Saw someone zipping past in a vehicle and want to know his/her name? That vital piece of information, which can later lead to much else, is now only an SMS or a simple Web search away.
A sharp rise in road accidents and several other instances of hit-and-run accidents have prompted the RTO or the Road Transport Office to introduce a new, more effective mode of service for the masses. To track down a vehicle during road mishaps and in an attempt to spread general public awareness, the RTO has introduced a new SMS system, using which users can track vehicles without much hassle.
In an era when we are all becoming more concerned about privacy, a service that gives away a vehicle owner’s personal details via SMS is sure to raise some heckles.
On the face of it, this may appear to be helpful data that could come in handy during road accidents and rash driving cases, before purchasing a second-hand vehicle or for law enforcement and investigation purposes.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways made it possible for anyone to send an SMS to 7738299899 with the message ‘VAHAN’ and a vehicle number, to fetch the name of the owner, vehicle name, RC/FC expiry date and motor vehicle tax paid up to time.
The road transport ministry in association with National Informatics Centre (NIC) developed this SMS and web-based applications for queries about the genuineness of vehicles, RC Driving Licence Details.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has developed search systems accessible through both SMS and Web for the use of Common Citizen to be provided free of cost. To get the details using SMS a person will have to use :
For RC Status Check: VAHAN <registration no> and send the SMS to 7738299899
Example: VAHAN DL3CAP9473 → 7738299899
Details will come by return SMS. However, it needs to be noted here that all the data that one can avail of from this SMS service only belong to vehicles registered or transacted in an RTO after 2003.
In addition to the SMS service, details about the owner of a vehicle can also be easily determined using one of the many vehicle registration search services on the official websites of the transport departments in several states.
While many of them require additional details such as chassis or engine numbers before displaying search results, there are a few that throw opens their entire cache without any barrier whatsoever.
The use of registration numbers by Patna police exemplifies how the free flow of information can actually be helpful.
The service can prove to be useful in preventing fraud in second-hand sales and bring in more accountability among motorists.