Long drives or road trips are a great way to enjoy the journey en route to a destination. It allows you to explore the countryside and travel to a place at your own pace. But before you head out for a long drive or on a road trip, you must remember to carry certain documents while travelling long distances by road to avoid falling into any legal trouble.
As per the motor laws of the country, every car owner should carry certain documents if used on public roads. When going for a road trip or on a long drive, there are more chances of encountering a police check post, toll, etc. where you may be asked for your car’s documents. Police often check random cars on the highway or state borders and may ask you to produce these documents.
Besides, if you are driving to another state, there are more chances of your car being stopped by the authorities as compared to a car from the same state. Therefore, it is important to have all your car documents in order and carry them with you during your long drive or road trip to avoid any trouble.
Take a look at the following vehicle documents checklist while going for a long drive or a road trip:
First and foremost, you must carry the registration certificate or RC of your car with you on a long drive or a road trip. RC is the most important document related to a car. It is an official document that proves that the car is legally registered and you haven’t stolen it. It also consists of technical details regarding your car, including the vehicle’s registration number, name of the car owner, his/ her address, the chassis number of the car, etc. If you are car is inspected, this is the first document that you will be asked to provide.
Another document required while driving is a valid car insurance certificate of your car while on a road trip or a long drive. As per the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, every car in India plying on public roads must be covered under an insurance policy with at least third-party cover. This means if your car is stopped on the highway or at the destination, you will be asked for your car insurance document. In case you are unable to produce it, you will be liable to pay a fine or may be jailed.
Make sure to carry a duplicate copy of your car insurance policy during your long drive/ road trip and leave the original policy document back at home. You can also carry a soft copy of your car insurance policy in your phone or email. If you compare car insurance plans and buy the best car insurance for your vehicle online, your motor insurance company will send your policy document to your registered email id.
Make sure to also carry your driving license while going for a road trip or a long drive. A driving license is an official document issued by a Regional Transport Office (RTO) confirming that you have cleared the driving test and are qualified to drive a car. Driving a car without a valid driving license is a punishable offence. Moreover, if your car gets damaged on the road trip while you were driving in the absence of a driver’s license, you will not be eligible to raise an insurance claim. Even the best car insurance companies will reject your claim under such circumstances.Thus to avoid any legal trouble you must carry your driving license with you.
Lastly, you must carry a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate of your car during your road trip/ long drive. The PUC certificate is a document declaring that the gases/ smoke emitted from your car meets the emission standards set by the relevant authority. It states that the emitted gases/ smoke is not harmful and does not cause pollution. The PUC certificate is issued at the pollution check kiosk located at authorized petrol pumps. The process is computerized and you need to produce your car’s RC to initiate the procedure. The PUC certificate is valid either for three or six months and therefore, should be renewed before expiry. If you are caught driving your car without a valid PUC certificate, you may be penalized.
You May Also Read: How To Get PUC Certificate
The above-mentioned documents are mandatory to be carried out whenever you are going on a long trip.
Here are some other necessary documents that you may or may not need on a road trip. However, just to be safe and free from any legal trouble, make sure to carry these as well:
You may like to Read: 9 Things to Keep in Mind in Case Your Car is Stopped by the Traffic Police
If a road trip or long drive is on the cards, you must check the following things before commencing your trip:
Do not forget to check the battery condition of your car before the trip. Make sure that the electrical charging system of your car’s battery is functioning smoothly. A dying or corroding battery could lead to a sluggish sound when starting your car. In case of corrosion, remove the white chalky substance from the battery before the trip. In case your battery is dying, expired or is more than three years old, you must replace the battery with a new one before you commence your trip.
You must also check the air pressure in all the tyres of your car before starting your trip. Make sure that the tyres are not under or over-inflated as it can result in a bumpy ride, premature wear of the tyres, overheating or a blowout. Moreover, you must also check the treads on your tyres as your car will easily skid if the treads are not very deep. Also, don’t forget to check the spare tyre of your car for the same things.
Another important thing to check before going on a long drive/road trip is the fuel level in your car. You must fill up the fuel tank of your car adequately to ensure that you don’t face any trouble during your journey.
Besides the fuel in your car, you must also check other fluid levels in your car. Engine oil, brake oil as well as fluids for the radiator, transmission, power steering, windshield, etc. help in the smooth functioning of your car. You can check the level of engine oil in your car using a dipstick. You must refill these fluids in your car if they are not adequate.
Before you begin your road trip, you must check the condition of the brakes in your car. A fault brake will give warning signs, such as a grinding and squeaking sound, sponginess of the brake pedal and shaking of the steering wheel. In case of these signs, you must check the brake pads, drums, hoses and rotors apart from the brake fluid.
Travelling is the best way to take a break from your daily mundane activities. Impromptu long drives and road trips have their own charm. But if you don’t want your trip to get spoilt, you must remember documents to be carried while driving during your trip, that includes RC, Certificate of Insurance and PUC certificate of your car and driving license of everyone who will be taking the wheel. Also, compare car insurance plans by different motor insurers before choosing the best car insurance policy as per your vehicle’s needs.
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