The Motor Vehicles Department is regulated by the Government of Kerala in terms of policy formulation and its implementation. The Department is administered by the Transport Commissioner who is the Head of Department.
The main functions of the Department are:
- Enforcement of the Motor Vehicles Act and Rules
- Registration of vehicles
- Collection of taxes and fees
- Rendering services like grant of driving licences, issue of certificate of fitness, grant of permits to vehicles, etc.
Apart from this more importance is also given to Road Safety measures and to the Control of Automobile Pollution.
Motor Vehicles Department is one of the significant revenue earning departments of the Government. Government has taken several measures to make the functioning of Regional Transport Offices more people friendly and efficient.
Agents and touts have been removed from the Regional Transport Offices. It has not only helped to smoothen the functioning but also eradicated the evils of corrupt practices in offices. The common man is emboldened to approach the offices for legitimate service without aid and support of agents and touts.
- An effective and efficient any service any counter system has been introduced in all offices to render various services to public.
- The policy of accepting only one application form from a person has been introduced.
- The system of issuing computer generated acknowledgment slip for application and records has been introduced.
- The date of test and venue of the driving test are informed to the applicant on the day of passing of learner's test.
- The procedures are accepting motor vehicle tax and fees are simplified in order to avoid long queues and crowding in front of the Regional Transport Offices.
- Introducing onetime tax system has restricted the frequent visits of the vehicle owners to the Regional Transport Offices for the payment of tax.
- One time tax up to 15 years, in respect of newly registered motor cars, motor cycles, scooters, three wheelers, etc. has been introduced with effect from 1st April, 1998.
- The owners of two wheelers below 95 cc have been given the facility to pay vehicle tax in lump for 5 years or 10 years or 15 years at their choice.
- The facility of payment of vehicle tax in respect of private vehicles and fees, through FRIENDS Citizens Integrated Service Centre at Thiruvananthapuram and all district head quarters has been introduced.
- Physically handicapped persons, including the blind and the deaf, with more than 40% disability are exempted from payment of motor vehicles tax for their motor vehicles for their own use.
- A Public Grievance Redressal Cell is functioning in all offices of the Department.
Introduction of Smart Card:
As part of Modernisation it is proposed to introduce the Smart Card and Smart Optical Card technology in the issuance of driving licenses and issuance of Certificates of Registration respectively. The Smart Card has an embedded microchip enabling it to process and store information. The electronic data stored in the micro chip of the Smart Card is capable of being read and written using terminals and devices.
Control of Automobile Pollution:
The emission of smoke from automobile is now posing a serious threat to human health. Government is giving more important to control vehicular pollution. In this regard, smoke testing equipments has been provided to all Regional Transport Offices with a view to conduct check of automobile pollution. In addition licenses have been issued to start automobile pollution testing centers in private sector. 105 such centers were licensed in private sector. Carrying of pollution under control certificate(PUCC), in vehicles, is made mandatory.
Steps have been taken during recent times to improve road safety. In this regard, a High Level Committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of the Additional Chief Secretary to Government, in May 1997.
The following measures have been implemented on the recommendations of the above committee.
- Driving test has been made strict and rigorous.
- Standards have been fixed for the driving test.
- Driving License test conducted by a team of 2 officers of different ranks.
- Super checking on driving test is introduced.
- The number of candidates to be tested on a day is fixed at 40.
- Driving licences are issued on the same day and dispatch by post.
- An objective type written test is introduced for obtaining learner's driving licences.
- The procedures for the grant of International Driving Permit has been simplified to the extent that the applicant need not produced either VISA or Air Travel Ticket and also need not undergo the test of proficiency in driving.
- The procedures for the grant of driving licences to non-resident Keralites who hold a valid foreign licence are simplified to the extent that they do not undergo the driving test.
- The procedures in the issue of Certificate of Fitness to vehicles have been revamped. The Certificate of Fitness test is made more efficient and transparent.
- Super Checking is introduced in Fitness Tests.
- The Certificate of Fitness is issued on the same day.
- The Regional Transport Officer and Joint Regional Transport Officer will inspect vehicles over 20 years of age.
- Speed checking of vehicles is introduced with the help of latest Intersepter Vehicles during 2007.