Non-Karnataka vehicle owners burdened by high re-registration fee in Bangalore, ask CM to rationalise rules

There are thousands of vehicles with registration numbers indicating non-Karnataka states, plying in Bangalore. Many of them want to stay in Bangalore for only a year or two. Should they pay full life-time tax for their vehicle?

Non-Karnataka vehicles are a common sight on Bangalore’s roads. Pic: Nikita Malusare

You move in to Bengaluru from another part of India. You plan to move out after a few years. Along with everything else that you have to do to stay in the city, there’s something important you need to do: Re-register your vehicle and change the vehicle number. But is this a fair demand always?

Karnataka government laws mandate vehicles staying in Karnataka for more than 30 days to pay lifetime tax in lump sum, and then withdraw the balance amount from the government of the city where the vehicle was registered earlier.

Ankur Jain (name changed on request), an IT professional, a native of Delhi, has been using his Delhi-registered car in Bangalore for past 2 years. He would be moving out of Bangalore in next six months. But he has been affected greatly by the rule. He says, “ As per the rule, I’m expected to pay road tax which is 1/4th value of my car’s present value, which itself expires after four years… This rule is pretty stressful for thousands of techies who are always moving into different states.”

Bangalore has 6725 BMTC buses, which are insufficient to handle the task of providing quick and comfortable transportation for all. Auto rickshaws are an alternative, but may not be affordable to use everyday. Many are just more comfortable driving their own vehicles. The process of re-registration is now a problem for those who get transferred or change jobs.

A group of people have taken their concerns over re-registration of vehicles through a petition to Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, requesting him to rationalise the rules regarding to road tax for registering a non-Karnataka vehicle in the city.

The petition points that most of the floating population in Bangalore is here not for a long term. They come here for some project or studies which last for two to five years maximum. The petition requests the government to reduce the duration of road tax from 15 years to a 1 or 5 years, for a non-Karnataka registered vehicle.

“When we go back to the parent state, it is not that easy to get a refund from RTO. Re-registering vehicles all the time when we move from one state to another is difficult. It is not feasible for all to pay life time tax to each state they are moving in,” says the petition.

Did Karnataka neglect the orders of Union Ministry?

The petitioner refers to the 35th deliberation of TDC ( Transport Department Committee) held on 23rd October 2013, where the along with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Karnataka’s Transport Minister and Department Commissioner were also a part. In this, the committee decided to rationalise the road tax to 6%.

  • They decided to do away with the lifetime tax on vehicles plying in another state for a period of three months.
  • Full tax will be levied in new state if the vehicle is less than 2 year old, with refund from original state.
  • On two-wheelers, on interstate movement of vehicles permanently, full tax will be levied in new state if vehicle is less than two-year-old, with refund from original state, but no tax in new state will be levied if vehicle is more than two-year-old.
  • Interstate movement of vehicle temporarily will not be liable to any tax.
  • Tax will be levied on luxury car / LMV (having sale price of Rs. 10 Lakhs or more) at a discounted rate depending on age of car with refund from original state.

However, instead of following the recommendations given by the committee and the subsequent orders given by the Union Transport Ministry, the Karnataka government on February 2014 amended the Motor Vehicles Act to pay the life-time tax if the vehicle runs in the state for more than 30 days from the date of entry.

The petition objects to this: “The timeline of 30 days is too short for IT industry people as the project may last anywhere between two to five years. So, asking the people to pay 15 years’ life time tax for the stay of two years is something not feasible.”

The petition continues, “If the Karnataka government doesn’t want to stick to the rationalisation of taxes, paying annual tax for non-KA registered vehicles should be brought in. This will entertain people to voluntarily come and pay the annual tax, and it is a win-win situation for both public and the government.”

The petition ends by proposing that the movement of vehicles across states should be free: “We are marching towards ONE INDIA, we need to have rules in place where there should be a free movement of vehicles and people towards best national integration.”

Why the outrage?

In June, Bangalore Traffic Department had initiated a drive to penalise non-Karnataka vehicles in the city. In this, 100 vehicles were booked and almost 1 crore was collected as fine. There have been several incidents of alleged harassment cases reported on the facebook page, Justice for Non KA Registration Vehicles, which has united 6,534 non-Karnataka registration users in Karnataka.

Waseem Memon, crusader of this fight, approached Supreme court on Tuesday, 9th September 2014. He will also be holding a press meet soon, to explain the “atrocities” meted out to them by Karnataka Road Transport officials.

Also Read: How to re-register your vehicle in Bengaluru

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How to re-register your vehicle in Bangalore


  1. Sriram Narayanaswamy says:

    I’m not affected by this at all, but thanks to Waseem Memon and others who are bravely spending their efforts to fight this. I don’t dare harbour hopes that this will teach the Karnataka officials and politicians a thing or two about governance though.

