Moving your bike between states in India

Posted by Amit Shah on May 11, 2005

I got my bike (a Suzuki Fiero) to Bangalore some 2 months back. My dad sent it via train and sent the receipts here by courier. I expected the bike to arrive in Bangalore some 5 days after it was sent; so me and Lokesh, my colleague, went to the railway station to get it. It helped immensely that Lokesh knew exactly where cargo is unloaded and where we will find the bike. However, it wasn't to be found in the rooms at the rail station, so we set out on all the platforms (around 8 of them) to check if it was just unloaded off a train. No luck there either. Around 30 mins of roaming across the entire Bangalore station in the hot sun isn't what we were expecting when we started, but at least we didn't have to deal with unhelpful officers anywhere. We asked a porter to inform us when the bike was unloaded and we then set off.

The next day I received a call from the porter saying the bike had arrived. Being a Saturday, I was in no mood to go and collect it before the offices closed (which was half to one hour later), inspite of being in office. (This was the first and last time I was at office on a Saturday).

The following Monday, Lokesh and I again went to the office and found the bike there. I had to pay some money to get it off, which was strange. However, I at least got a bill for that. Paid some money to the porter, got it cleaned, found out they had damaged the fuel pipe, some petrol was wasted before I switched off the cork again. A long trudge again to find some garage, and dragging the bike in the hot sun isn't fun.

Garage found, new pipe installed, we set out happily back to the office. Great, no further incidences.

However, the road tax has to be paid for the state of Karnataka if you're going to be riding the bike for > 1 month. So I went to the Indiranagar RTO, where I collected a couple of forms (printed in Kannada), which were to be filled. The officers weren't particularly unhelpful, so that helped not lower my spirits.

The officer to whom I was supposed to submit this form directed me to a copy stuck on a cupboard facing him where the English translation of the form. After quickly filling it and shelling out Rs. 1500 (approx), I got my tax receipt. I don't know what happens to the similar amount of money I spent for the Road tax in Maharashtra; I don't know if I'll get that back.

The registration number has to be changed, it seems, if you're going to be riding in Karnataka beyond a year. That, however, needs an NOC from the Maharashtra RTO, which takes a lot of time and money. I've not got that done yet.

If you're planning to get your bike to a different state from where it's registered, get the road tax filed at least. Especially in Bangalore, since there are traffic policemen at every corner, and they spring up when you least expect them. They also check for your breath late nights (especially on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) to make sure there aren't drunk people driving out there.

And with around 5 robberies reported every week on the streets of Bangalore, the policemen have set up barricades all across the town and checking for all sorts of papers related to the bikes and cars. Non-Karnataka registered vehicles of course are a prime target. Good to spend some money in paying the taxes rather than wasting time and money later on.