The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 – Definitions of important terms

NO. 59 OF 1988
[14th October, 1988.]

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to motor vehicles.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows –


1.Short title, extent and commencement
(1)This Act may be called the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
(2)It extends to the whole of India.
(3)Itshall comeinto forceon suchdate1*astheCentral Government may,by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different State and any reference in thisAct tothe commencementof this Act shall, in relation to a State, beconstrued asa referenceto the coming into force of this Act in that State.
2.In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires –
(1)”area”,in relation to any provision of this Act, means such areaas theState Governmentmay, havingregardtothe requirements ofthat provision,specify by notification in the Official Gazette;
(2)”articulated vehicle”means a motor vehicle to which asemi traileris attached;
(3)”axleweight”means in relation to an axle of a vehicle thetotalweight transmittedby theseveral wheels attachedto that axle to the surface on which the vehicle rests;
(4)”certificateofregistration”meansthecertificateissued bya competentauthoritytotheeffectthatamotor vehiclehasbeendulyregisteredinaccordancewiththe provisions of Chapter IV;
(5)”conductor”,in relationto astage carriage, meansa person engagedin collectingfares frompassengers,regulating their entranceinto,orexitfrom,thestagecarriageand performing such other functions as may be prescribed;
(6)”conductor’slicence”meansthe licenceissuedbya competent authorityunder ChapterIIIauthorisingtheperson specified therein to act as a conductor;
1.1. 1-7-1989, vide Notification No. S.O. 368(E), dated 22-5-1989, Gazette of India, Extra ordinary, 1989, Pt. II; Sec. 3(ii).
(7)”contractcarriage”meansa motorvehicle whichcarries apassenger or passenger or passengers for hire or reward and is engaged under acontract, whetherexpressed orimplied, for the use of such vehicle asa wholefor thecarriage of passengers mentioned therein and enteredinto by a person with a holder of a permit in relation to such vehicle or any person authorised by him in this behalf on a fixed or an agreed rate or sum –
(a)on a timebasis, whetheror not with reference to any route or distance; or
(b)from one pointto another, and in either case, without stopping topick upor setdown passengers not included in the contract anywhere during the journey, and includes –
(i)a maxi cab; and
(ii)a motor cabnotwithstanding thatseparate faresare charged for its passengers;
(8)”Dealer”includes a person who is engaged –
(a)in the manufacture of motor vehicles; or
(b)in building bodies for attachment to chassis; or
(c)in the repair of motor vehicles; or
(d)In the businessofhypothecation,leasingorhire-purchase of motor vehicle;
(9)”Driver”includes, in relation to a motor vehicle which is drawn byanother motor vehicle, the person who acts as a steersman of the drawn vehicle;
(10)”drivinglicence”meansthe licenceissued by a competent authority under Chapter II authorising the person specified therein to drive, otherwise than as a learner, a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle of any specified class or description;
(11)”educationalinstitution bus”means anomnibus, whichis owned bya college,school or other educational institution and used solely forthe purposeof transportingstudentsorstaffofthe educational institution in connection with any of its activities;
(12)”fares”includes sumspayable fora seasonticket orin respect of the hire of a contract carriage;
(13)”goods”includeslive-stock,andanything(otherthan equipment ordinarilyused withthe vehicle)carriedbyavehicle except livingpersons, butdoesnotincludeluggageorpersonal effects carried in a motor car or in a trailer attached to a motor car or the personal luggage of passengers travelling in the vehicle;
(14)”goodscarriage” meansany motorvehicleconstructedor adapted for use solely for the carriage of goods, or any motor vehicle not so constructed or adapted when used for the carriage of goods;
1.Omitted by Act 54 of 1994, s. 2 9w.e.f. 14-11-1994).
(15)”gross vehicle weight”means in respect of any vehiclethe total weightof thevehicle and load certifiedand registered by the registering authority as permissible for that vehicle;
(16)”heavygoods vehicle”means anygoods carriagethe gross vehicle weightof which,or atractor ora road-rollerthe unladen weight of either of which, exceeds 12,000 kilograms;
(17)heavypassenger motorvehicle”meansany publicservice vehicle orprivate servicevehicle or educational institution bus or omnibus thegross vehicleweight of any of which, or a motor carthe unladen weight of which, exceeds 12,000 kilograms;
(18)”invalid carriage”means a motor vehicle specially designed and constructed,and notmerely, adapted,for theuse ofa person suffering fromsome physical defect or disability,and used solely by or for such a person;
(19)”learner’s licence” means the licence issued by a competent authority under Chapter II authorising the person specified thereinto drive asa learner,a motorvehicleoramotorvehicleofany specified class or description;
(20)”licensing authority”means an authorityempowered to issue licencesunder Chapter II or, as the case may be, Chapter III;
(21)”lightmotor vehicle”means a transport vehicle or omnibus the grossvehicle weight of either of which or a motor car or tractor or road-rollertheunladenweight ofany ofwhich, does not exceed 7,500 kilograms;
(22)”maxicab”means anymotor vehicle constructed or adapted to carry morethan sixpassengers, but not more than twelve passengers, excluding the driver, for hire or reward;
