RSTA submits suggestions to MoIC to solve vehicle ownership transfer issues

A person selling a vehicle should report to the authority within 15 days of the sale and transfer the ownership as per the RSTA Act 1999

The Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) has made some suggestions to solve the issues related to the transfer of vehicle ownership to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC).

“The announcement will be releasing soon,” said RSTA’s Planning Officer Leki Choda, adding that after the first announcement people have come forward to change ownership and that some people still inquired them regarding the date of sale deeds and vehicle quota ownership change.

He said after the approval of some suggestions by the MoIC, the implementation of the rules and regulation on the vehicle ownership transfer will be authentic so that people will not have any issue.     

According to the RSTA, the authority is finding it increasingly challenging to track down the transfer of vehicle ownership while selling and buying of vehicles. It is in fact the main issue for the authority as most people do not report to the authority after they sell their vehicle and many people do not transfer the vehicle ownership after selling and buying vehicles in the country.

According to records with the RSTA, the number of people who report to the authority on the ownership transfer is not high, though the selling and buying of second hand vehicles in the country is increasing every year.

“As of now, around 145 people have come forward to the RSTA office to change the ownership and hundreds of inquiries from the people are made every day,” said RSTA’s Chief Regional Transport Officer, Prem P. Adhikari.

He said that a person selling a vehicle should report to the authority within 15 days of the sale and transfer the ownership as per the RSTA Act 1999.

“If the owner (seller) has gone to another country or died, a family member of seller can be used to sign the respective documents,” he added.

While transferring the ownership, a buyer should also pay a movable property transfer tax of 1% of the total vehicle cost. However, the tax also depends on the depreciation value.

Apart from the requirements during ownership transfer, RSTA has also been getting inquiries from people on clearance certificate from the Central Registry (CIB).

RSTA’s Leki Choda said a maximum number of people after selling and buying vehicles do not report to the authority.

“It is the fault of the sellers who are the owners of the vehicle. If anything happens to the vehicle the responsibility will fall on the vehicle owner,” he said.

He said the reason for not reporting to the authority after selling the vehicles could be because of the very high cost of taxes on movable property transfer before and incidences of high outstanding debts on vehicle renewal too.

Leki Choda said there used to be a high penalty charge of Nu 100 per day. “We have looked in so many issues related to it and will soon encourage the people to renew their vehicle ownership and it has reduced outstanding debts.”

According to him, the RSTA is also in the process of discussing whether the obligation should be of the seller or to the buyer, or to share the cost between the seller and buyer. Because the present regulations state that the obligation is for the seller for ownership transfer.

“The authority is also looking into the possibility of making payment on the transfer of ownership tax to encourage people to come forward for ownership change,” Leki Choda said.

According to the RSTA, vehicle ownership transfer within 5th year from the date of registration, particularly for third country import vehicles, registered in the name of diplomats/expatriates must produce tax clearance certificate from the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue and Customs).

All vehicles that were exempt from Tax/Duties during initial purchase must produce tax clearance certificate at the time of the transfer of ownership.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu