How to Register Vehicle at India as Foreigner or is it even possible?

I had the same question couple of months ago and could not really find the definite answer to the question before I decided to try the process of registration myself.

I had a plan to purchase and register an auto-rickshaw on my name and drive all around India to see whole lot of the mysterious land. I prepared for the trip by buying books and reading online to find answers to pretty common questions ,but the only answer that I could not find was about the registration of a vehicle as foreigner, so I decided to write a GUIDE article about the process of how to register a vehicle in India as foreigner.

Before I begin to describe the process of registration of a vehicle in India as a foreigner, I would like to point out that if you are looking for an easy answer then you would be disappointed because there is no easy way.

One of the first issues what you will encounter while trying to register a vehicle on your name as a foreigner is that by Indian law you are supposed to provide a proof of residency in India.As a foreign national you probably do not have such evidence. So, What should you do?

Roadblock proof of residency in India Proof of residency is the most common issue that people run into




The first option for you is to ask from a local friend ( if you happen to have one ) that you would like to use their address as a proof of residency ,which means that the friend has to confirm that you are staying with them and provide the time period for how long you will be staying with them in written statement.

The second option is a tricky one ,but it’s exactly what I discovered for myself as I did not have any local friend. Ask from an accommodation that you are staying in to write a statement that you will be staying with them for the whole visa period. Of course there is a chance that the accommodation manager might refuse such request but it is worth to try.

Other than those two options above to acquire proof of residency, I do not know.


If by some luck you have managed to acquire the proof of residency ,then the next step for you would be to meet the states transportation commissioner to ask for a permission in written request to register a vehicle. There are no guarantees that you will get the permission as it greatly depends on your individual circumstances.


Once you have the permission from the secretary ,then your next task would be to acquire report of clearance from police super intendant ,which is pretty much all about them making sure that the vehicle you are about to register or purchase has no criminal history.


The fourth and also the final step to get your vehicle registered involves action from local District Transport Office (DTO). It’s fairly straightforward process as you will only have to submit the papers, that you have acquired from previous steps.

Once the office is satisfied with your paperwork you will be asked to fill out registration form and to attend for an inspection of the vehicle. Thereafter if all went according to the plan, you will have to pay road tax and registration fees.

Before you commit yourself to accomplish the task:

The whole process might take up to a month. Patience is the key to success because Indian officials will test your nerves and patience as they are slow to process any kind of documents and requests and it is common for them to change their minds overnight about any matter if they feel like it.

A lot of Indian officials are corrupt and they expect bribes to show any interest in the task at hand. There are no guarantees that you will succeed!

Comments 2

  1. Please show a picture of you and your vehicle and the papers. The last decades i have not met any foreigner who made it. They all got crazy after trying it in severale states without succeeding and simply drove the vehicle with a letter of authorisation from the previous owner…

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