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How to Renew Your License During Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has been wreaking havoc since last year. To battle the deadly second wave of COVID-19, many Indian states have announced a complete lockdown for a few weeks; a decision that has disrupted many lives across the country.

Given the need for social distancing during the pandemic, many government and private sector services are being offered online. Going with the trend, India's Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) are now letting citizens access many of their services online.

​​Paperless RTO services

Recently, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) released a circular stating that services related to driving licences (DLs) can be availed online with zero paperwork. The move will help maintain physical distancing, eliminate the need for people to visit their local RTO for DL-related services, and decrease foot traffic in enclosed spaces. Once users complete the voluntary Aadhaar authentication, they can access RTO online services such as:

  • Change of address in DL and registration certificate (RC)
  • Application and grant of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the RC
  • Application for issue of duplicate RC
  • Application for registering a motor vehicle with a fully built body
  • Endorsement of hire-purchase agreement
  • Application for transferring ownership of the motor vehicle
  • Termination of hire-purchase agreement
  • Driving licence renewal and RC process
    How to renew your driving licence online
    If your driving licence got expired during the lockdown, here is how you can renew it online:
  • Visit the MORTH-operated website
  • Select your state from the drop-down list. On this page, you can check whether the service is available completely online or if you would need to visit the RTO in person.
  • Click on the Driving Licence tab and then Services on DL (Renewal/Duplicate/AEDL/IDP/Others), or directly on Apply for DL Renewal.
  • Read the instructions and details about the application-filling process displayed on the next page. Click on Continue.
  • Enter your driving licence number and date of birth, and then choose the DL holder category, if applicable. Click on the Get DL Details tab.
  • Select the state and RTO that issued the DL.
  • You will be redirected to a page where you must select the required DL-related service. Select the Renewal option.
  • Upon being prompted, type your additional personal and vehicle-related information.
  • You may be asked to upload a photograph and signature based on the state you select.
  • If there are changes in your medical certificate, you will be required to book a time slot to undergo a test at the RTO.
  • On the acknowledgement page, you can see your application ID. It is a good idea to print this for future reference. You will also receive the application details via an SMS on your registered mobile number.
  • If you are applying for DL renewal 30 days before or within expiration, you will have to pay Rs 200 via net banking or debit/credit card.
    Please note the online RTO portal currently extends its services to a few states only. These states include Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. According to the new MoRTH rule, the entire process of obtaining a learner's licence—from application to the printing of the licence—will also be online now. The driving test for the learner's licence can be taken through tutorials. In addition to renewing your driving licence on time, regular car maintenance is also crucial.
    Why car maintenance is important
    You spend lakhs of rupees to purchase a car, so it is wise to maintain it well. However, there are more reasons why you should focus on regular car maintenance:
  1. Enhances safety
    It can be dangerous if your car breaks down at night, especially on a deserted road. Regular vehicle maintenance reduces the chances of your car breaking down. If you take frequent road trips, routine car maintenance will also ensure your vehicle is always ready to support you well throughout the journey.
  1. Lowers repair costs
    Regular maintenance costs less than repairs and replacements. Neglecting maintenance can cause minor problems which may lead to a major one such as engine failure. Routine maintenance helps in checking for minor issues such as leaks and cracks and saves the concerned parts from getting spoiled and requiring a major repair or replacement. Preventive car care extends the longevity of the engine and other components.
  1. Extends the life of the vehicle
    Keeping up with the car maintenance schedule helps in avoiding several problems such as unexpected car breakdowns and failure or malfunctioning of the cooling system. Regular car maintenance extends the life of the vehicle by reducing the wear and tear of its engine and other components.
    Regular car maintenance refers to many routine inspections such as:
  1. Oil
    Changing the oil every recommended number of miles is crucial to maintain the efficiency and working of the engine.
  1. Fluids
    Systems in your vehicle use fluids to function. These fluids are enclosed in tight chambers, so it is unlikely for them to evaporate. However, their quantity and the level of protection they offer reduce over time leading to more friction and wear and tear of the engine and other components.
  1. Tyres
    Maintaining the correct air pressure in your vehicle's tyres helps ensure all of them wear out equally. Air pressure checks can be done while refuelling as it does not take much time, prevents wear and tear and increases gas mileage.
    You may neglect car maintenance thinking that your motor insurance will pay for any major repairs or replacements. However, this is far from reality. Remember, car insurance policies typically exclude normal wear and tear of the vehicle parts, making regular car maintenance all the more essential. However, having car insurance is crucial to protect your finances if your four-wheeler is involved in an accident.
    Keeping up with the times, insurance companies have started letting customers buy insurance online. It is also necessary to renew your car insurance on time, which most insurers allow you to do online with just a few clicks and little to no paperwork. Just like online RTO services, online insurance purchase and renewal services save you time, money and energy. Moreover, you receive the policy document instantly via email. Purchasing car insurance online also helps you review insurers and eliminate having to work with agents. Additionally, buying car insurance online is also recommended by motor insurance experts.

While your vehicle may not be in use because of the lockdown, you must still ensure your essential documents such as your driving licence and car insurance are valid. The government and insurance companies are facilitating this through their online services to make your life easier. It is a good idea to use your time at home during the lockdown to ensure all your documents are up-to-date.