    Maximum fees, minimum governance. That’s been Karnataka’s credo for about at least 2 decades now 🙁

  2. Virendra Kumar says:

    Life Time Road Tax (LTT) in Karnataka is levied at highest rate compared to any other Indian State/ Union Territory. Karnataka Govt’s rule to pay full life time tax on original value of a vehicle, even if the vehicle is say, 14 year old, is attrocious, to say the least. The Central Govt should take note of it suo-moto, and intervene. Simultaneously, a PIL should be lodged in HC/ Supreme Court.

  3. jag says:

    the way in which the bangalore roads are maintained… im not ready to pay one rupee as tax to Karnataka government which is churning out thousands of crores in tax earnings from the IT exports …..I dont see one cop in the road to maintain road traffic but millions standing in the nook and corners of the street to prey on public in fines….

  4. V K Venugopal says:

    I am a 62 year old Pensioner living in Kerala. My daughter works in Bangalore. We (me and my wife) and her in laws take turns to come and stay with her to look after her son. We stay here for 2-3 months, return to Kerala and again back to Bangalore after 2-3 months. This arrangement will be discontinued when my grandson starts going to school / day-care and I have no intention of settling at Bangalore. As the distance is only about 450 km, we always travel by my car. As per the new rules, I have to pay life time tax for my car in Karnataka, though my car stays in Bangalore only for less than 6 months in a year and never more than 3 months at a time.

    I have no identity documents in Karnataka. All my identity documents show my permanent address in Kerala. How can I get my car re-registered in Bangalore?

    I am willing to pay tax for one year (though we stay only for less than 6 months a year) for the car but asking me to pay tax for 15 years is high-handedness. The promise of refund is laughable. Everyone knows, it is extremely difficult to get refunds from Government and if at all you get, a good percentage of it will go as bribe. And think of having to do it twice – once in Kerala and again in Karnataka!

    Government’s intention of curbing tax evasion is understandable. But it should give the option to the vehicle owner to pay tax on yearly basis.

  5. Virendra Kumar says:

    Sh VK Venugopal has raised a very genuine difficulty. In my case, I had paid both life time road tax and Octroi Duty (which is quite high) on my new car in Mumbai. I had to pay LTT again in Bangalore on the original value of the Car. It is a herculean task to get any refund from Mumbai RTO, not even worth making an effort and Octroi, in any case, will not be refunded.

    I think that many other Readers, who have faced difficulties may like to bring out some other perspectives, to help Sh. Waseem Memon and Bangalore Citizens Matters to take up the matter with the concerned authorities.

  6. Ranjit Kumar says:

    Government has no right to trouble its citizen who have paid the lifetime tax in one state and have moved temporarily or permanently to another state. Their asking of Rs 1.2 Lacs for a two year old car shows how much they care for their voters.

    When we moved from Illinois state to Wisconsin state five years back in US, the clerk at the transport office in Madison explained to me that they are purchasing the registration of previous state from me and giving the registration of new state, instantly. All they charged was $25 as the fee.

    How difficult is it for the state governments in India to transact internally and leave us alone from the burdens of draconian NOC, paying lifetime tax again, getting refund from previous state, etc? Here is a simple solution for the governments – center should create a corpus fund, and in case a citizen is transferring vehicle from a small state (less tax) to a bigger state (more tax) then center should add the difference of amount from teh corpus fund. Similarly, if one is transferring from a bigger state to a smaller state then center’s corpus fund should get the difference. Largely this should even out, and in case there are differences, the difference should be collected as the new adjusted “equally divided” fee from each transferee, which would be a nominal amount. So that a vehicle purchaser does not take advantage of lower cost by purchasing the vehicle in a smaller state (less tax) and moving to a larger state, center should calculate the average tax and use that in all states for new vehicles. If there is a will, a way can be found. The problem is that the center seems to be lacking interest in being sensitive to the needs of its citizen.

  7. Virendra Kumar says:

    Sh Ranjit Kumar has given an excellent suggestion. “Bangalore Citizens Matter” and/ or Sh. Waseem Memon should sensitise S/ Sh. Nitin Gadkari and Sh Narendra Modi, who is committed to Digital India.

  8. Hombali V M says:

    It is time Rules and practices wrt private vehicles are changed so that need for re-registration is done away with altogether. One time registration of a new vehicle any where in India should be enough. Every state in India can share the LTT paid is an equitable proportion. Police and others can always trace the owner of a vehicle with support of IT. As regards revenue aspect a vehicle kept for use in a state will buy fuel and services that generates taxes and levies any way. Also consider the paper work and administrative load we will save in Government offices and for ourselves. Another suggestion, I know many will not like it, is to charge a little extra for fuel for outside the state vehicles.