(23)”medium goods vehicle”means any goods carriage other than a light motor vehicle or a heavy goods vehicle;
(24)”mediumpassenger motorvehicle”meansany public service vehicle orprivate servicevehicle, oreducational institutionbus other thana motorcycle, invalidcarriage, lightmotor vehicle or heavy passenger motor vehicle;
(25)”motorcab”means anymotor vehicle constructed or adapted to carry notmore thansix passengersexcluding the driverfor hire or reward;
(26)”motorcar”meansany motor vehicle other than a transport vehicle,omnibus,road-roller,tractor,motorcycleorinvalid carriage;
(27)”motorcycle”meansa two-wheeled motor vehicle,inclusive of anydetachable side-carhaving anextra wheel,attached tothe motor vehicle;
(28)”motorvehicle”or”vehicle”meansanymechanically propelled vehicleadapted for use upon roads whether the power of propulsion istransmitted thereto from an external or internal source and includesa chassisto whicha bodyhas not been attached and a trailer; butdoes not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle ofa special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosedpremises ora vehiclehaving lessthan fourwheels fittedwithenginecapacityofnotexceedingthirty-fivecubic centimetres;
(29)”omnibus”means any motor vehicle constructed or adaptedto carry more than six persons excluding the driver;
(30)”owner”meansa person in whose name a motor vehicle stands registered,andwhere suchperson isa minor,the guardian of such minor, andin relationto amotor vehicle which is the subject of a hire-purchase, agreement,or an agreement of lease or an agreement of hypothecation, theperson inpossession ofthe vehicleunderthat agreement;
(31)”permit”meansapermit issuedbyaStateorRegional Transport Authorityor anauthority prescribedin this behalf under this Actauthorising theuse ofamotorvehicleasatransport vehicle;
(32)”prescribed”means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(33)”privateservice vehicle” means a motor vehicle constructed or adaptedto carrymore thansix personsexcluding the driverand ordinarily usedby oron behalf of the owner of such vehicle for the purpose ofcarrying personsfor, or in connection with, his trade or business otherwisethan forhire orreward butdoes notinclude amotor vehicle used for public purposes;
(34)”public place” meansa road,street, wayor other place, whether athoroughfare ornot, towhich thepublic have a right of access, and includes any place or stand at which passengers are picked up or set down by a stage carriage;
(35)”publicservice vehicle”means anymotor vehicleused or adapted tobeused for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward, includesa maxicab,a motor cab,contractcarriage,andstage carriage;
(36)”registered axle weight”means in respect of the axle of any vehicle, theaxle weightcertified and registered by the registering authority as permissible for that axle;
(37)”registering authority” meansanauthorityempoweredto register motor vehicles under Chapter IV;
(38)”route”means aline of travel which specifies the highway which maybe traversedby amotor vehiclebetween one terminus and another;
(39)”semi-trailer”means a trailer drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructedthat apart ofit is super-imposed on, and a part of its weight is borne by, the drawing vehicle;
(40)”stage carriage”meansamotorvehicleconstructedor adapted tocarry morethan sixpassengers excludingthe driver for hire or reward at separate fares paid by or for individual passengers, for the whole journey or for stages of the journey;
(41)”StateGovernment”inrelation toa Union territory means theAdministratorthereofappointedunderarticle239ofthe Constitution;
(42)”Statetransport undertaking” means any undertaking providing road transport service, where such undertaking is carried on by –
(i)the Central Government or a State Government;
(ii)anyRoadTransportCorporationestablishedunder section 3of theRoad TransportCorporations Act, 1950; (64 of 1950.)
(iii)anymunicipality orany corporation or company owned or controlledby theCentral Governmentor oneor moreState Governments, orby theCentral Government and one or more State Governments.
Explanation.–For the purposes of this clause, “road transport service” means a service of motor vehicles carrying passengers or goods or both by road for hire or reward;
(43)”touristvehicle”meansa contract carriage constructed or adaptedandequipped and maintained in accordancewithsuch specifications as may be prescribed in this behalf;
(44)”tractor”meansamotorvehiclewhichisnotitself constructed tocarry anyload (otherthan equipmentusedforthe purpose of propulsion); but excludes a road-roller;
(45)”trafficsigns”includesall signals,warning sign posts, direction posts,markings ontheroadorotherdevicesforthe information, guidance or direction of drivers of motor vehicles;
(46)”trailer”means any vehicle, other than a semi-trailer and a side-car, drawn or intended to be drawn by a motor vehicle;
(47)”transport vehicle” means a public service vehicle, a goods carriage, an educational institution bus or a private service vehicle;
(48)”unladen weight”meansthe weightof a vehicle or trailer including allequipment ordinarilyused withthe vehicle or trailer when working,but excludingthe weight of a driver or attendant; and where alternativeparts orbodies are used the unladen weight of the vehicle meansthe weightofthevehiclewiththeheaviestsuch alternative part or body;
(49)”weight”means thetotal weighttransmitted forthe time being bythe wheelsof a vehicle to the surface on which the vehicle rests,

One thought on “The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 – Definitions of important terms

  1. Dear Madam/Sir,

    Construction vehicle’s operator license is required.Kindly give your suggestion in this regard.

    With Regards

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