roads is a visual inspection that leads to loss of precious human lives due to unnatural cause. Thousands of persons are killed and injured every year that results in loss of around 3% of GDP, which is quite alarming. 

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has laid down laws that require vehicle owners to acquire specific certificates for their vehicle, linked to its health and operation, in order to guarantee that cars that operate on Indian roads perform optimally. The Vehicle Fitness Certificate is one such vital document.

A certificate of fitness for vehicles is a government-issued document that certifies that the vehicle is safe to drive on the road in terms of its general condition. Commercial, as well as private automobiles, are required by law to have a fitness certificate.

With the advent of its Parivahan Sewa online platform, the Indian government has simplified the process of obtaining a vehicle fitness certificate for your vehicle.

The vehicle fitness certificate serves the following main purposes:

  • To check and monitor the pollution caused by the emission of smoke from your automobile. This is critical in light of the ongoing issue of rising pollution as a result of car smoke emissions.
  • To maintain and operate your car in a safe and appropriate manner.
  • Last but not least, to avoid traffic accidents that may arise as a result of your vehicle's poor condition.

 Vehicle Testing Centers

One of the main causes of unsafe vehicles plying on the roads is visual inspection that leads to loss of precious human lives due to unnatural cause. Every year thousands of persons are killed and injured, which is quite alarming & results in loss of around 3% of GDP.

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) released the first draft of the national voluntary scrappage scheme in March, 2021 under which any private vehicle over the age of 20 will be required to undergo mandatory fitness and emission tests, failing which it will be classified as an End-of-Life-Vehicle or EOLV and scrapped.

The age limit for commercial vehicles has been set at 15 years. Such vehicles will be required to pay more for fitness certificates as well as a "green tax," which will vary from state to state and be based on pollution levels. There hasn't been a decision on the rates yet, but the policy is expected to go into effect next year.

The Government of India intends to establish Automated Fitness Centers with private participation. The goal, according to the officials, is to have one in each district, or at least 718 such centers across India.

The main aim and objective of setting up of Automated Vehicle Testing Center is to scientifically test the road-worthiness of the Transport Vehicles by automated authentic test equipment before they actually ply on roads. This process in turn ensures the safety of the general public / passengers and will lead to a much cleaner environment, thus ensuring implementation of the Supreme Court order.

Vehicle testing and road tests are critical components of the whole car product development process. To get a vehicle to production maturity, testing functions using test cars or rigorous prototype testing are required. Vehicle testing and road tests help significantly to ensure the quality of the complete vehicle, vehicle systems, or components after the start of production (SOP).

The centers will be located in the following cities:


S. No.
State/UT
I&C Centre Location
1Andhra Pradesh
Gambheeram
2Bihar
Patna
3Chhattisgarh
Raipur
4Gujrat
Surat
5Haryana
Rohtak
6Himachal
Solan
7Jharkhand
Dhanbad
8Karnataka
Bengaluru
9Kerala
Kochi
10Madhya Pradesh
Chhindwara
11Maharashtra
Nasik
12Meghalaya
Shillong
13Mizoram
South Hlimen
14Nagaland
Dimapur
15Odisha
Cuttack
16Punjab
Kapurthala
17Rajasthan
Railmagra
18Sikkim
Jalipool
19Telangana
Nalgonda
20Uttarakhand
Haridwar, Haldwani
21Uttar Pradesh
Lucknow
22West Bengal
Kolkata
23Chandigarh
Chandigarh
24Delhi
Jhuljhuli
25Jammu and Kashmir
Samba
26Puducherry
Pondicherry

Complete guide for setting up Vehicle Testing Stations in India

Here is your 5-step guide on how to set up your own vehicle testing center/ station in India:

Eligibility Criteria for opening a Vehicle Testing Centre:

  • The Owner of an Automated Testing Station may be the State Government or any individual, company, association or body of individuals or special purpose vehicle, through public- private partnership or otherwise.
  • The Operator of an Automated Testing Station may be the State Government or any individual, company, association or body of individuals or special purpose vehicle, through public- private partnership or otherwise.
  • Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rules (1) and (2), the Owner of an Automated Testing Station may also be the Operator of such Automated Testing Station.
  • The Operator of an Automated Testing Station must have sufficient financial resources and adequately qualified manpower as per Rule 8 of the Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to ensure continued operations and maintenance of the Automated Testing Station.

Checklist of Requirements for Testing Centre:

Infrastructure requirements:

  • Any test lane to be used for the purposes of testing, inspection and issuance of Certificate of Fitness shall have a minimum lane area for testing of 2-Wheeler/3-Wheeler as 500 sq. m; Light Motor Vehicle/ Medium/ Heavy Motor Vehicle as 1500 sq. m.
  • Automated Testing Station shall have commensurate space for defining test lane, as per the following table, and administrative block having space for booking/cash counters, waiting area, IT server and workstation, washrooms etc.

