English | Dzongkha Sunday, May 16, 2021

Why transfer vehicle ownership after you sell your car?

Apr 8, 2021

When you part with your car, the usual practice is; get the cash, sign a sale deed and give the car key. Then most probably you look for another car. But what most people forget is to transfer the vehicle ownership. According to the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA), a vehicle owner will have to pay a penalty of Nu 100 a day after fifteen days of the sale deed if the ownership is not transferred to the buyer. The person will also be prohibited from obtaining any new vehicle registration.

As per the RSTA Act 1999, the Authority (have to) be notified of changes in the ownership or description of registered motor vehicles.

According to records with the RSTA, over 13,000 vehicles have either not updated their vehicle documents or not transferred vehicle ownership after selling. With an increasing number of second-hand car sales in the country, transferring vehicle ownership has become a must.

“Supposing I own a vehicle and I sell it to another person. If that person gets into any traffic infringement including car crash or has not updated annual vehicle documents, because the vehicle is still in my name, I will be held liable. So what that means is if I want to register another vehicle in my name, I will not be allowed to because there are negative records from my earlier vehicle,” said Tashi Dawa, the Director of the RSTA.

If a person sells a car worth Nu 500,000, the total sales tax of 1% will just amount to Nu 5,000 of the total cost of the car. If RSTA is to implement what it plans to, people who have sold their cars without transferring the ownership of the vehicle will now have to do it by any means to avoid probable problems.

“They will have to find a way to track the present owner of the vehicle. If the vehicle is scrapped off, and if it is no longer on the road or if it is beyond repair, they will have to report it to us. Then we will remove it from the system after paying the relevant penalty. Similarly, if the vehicle is sold outside the country by a third party or fourth party or by the individual owner, an individual can sell his or her vehicle outside the country upon deregistration from the RSTA and obtaining a no-objection certificate from the RSTA,” the director added.

Although there is no specific method to track people who have not transferred the vehicle ownership, the RSTA said that the owner will be caught and penalised after motor vehicle accidents or late renewal of documents. Today, there are over 100,000 motor vehicles registered with the RSTA in Bhutan.

Tshering Dendup

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