FAQs on Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

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  • Last Updated on 29 June, 2021
 
The Motor Vehicles Act,1988 was enacted with a view to consolidate and amend the laws to motor vehicles.With rapidly increasing motorization, India is facing an increasing burden of road traffic injuries and fatalities. Therefore, in order to improve road safety and transport system, it became necessary to amend the Act. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was brought to amend the Act. 

Below are the FAQs on Motor Vehicles ( Amendment) Acts, 2019: 

1. What are the aims and objectives of amendments made to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by the Motor Vehicle ( Amendment ) Act, 2019? 

With rapidly increasing motorisation, India is facing an increasing burden of road traffic injuries and fatalities. The road transport sector also plays a major role in the economy of the country. Numerous representations and recommendations in the form of grievances and suggestions from various stakeholders were received by the Central Govt., citing cases of increase in road accidents, delay in issue of driving licences, the disregard of traffic rules and regulations, etc. Therefore, in order to improve road safety and the transport system, it became necessary to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (the Act) to address safety and efficiency issues in the transport sector. Hence, the amendments by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 (i.e. 2019 Amendment Act).

The amendments address “the issues relating to road safety, citizen facilitation, strengthening public transport, automation and computerisation”. The amendments mainly focus on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens’ facilitation while dealing with the transport department, strengthening rural transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services. While replying to the debate on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha on 31-7-2019, the Minister of Road Transport & Highways said that the objective of the amendments was to provide an Efficient, Safe and Corruption Free Transport System in the Country.

The amendments inter alia provide for the following, namely—

(a) to facilitate grant of online learning licence;

(b) to replace the existing provisions of insurance with simplified provisions in order to provide expeditious help to accident victims and their families;

(c) to increase the time limit for renewal of driving licence from one month to one year before and after the expiry date;

(d) to increase the period for renewal of transport licence from three years to five years;

(e) to enable the licensing authority to grant licence even to the differently abled persons;

(f) to enable the States to promote public transport, rural transport and last mile connectivity by relaxing any of the provisions of the Act pertaining to permits;

(g) to increase the fines and penalties for violation of provisions of the Act; and

(h) to make a provision for protection of Good Samaritans.

2. What is the effective date from which the amendments become applicable? 

The 2019 Amendment Act has 93 sections which make amendments to the Act. In view of section 1(2) of the 2019 Amendment Act, the amendments shall come into force from a date/dates to be notified by the Central Government. Different dates may be appointed for coming into force of different amendments.   The Central Government has, vide Notification No. S.O. 3110(E), dated 28.08.2019,  brought most of the amendments of the Act in force.

3. Is there any simplification of procedure for application for learner’s licence? 

Yes. The following amendments which simplify the procedure for learning licence come into force from 01.09.2019:

i)  Application for L/L may be made to any Licensing Authority in the State in which applicant ordinarily resides or carries on business. No need to apply to Licensing Authority having jurisdiction in area of applicant’s residence or business.

ii) Online submission of application, fees and documents enabled.

iii) No need to attach medical certificate to application for learner’s licence except where application is for learner’s licence to drive transport vehicle.

4. Is there any simplifications of procedure for application for driving licence? 

Yes. The following amendments which simplify the procedure for learning licence come into force from 01.09.2019:

i) Application for D/L may be made to any Licensing Authority in the State in which applicant ordinarily resides or carries on business. No need to apply to Licensing Authority having jurisdiction in area of applicant’s residence or business.

ii) Removing the requirement for minimum educational qualification for applicants for licence to drive transport vehicles as long as the applicant holds a certificate from a driver training school or establishment.

iii) The period for renewal of transport/commercial licence from three years to five years. 

iv) In case of D/L to drive a transport vehicle carrying goods of dangerous or hazardous nature, the period for which D/L will be effective has been increased from one year to three years. The condition that renewal of D/L will be subject to the condition that driver undergo a one day refresher course has been replaced by the condition that renewal of D/L shall be subject to such conditions as the Central Government may prescribe.

Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019

 5. What are the changes to the validity period of non-commercial D/Ls? 

The following Table summarises the changes applicable with effect from 01.09.2019:

Sl. No.