S.No.
Minimum Dimensions of a Test Lane(M)
3-Wheeler and Light Motor Vehicle
Medium and Heavy Motor Vehicle
1Length
38
38
2Width
7
7
3Minimum length for turning at entrance
10
18
4Minimum length for turning at exit
10
18
  • Adequate space shall be available for fitment of utilities like transformers, Low Tension/High Tension panels with safety protective devices, Gensets, Air Compressor, Uninterrupted Power Source (UPS), water coolers, fire protection and firefighting system with adequate capacity. Test lane area shall be provided with adequate ventilation system.
  • Automated Testing Station shall have adequate space for parking and free movement of vehicles brought for testing.
  • Necessary cyber security certifications shall be provided for the IT Systems for safe access to the VAHAN database as applicable.
  • Testing equipment and IT infrastructure shall be as per Annexure-XIII.

Manpower requirement:

  • The minimum requirement of manpower on the basis of number of lanes per shift shall be as under:
S.No.
Designation
Minimum manpower requirement
Minimum Qualification
1Center Head/Manager
1
Graduate in Automobile/Mechanical Engineering with at least 10 years of professional experience which includes at least 5 years of experience in inspection, manufacturing or repair.
2IT in charge/ System Analyst
2MCA or B.E in Computer Science with at least 3 years of experience in Hardware and Networking.
3Data Entry Operator
2Any Graduation Degree with basic computer knowledge.
4Driver (LMV/HMV)
2 Per Lane Per Shift
Driving license to drive Transport vehicles with minimum 5 years of driving experience.
5Lane In charge / Supervisor
1 Per Lane Per Shift
ITI in Motor Mechanics with minimum 3 years of experience in automobile repair and maintenance.
6Lane Operator
2 Per Lane Per Shift
ITI in Motor Mechanics with minimum 2 years of experience in automobile repair and maintenance.
7Maintenance Technician
1 Per Lane Per Shift
ITI in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration or ITI Electrician, with minimum 2 years of experience in electrical maintenance.
The Automated Testing Station shall ensure compliance with all relevant Labour laws in India as applicable from time to time.

Documents Required for Testing Centre:

The Owner and Operator of an Automated Testing Station shall possess the following documents:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Valid GST certificate
  • Valid PAN Card

Testing Procedure

Testing Process and Procedure for issuance of Certificate for Fitness–

(1) The appointment for fitness test shall be booked through an online portal specified by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) within six months from the date of notification of these rules.

(2) The following documents/ information shall be uploaded at the time of booking a slot:

  • Registration Certificate (RC)
  • Valid Insurance Certificate
  • Valid Permit (As applicable)
  • Mobile number and Email ID of the registered owner/ authorized signatory

(3) The other details related to the vehicle, not limited to the following, shall be fetched automatically from the VAHAN database –

  • Chassis Number
  • Fuel
  • Vehicle Class
  • Vehicle Category
  • Make/Model
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)
  • Month & Year of Manufacture
  • Speed Governor Serial Number (As applicable)

(4) The list of tests to be conducted, along with the reference standards, shall be as per Annexure-XII mentioned below (as applicable from time to time).

(5) The data generation, processing and storage shall be done in a manner so as to ensure:

  • The database is stored in SQL data management software platform to enable easy exchange and analysis of data with other platforms.
  • All automatic and manual data, along with the results of the tests performed on the vehicle, shall be automatically transmitted to a central server installed in the Automated Testing Station.
  • The inspection, pass- fail criteria of a test are automatic and not editable by anyone.
  • Any screen in the test lane shall not display any test results in terms of pass or fail. All test results shall be masked on the test lane with encrypted test data. The test report shall be generated automatically and electronically immediately after completion of all tests.
  • The data of the tests conducted and reports shall be kept in a secured facility and uploaded on VAHAN database.
  • Photo of Vehicle and its Chassis and Engine number shall be captured by GPS enabled camera and shall be kept in a secured facility and uploaded on VAHAN database along with the data of the tests conducted and report.

(6) The test report so generated shall be sent to the registered owner/ authorized signatory through electronic mode. The test report shall include the following:

  • Station Name and registration number
  • Date and time of the test
  • Vehicle details – Registration number, Type, Make and Model
  • Visual test results
  • Measured and permissible values of tests conducted
  • Last date of equipment calibration of Automated Testing Station in respect of each equipment on which tests are conducted

(7) The results shall also be integrated with VAHAN Database.

