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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a notification modifying the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, to make it essential for transport vehicles to get a fitness certificate from a registered Automated Testing Station (ATS). From next year, all transport vehicles will be required to get statutory fitness certificates solely from automated testing centres. The ATS would provide a two-year fitness certificate for vehicles under eight years old and a one-year certificate for vehicles older than eight years old.

According to the notification, such verification will be required for Heavy Goods Vehicles/Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicles beginning April 1, 2023, and for Medium Goods Vehicles/Medium Passenger Motor Vehicles and Light Motor Vehicles (Transport) beginning June 1, 2024. Before publishing the final notification, the ministry had issued a draught notification suggesting the rule changes and had given stakeholders 30 days to comment and raise concerns or ideas.

The many tests required to assess a vehicle's fitness are automated using mechanical equipment at an Automated Testing Station (ATS). The need will be implemented incrementally. Last year, the ministry stated that institutions such as special purpose vehicles, state governments, enterprises, associations, and private bodies may be permitted to open ATS for the purpose of assessing the fitness of both personal and transport vehicles. Personal cars (non-transport) are subjected to fitness testing at the time of registration renewal (after 15 years).