The Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Navi Mumbai seized not one but two heavily modified Scorpio limousines. One was modified to look like a stretched Hummer and the other was a regular Scorpio that hit the limousine button. Another thing that was common between these two limousines was that they were patently illegal. Basically,these vehicles did not confirm to the Central Vehicle Motor Vehicle Regulations (CMVR), which all cars running on Indian roads need to meet by law.
Now, what happens when the RTO seizes a vehicle that’s been modified illegally?
Well, it simply cancels the registration of the vehicle concerned, which means that the vehicle can no longer be run on Indian roads. For most vehicles and their owners caught on the wrong side of the law so far as illegal modifications are concerned, this usually results in the vehicle having to be scrapped. Yes, illegal modifications can lead to the scrappage of your car or motorcycle. So, if you drive a modified vehicle or plan to get one modified, be careful as it could very easily put you in the wrong side of the law. It could happen to you. Also see – India’s best modified cars
Why does the RTO cancel a modified vehicle’s registration?
The reason is simple. When a vehicle is built by a automaker, it has to meet various laws of the land, laid down in tge CMVR. These laws ensure that the vehicle is built robustly, and is not a danger to the people operating it and other road users. These laws also ensure that the vehicle confirms to the permissible pollution levels, both noise and air.
Now, when a vehicle is modified, it may no longer meet the CMVR, and may also be hazardous for occupant and road safety. If the RTO feels that the modifications are overdone, it can simply de-register the vehicle, making it unfit and illegal for public roads. Modified vehicles are also not covered under insurance, unless duly endorsed by the RTO and insurance company. Also see – 10 beautifully modified everyday cars
What do you do if you have already modified your vehicle extensively?
- Get the modifications endorsed by the RTO and the insurance company.
- If the endorsement is not possible, revert to stock specifications.
- Use the vehicle only on private roads.
- Scrap it.
Does the RTO come down heavily even only minor modifications?
As per law, any modification, minor or major, if not endorsed by the RTO and insurance company, is illegal. However, most RTOs don’t bother with slightly modified vehicles. The insurance company may use any modification to deny claims though. All said, if you drive a slightly modified vehicle, you could still be harassed by the RTO and traffic police. Also see – India’s crazily modified SUVs