Tests to be conducted at an Automated Testing Station:

The grant and renewal of Certificate of Fitness shall be made at an Automated Testing Station only after carrying out the following tests specified in the Table given below:

S. No.
Item
Pass-Fail CriteriaCheck FitmentVisual/Functional Test
Reference Rules/Standards for more details
1Headlamp dipped BeamYes
No
Functional
AIS-128
2Headlamps Assembly
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule 105 and AIS-008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1) and AI
3Top Lights
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule 107, 108 and AIS:008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1)
4Stop Lights
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule 102 and AIS-008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1) and AIS-009 or AIS-009 (Rev.1)
5Parking Lights
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule: 109 and AIS-008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1) and AIS-009 or AIS-009 (Rev.1)
6Fog Lamps (if fitted)
No
Yes
Visual
AIS-008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1)
7Warning Lights in Ambulance
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule: 108 and AIS-125 (Part 1)
8Number Plate Light
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule: 108 and AIS-008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1) and AIS-009 or AIS-009 (Rev.1)
9End-Outline
No
Yes
Visual
AIS-008
10Marker Lamps
---or AIS-008 (Rev.1)
11Direction Indicators
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule: 102 and AIS:008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1) and AIS-009 or AIS-009 (Rev.1)
12Hazard Warning Signal Lamp
No
Yes
Visual
AIS:008 or AIS-008 (Rev.1) and AIS-009 (Rev.1)
13Suppressor cap/ High Tension cable
No
Yes
Visual
-
14Windscreen Wiper Blades
No
Yes
Visual
CMV Rule: 101, AIS- 045, IS: 15804 and IS: 15802
15Windscreen Wiper System
No
Yes
Functional
CMV Rule: 101, AIS- 045, IS: 15804 and IS: 15802
16FASTag
No
Yes
Visual
CMV rule 138A

For complete list of tests, please refer to Annexure VIII of the Rules.

Validity and renewal of Authorization

  • A registration certificate, or its subsequent renewal, is valid for 5 years from the date of issuance or renewal, whichever comes first.
  • It is not possible to transfer the registration certificate.
  • The holder of the registration certificate must notify the registering authority that granted or renewed the registration certificate if the registration certificate is lost or destroyed.
  • Form 61, along with the relevant fee, must be submitted with an application for issue of a duplicate registration certificate, as described in rule 17.
  • A duplicate registration certificate, appropriately marked "Duplicate," may be issued by the registering authority.
  • If the original registration certificate is found at a later date, the duplicate must be immediately submitted to the registering authority.

How to Renew Fitness Certificate of a Vehicle

Varied classes of cars have different validity periods for their vehicle fitness certificates, according to the criteria. As a result, their ability to apply for a fitness certificate RTO vary as well. Private automobiles, for example, have a vehicle fitness certificate that is valid for up to 15 years, after which it must be renewed every 5 years. In the case of commercial vehicles, the vehicle fitness certificate is valid for two years before being reissued for another year.

The documents required for fitness certificate renewal are:

  • Form 25
  • Registration certificate of the vehicle
  • Proof of road tax duly paid

The renewal of a fitness certificate is a simple process. When you bring your car and the above-mentioned documents to the concerned RTO, the Motor Vehicles Department will inspect it. The results of the inspection will be posted on the Vahan website. The RTO officer will provide you a fresh vehicle fitness certificate after assessing the vehicle details and the application cost.

Fees - The fees which shall be charged under the provisions of this Chapter shall be as specified below:

Grant or renewal of registration certificate for Automated Testing Station: Fifty Thousand rupees (Rs. 50,000/-) 

Security Deposit for registration certificate for Automated Testing Station: Five lakh rupees (Rs. 5,00,000/-)

Issue of duplicate registration certificate for Automated Testing Station: Twenty-Five Thousand rupees (Rs. 25,000/-)

Appeal against test result(s) of Automated Testing Station: Two Thousand rupees (Rs. 2000/-)

Appeal under rule 16 of Appendix XV: Three Thousand rupees (Rs. 3000/-)

RTO Fines for Not Having a Valid Fitness Certificate

Not having a valid registration certificate, PUC certificate, or other vehicle documentation can result in substantial fines, and failing to have a valid fitness certificate can result in the same. Failure to produce a fitness certificate is punishable by a fine of Rs. 100/- under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1989. For consecutive offences, the fine is increased to Rs. 300/-. If you don't have a valid vehicle fitness certificate, you'll be fined between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 5,000.

Tentative timeline for application of Proposed Scrapping Policy is as follows:

ToRules for Fitness Tests and Scrapping Centers: 01st October 2021

T  Scrapping of Government and PSU vehicles above 15 years of age: 01st April 2022

ToMandatory Fitness Testing for Heavy Comm. Vehicles: 01st April 2023

ToMandatory Fitness-Testing (Phased manner for other categories): 01st June 2024

Conclusion

In order to operate on Indian roads, all the vehicles including commercial and private vehicles need to possess fitness certificate granted by the state RTO Authorities after complete testing at testing stations. Corpseed will help you in setting up your own vehicle testing center in India. Our expert team will take care of everything from documents completion to getting the license for you. Connect with the team Corpseed to discuss specific requirements for your business at IVR: +91 7558 640 644 or hello@corpseed.com.

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Author
Vipan Singh
Vipan is known for his passion for diversity and his work with corpseed. In his spare time, he is involved with numerous charitable activities and considers his greatest achievement to be the fact that he helps Startups and Entrepreneurs to scale up