The order issued earlier this week is the third extension for validity of motor vehicle documents in India in view of the COVID-19 pandemic
In view of the coronavirus pandemic that hit India in March this year, there has been a complete standstill where the automobile sector is concerned. Auto companies shut down plants, showrooms and dealerships since 25th March 2020 when the Government of India declared a total lockdown across the country. Sales dipped to zero units in April 2020 and it is only now, following the Unlock 1.0 that there is a slow opening up of factories and other business.
It was due to this scenario in the country that the Road Transport and Highways Ministry offered some extensions in terms of registrations for new cars/bikes, issue of new driving licenses and re-validation of the same and the issue of permits and fitness certifications which expired on 1st February 2020. As per the new orders, these will now be valid till 30th September 2020. This extension is being granted from an earlier cutoff date of 30th June to 30th September.
Earlier the deadline was 30th June, but to help owners during the current period of COVID-19 pandemic and due to conditions of social distancing and prevention, a gazette notification was issued on 21st May relaxing fee validity under Rule 32 or Rule 81 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, till 31st July 2020.
In view of the extended lockdown and considering the present scenario that seems to be getting worse, latest sanctions have once again been given till 30th September as many government transport offices across all states and union territories have not yet opened or are functional with skeleton staff.
The ministry has requested all states and union territories to implement this advisory so that no one operating their vehicle during these trying times faces any difficulties or harassment with the transport authorities.
Though this extended date to 30th September is also applicable to third party insurance, it does pose a problem in the case of a damaged component, the warranty of which will expire on the usual date. The owner will also be applicable for a late fee, could lose provisions to a no claim bonus and will have to get the said vehicle physically examined.
The IRDAI also announced a withdrawal of long term third party motor insurance for 3 and 5 years from 1st August 2020. This decision was taken in the view that it was unaffordable to vehicle owners while there is the possibility of forced selling or high loan rates that policy holder had to face.