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Automated fitness tests mandatory for heavy vehicles from FY24

Come April next year, all heavy vehicles — goods and passenger — will have to mandatorily get the fitness test done in automated service stations (ATS). Medium goods and passenger vehicles as well as light motor vehicles (transport) will have to follow the same process from June 1, 2024.

In a gazette notification, issued on April 5, the ministry of road transport and highways said that fitness certificate of the vehicles will have to be renewed every two years for vehicles up to eight years old. For vehicles of above eight years, the fitness certificate has to be renewed every year.

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At present, fitness tests on vehicles done manually are also acceptable. The changes have been brought in through an amendment on Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. The Central Motor Vehicles (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2022, under which the new rules have been brought in, will take immediate effect.

The changes are part of the vehicle scrapping policy the government has already formulated, aimed at creating an ecosystem to phase out unfit and polluting vehicles in the country. A notification that provides for recognition, regulation and control of ATS has come into force with effect from September 25, 2021.An ATS is like a doctor who will prescribe whether a vehicle is fit for the road or not after testing.

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Under the vehicle scrapping policy, if fitness and its registration certificates are renewed, a private vehicle can ply on the roads even after 20 years of first registration and a commercial vehicle beyond 15 years. However, increased fitness fees and re-registration charges would act as a deterrent for an owner to retain old vehicle.

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