  9. Vaibhav Arora says:

    Possibilities are limitless if the state is willing to try ! Lets say the abolish road tax at the time of registry instead charge Rs2/- per liter of fuel.

    Now the question of how is it fair to charge bikes, cars and trucks at the same rate would come up. Well to answer that is the fact that mileage for each of these would be different and hence per KM rate of tax earned would pro rate..

    Each state earns this for fuel used in the state.. no paper worries.. No harassment.. no tax avoidance..

    Also incentive for people to buy vehicles with better FE..

  10. Jaya Prakash says:

    Hi, when you are in Karnataka state and using its road, you are obliged to pay road tax.Even though you people spend lakhs on purchasing high end cars can’t you pay road tax of 18%. xxxxxxxxxxxxx [Edited by the editor]

    • sandip dey says:

      doo we get roads wrt to 18 percennt revenue collected.what is average car speed in daily life in bangalore

  11. Sriram Narayanaswamy says:

    ‘@Jaya Prakash, there’s no need for a hot(headed) response. You can see people are only venting their frustration at the system which seems bent on milking money from the public. They want the system to be reformed and made accountable.

  12. Ashish M says:

    ‘@Jaya Prakash – Looks like you haven’t lived outside your state. Moving with your family from one place to another is different level of heck and least of all Karnataka RTO rules make it much harder for a citizen to abide by them.
    I think laws are for people not for any governing body. Any law which cannot be abided is not a law but hypocrisy.

  13. Sundararajan Krishnamachari says:

    Actually the there should be only one India level road tax levied once. States should trasfer/re-trasnfer tax amount as required, when a person moves from one state to another.This is is a simple matter to do with technology and defintey for Bangalore, the hub of technology. Putting the onus of claiming the refund from the owner is nothing short of harassment. Anyway, if the matter is subjudice, can the authorties collect tax until the matter is settled?

  14. Sundararajan Krishnamachari says:

    Actually the there should be only one India level road tax levied once. States should trasfer/re-trasnfer tax amount as required, when a person moves from one state to another.This is is a simple matter to do with technology and defintey for Bangalore, the hub of technology. Putting the onus of claiming the refund from the owner is nothing short of harassment. Anyway, if the matter is subjudice, can the authorties collect tax until the matter is settled?

  15. Prasad Yadwadkar says:

    I think there should be a flat rate in all states of India…move to any state, if you have already paid one time tax (in the state where the vehicle is purchased) then the RTO of the state where you move should charge a flat rate of tax depending on the vehicle length & weight and it should be chargeable as 6mon/1yr and so on…people will keep renewing it as per their stay in the new state…. the new RTO will keep getting the money and people don’t have to pay a lumpsum LTT (which they have already paid)…
    but bottom line, the amount should not be huge…
    Waseem Memom — hum tumhare saath hai…

  16. Abhishek Singh says:

    Please don’t divide the country under so many clauses…As law abiding Citizens we have Registered our vehicles and paid Taxes at respective locations.. When we have the ‘ Right to Movement ‘ , We should be allowed the same under all possible situations… Paying Taxes all over again i feel is an infringement to My Right to movement…
    Request the honorable office bearers to kindly make provisions for the out of state vehicles… and set an example for other states to follow….

  17. Ranjit Kumar says:

    Look at the side-effects of an insensitive rule:
    a) Traffic cops are busy cashing in on unsuspecting vehicle owners when they should be helping the people and the traffic. I spend 1.5 hrs to travel 15 Kms one way in Volvo buses each day, with an average speed of 10 Kms an hour. With few foot over bridge in the city, traffic police should be there to help the pedestrians by periodically stopping the barrage of vehicles. However this is not a rewarding job for them, what will happen to the cashing in business then?
    b) Those ugly looking illiterate brokers and middlemen are cashing in at RTO offices. They lure vehicle owners promising that the “job” (i.e. re-registration) will be done in 60% of the quote (road tax) and since the amount is high (sometimes more than a lac) customers fall for it. These men with grey intentions cash in, and many a times do not even get the job done. Vehicle owners are left high & dry, losing money, time and re-registration becomes a farther mirage.

    I understand the Government at center or Governments at states are not ready to do the transaction among themselves. They must however acknowledge that they have failed the people who voted them to power. Now I realize this may only be one such instance where they show no empathy or care to the people – there may be several many more other areas where they would be doing the same dis-service to the very own people of the country.

  18. Ronnie Gracious says:

    I am one of those who belong to Waseem’s Facebook group. I drive a car which is registered in Kerala state. I have been having the car here for quite a while now. Nobody says Karnataka is greedy to ask for road tax from non-KA vehicles and nobody says that they wont pay it. But there should be some amount of rationality.

    For example I see no reason in paying a life time tax for my car which is already 7 years old in another state just because the state where I am now has the right to ask for it. If at all I am paying it, what exactly is the definition of a life time tax any way? However, I find it quite reasonable if I could pay it every year as I am on the roads (if there are any remaining) in Bangalore with a car registered in a neighbouring state of the same country treated like I smuggled the car like cocaine. You need to drop an anvil on the genius who came up with this idea.

  19. Shaikh M Hussain says:

    Finally what is the verdict of the court on the non KA vehicle????….. I really ashamed on the order passed by the Govt of Karnataka. No surprise, if they levy tax on the people migrating from other state. This is ridiculous & inhuman decision just to escape from the????? of Infra development in City. But forgets that outsider generates heavy revenue to the state….. these are foolish people can’t expect better things than this………….Given power to Traffic to exploit innocents .

  20. Amit Aherwar says:

    I have a car with Uttarakhand Registration and I purchased that vehicle by getting a car loan from bank.So it is still having HP on RC.So can any one help in guiding me that bank will not allow me to get it re-register in any different state but I cant even sale it out as its just 2years old car.So what shall I do ? I have to bring my vehicle here in Bangalore

  21. R says:

    Rather strange way of governance !! Having served in the Armed forces in nearly all border states including the 1971 war no one ever asked me why I was in the Punjab border though I come from another state.

    Urgent need to simplify and decongest the plethora of unnecessary rules.The main objective is to make life easier to live. Simple solutions like rationalising existing tax levy at the location of initial purchase of vehicle and make it applicable across the country.States are have been made for just administrative convenience, the entity is the country.Therefore, ease of movement or relocation from one state to another is a pre-requisite of good governance.
    Bureaucracy will continue to provide a number of reasons why this cannot be done.They are actually part of the problem!! Find some good people who can be part of the solution and things will be set right.e.g. Why aren’t we paying different rates of Income tax while working in different states??
    LTT(Life Time Tax) with all India applicability would be a prudent and practical solution.

  22. Virendra Kumar says:

    Citizen Matters should draw attention of the Hon. Union Transport Minister, Sh Nitin Gadkari, requesting him to examine the woes of non-Karnataka State registered private vehicles highlighted in this Article and Readers’ Comments and take appropriate action, suo moto.

  23. Anshul says:

    ‘@Jaya Prakash: No need of any hot headed reply. Even you know that its unfair. The government of India gives us freedom to live in any state within India. There is nothing like you are living in “Karnataka”, so you pay more road tax. Its just another state like any other state.

    Even the initial amount you are supposed to pay as RT for a vehicle is more than all the other states in India. A bullet costing around 1.9 lacs on road, will go upto 2.1 lacs in Bangalore. This needs some serious re-work from government.

    I agree with everyone here. We should propagate this to central government.

  24. Nanarayanan VADAKKEY CHANDRAMANA ILLAM says:

    I have a 1998 model Kerala registered Bullet being used in Bangalore for the last 1 year.
    Bike is already completed 17yrs . How to calculate LTT for that? . According to the chart, showing 25% of the bikes insurance value is less than 28,000/-
    Plz help me .How much i have to pay for LTT in Bangalore?

  25. Shrivardhan L Kerur says:

    Link Aadhar card or Passport or PAN card to RTO and centralize everything same as our IT and PF (which is now done with UAN). Complex documents and policies means higher collection and more public money extraction

  26. Bharti Lalwani says:

    People like Jaya Prakash will never know the unnecessary stress it causes people to go through a painful procedure like this because it appears that she has never been outside her state. In fact even if she goes outside her state she won’t face a problem because no other state has such ridiculous rules in place. If the government chooses not to consider all the requests for owners of non KA state registered vehicles then KA state vehicles should be banned in the entire country. They shouldn’t be permitted to even enter any state. I fail to understand why people can’t understand what others are going through before making such comments.

  27. Raghu honnudike says:

    Hi all doesn’t if this thread right place to post sorry.I recently purchased a bike from police auction which has no registration plate on it.when I went rto i was said that I have pay tax for the new vehicle price to register it, but the bike already 10 years (approximately).hoping that tax also as depreciated along the vehicles age. Would be great if any suggestion on how to register ,any person to meet in jayanagar rto.and how to get the original registration number of the bike.

  28. m.j says:

    Haai please help me and am going to take a car from Kerala and what should I do after bringing it to krnataka and re reg fee will be how much???

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