Friday, March 10, 2017

Off Topic: How to claim your unclaimed RC (Vehicle Registration Certificate)

Congratulations on your new car! Everything went off smoothly and all the nights spent researching the right car for you has finally paid off. You arrive at the showroom, sign a few papers, have a small celebration and drive your car home. You’re also told that the RC will be sent to your address in a few days. It’s so simple. What could go wrong?

Well… as it turns out, the day the postman came to deliver the RC to your place, you happened to be out. You return home to find a small slip of paper on your door, informing you to collect the RC from the RTO (Regional Transport Office). Now, for most RTO related issues, you can always get hold of an agent who’ll do it for you. However, I BELIEVE in this case, the owners themselves are required to collect it in person. (Although, I'm not a 100% certain on this.)

How do you go about it? How do you claim your unclaimed RC? Read on to find out.

(Side note: This procedure is for a visit to the Andheri West RTO (Mumbai). However, the process should be similar to most RTOs in the country)

Step 1: PREP!
Before you visit the RTO, have the following with you. It’ll save you a lot of hassle and (additional) running around.
-Tax certificate and car invoice. I just carried my entire document folder to be safe.
-ID proof (PAN, Aadhar, Passport). Original + copy
-Address Proof copy (Aadhar, passport, phone bill, etc) This should have the same address as mentioned on your RC
- A Pen

Helpful Tip: Have a back up of all your important documents on you phone. In case you forget to carry your documents, you can always get them printed at the shop around the corner.

Step 2: Visit the RTO
IMPORTANT: When I called up the RTO, they told me that the RC collection can be done on Tuesdays or Fridays, between 10:30AM and 3PM. This is incorrect. The correct timings are 10:30AM to 2PM.

Step 3:
Head to the second floor and ask for the server room (I’m going to abbreviate this to SR). As soon as you're there, you'll realise that there is no concept of a que. So you will be required to wrestle your way to the window (it helps if you're tall) and let them know that you have an unclaimed RC. They’ll check the status and give you the date on which it was sent out from the RTO (or returned to the RTO - I’m not quite sure). Make a note of this date as this is important.

Step 4:
Head to ‘Window No. 7’ (I’m going to abbreviate this to W7) and tell them that you have an unclaimed RC. You’ll get a form, which you need to fill out. Of course, to make things cumbersome, the form is in Marathi. Fortunately, you can ask what's needed to be filled in. Information required is your name, license plate number and the date on which your RC was sent to your place. This is where you enter the date given to you at the SR. Submit that, along with an id proof copy. The person behind the counter will have a look and then ask you to check the status of the RC back at the SR.

Step 5:
Go back to the SR and check the status of the RC. Mine was “unclaimed RC”, which basically means that you missed out on collecting your RC when it was delivered to your address.

Step 6:
Armed with this information, head back to W7 and let the person behind the counter know. If you visit the RTO early, It should be possible to collect your RC on the same day. Unfortunately for me, I reached 5 minutes before it was shutting (I was misinformed about the timings on the phone) hence, I was asked to collect it the following Tuesday.

Step 7:
Go back to W7, submit the form (which they gave back to you), and someone will fetch the RC from a pile of unclaimed RCs on the desk behind them. Submit a copy of you ID and address proof (can be the same if you have something like a passport). They’ll sign it, attach a few more papers and ask you to deposit the fee.

Step 8:
Head to Window No. 17 (cashier) and deposit the fee. In this case it was Rs. 50. You’ll be handed a receipt that you need to submit at Window No. 8.

Step 9:
Hand over the entire lot of papers to the person at Window No. 8, sign against your name in the register and you will FINALLY be handed over your RC.

Step 10:
Keep that thing safe! And next time you buy a car, try and be home when the RC is delivered.

Now I am aware this is technically a watch blog, but I just wanted to share this with anyone who’s in a similar situation and is not being able to find a solution to their problem.

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