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Vehicle Records to Incorporate Aadhaar-Linked Phone Numbers Following Concerns Raised in Kerala High Court

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LI Network

Published on: 19 August 2023 at 11:23 IST

In a proactive move aimed at preventing unauthorized vehicle ownership transfers and addressing concerns of fraud, the Kerala Motor Vehicle Department has taken the decision to include the registered owner’s mobile phone number, linked to their Aadhaar, in vehicle documents.

The decision, reported by Mathrubhumi, is a strategic step to counter instances of fraudulent vehicle ownership transfers that have occurred without the knowledge or consent of the rightful owner. In the past, any phone number could be listed on vehicle registration documents, but under the new guidelines, only the phone number associated with the owner’s Aadhaar card will be accepted.

To enhance security, one-time passwords (OTP) will be dispatched to these registered mobile numbers for all transactions, including those involving the transfer of ownership.

This move comes in the wake of a recent plea presented before the Kerala High Court that advocates for the incorporation of Aadhaar authentication as a means to verify vehicle ownership and deter fraud during ownership transfers.

The petitioner, a woman who fell victim to such a fraudulent scheme when her estranged husband illicitly transferred her car’s ownership, raised concerns about vulnerabilities within the ownership transfer process.

The petitioner pointed out various shortcomings in the existing ownership transfer mechanisms, including:

  • The Parivahan website enabling ownership transfers with only a copy of the vehicle’s registration certificate, irrespective of any financial obligations.
  • Sole reliance on OTP authentication, allowing the associated phone number to be changed without the owner’s awareness.
  • Lack of a mechanism to ensure the authenticity of signatures on Form 29 and 30.

In response, Justice Murali Purushothaman of the Kerala High Court, after issuing a notice to relevant parties, acknowledged the gravity of the situation, terming it “a dangerous situation.”

The notice was directed towards the Central government, the State Transport Commissioner, the Regional Transport Officer, and the petitioner’s husband.