New Rules in Maharashtra: BH Series Numbers Restricted to Genuine Transfers

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Pune, 26th March 2024: Authorities in Maharashtra have announced new eligibility criteria for obtaining special BH (Bharat) series vehicle registration numbers, aimed at ensuring that these exclusive numbers are reserved for individuals with genuine transferable job requirements within the state.

Senior officials from the transport department clarified that mere employment in a company with multiple branches across India would not automatically qualify an individual for a BH series number. Furthermore, only one vehicle per person would be entitled to this special designation.

The decision to tighten the criteria for BH series registrations comes in response to instances where individuals, including lower-level employees such as clerks or peons in both public and private companies, who have neither been transferred nor are likely to be, have sought these numbers. Unlike standard registration numbers that entail a one-time tax payment, BH series numbers offer tax rebates and allow for biennial tax payments, making them an attractive option for many. Consequently, the government has revised regulations to ensure that these privileges are reserved for those who genuinely require them.

According to a senior official, the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) witnessed a surge in demand for BH series numbers following their introduction in 2021. In 2021, 122 individuals secured BH numbers, a figure that skyrocketed to 3,757 in 2022 and further to 7,139 in 2023. As of March 2024, 1,393 registrations had been issued.

However, concerns have arisen regarding tax compliance among BH number holders. Authorities are in the process of identifying individuals who have not fulfilled their tax obligations, with notices set to be issued accordingly.

To qualify for a BH series number under the new regulations, applicants must provide evidence of job transfer, such as an official company letter or payslip. Additionally, individuals must demonstrate ownership of the vehicle by furnishing bank transaction records indicating that the vehicle’s purchase was funded from their personal account. These stringent measures are aimed at ensuring the integrity of the registration process.

The revised regulations apply to employees of both state and central government entities, as well as private sector employees whose companies operate in four or more states. However, exceptions are made for defense personnel, who are eligible for BH numbers upon presentation of their identity cards.

Officials emphasize that the purpose of these regulations is to preserve the integrity of the BH series registration system and prevent misuse. They note that many individuals seek BH numbers as a status symbol, underscoring the importance of enforcing strict eligibility criteria to maintain the exclusivity of these registrations.