Applicant’s age on date of issue/renewal of D/L

Period for which D/L shall be effective if issued/renewed under existing provisions

Period for which D/L shall be effective if issued/renewed under amended provisions applicable with effect from 01.09.2019

(i)

Below 30 years of age

20 years

Till the date such person attains the age of 40

(ii)

30 years or more but less than 50

20 years from date of 

 

issue/renewal or till the date the person turns 50, whichever is earlier

 

10 years

(iii)

50 years or more but less than 55

5 years

Till the date such person attains the age of  60

(iv)

55 years or more

5 years

 5 years

6. Does D/L remain valid for a period of 30 days after expiry under amended provision applicable with effect from 01.09.2019 also? 

No. The proviso below section 14 of the Act provides that every D/L shall be deemed to be effective for 30 days after the date of this expiry. The 2019 Amendment Act omits this proviso with effect from 01.09.2019. 

7. What are the effects of omission of 30 days validity after expiry in 6 above? will it apply to old driving licences also? 

Yes. It appears so. However, section 15 of the Act has been amended to allow a licence holder to apply for renewal of licence any time in a window of one year before expiry of licence and one year after its expiry. 

8. Should I wait to apply for D/L or apply for renewal of D/L till 01.09.2019 or later or should I apply on or before 31.08.2019? Which is more advantageous? 

It depends on your completed age as on date of issue of new D/L or renewed D/L. See Table in Para 5.7-1.

9. If I appear for a competency test and pass on 30.08.2019/31.08.2019, will I get a driving licence with a validity period as per existing provisions? 

Yes.

10. If I appear for the competency test on 30.08.2019/31.08.2019 and fail but pass in my next appearance in September 2019, will I get a driving licence with a validity period as per existing provisions? 

This matter will require clarification by the Government. However, it would appear from wordings of the provision “person obtaining the licence” and “on the date of issue” that date of application is not material to decide whether existing provisions apply or amended provisions apply but date of issue of the licence. So date of issue of D/L will be date of passing. Hence, validity period will be as per amended provisions applicable from 01.09.2019 as per Table in Q.5 above.

11. If I apply for competency test date on 30.08.2019/31.08.2019 but I get date only in September then will Driving licence be issued as per existing provisions or as per amended Provisions? 

This matter will require clarification by the Government. However, it would appear from wordings of the provision “person obtaining the licence” and “on the date of issue” that date of application is not material to decide whether existing provisions apply or amended provisions apply but date of issue of the licence. So date of issue of D/L will be date of passing. Hence, validity period will be as per amended provisions applicable from 01.09.2019 as per Table in Q.5 above.

12. Wheather simplifications in third party insurance have been made applicable? 

No. The amendments relating the third party insurance and Claims Tribunals will not come into force with effect from 01.09.2019. These will come into force from a date to be notified by the Central Government.

13. Whether registration of motor vehicles by declared have been made applicable? 

No. These provisions have not been made applicable with effect from 01.09.2019. These provisions will come into force from a date to be notified by the Central Govt.

14. Whether there is any simplification for the procedure for change of residence or place of business in RC? 

Yes. Section 49 of the Act to simplify the process for recording change of residence on registration certificate by means of online application process.  The existing provisions of sub-section (1) of section 49 requires that for change of address on RC the owner of vehicle will have to make the application to the registering authority in whose jurisdiction the new address falls. In a digitized world, the geographical limits should not be imposed on citizens. Accordingly, the 2019 Amendment Act substitutes the words “registering authority, to that other registering authority” in sub-section (1) with the words “State, to any registering authority in that State”. Further, new sub-section (1A) has been inserted in section 41 to provide that “intimation under sub-section (1) may be sent to the appropriate registering authority in electronic form along with the electronic form of such documents, including proof of authentication in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government”. The amendment also enhances the penalty for failure to provide the new information in a timely manner (i.e. within 30 days of change of address) from Rs. 100 to Rs. 500. This is understandable as since process has been simplified, non-compliance becomes all the more inexcusable.   The above amendments come into force from 01.04.2019.

15. What are provisions for liability of guardian or owner of vehicle, as the case might be, for any offence under this Act committed by a juvenile and the liability of juvenile? From what date these are applicable? 

The provisions of sub-section (5A) and section 199A deal with this issue. Both these new provisions come into force from 01.09.2019. Get complete information on Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 here in this book.  


Also Read: Offences and Punishment/Fine under the Amended Motor Vehicles Act

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