Vehicle Permit – Although there is a significant movement of cross-border vehicular traffic between India and Nepal, there is no bilateral Motor Vehicle Agreement. Motor vehicle movement between the two countries is allowed based on the understanding reached between the two governments in the 1960s, which continues to date. The details of the present arrangements are as follows:
1. Nepal-registered vehicles
- a) Nepali vehicles, including two-wheelers, have free cross-border access to the nearest municipal town/marketplace or railhead in India, provided the vehicle returns to Nepal on the same day. No permit is required nor any levy or tax payable for such visits.
- b) For Nepali vehicles going to the interior parts of India (i.e., beyond the nearest marketplace or railhead) or for cars staying in India for more than a day, i.e., night halt, the owners of the cars are required to obtain a “Vehicle Permit” from the Embassy of India, Kathmandu or Consulate General of India, Birgunj or the Camp Office of the Embassy at Biratnagar. (The CDOs or other officers of the Government of Nepal are not authorized to issue these permits).
- c) Vehicle permits are issued on payment of specified fees and completion of prescribed formalities, including submission of a bank guarantee of the requisite amount. The vehicle permits can be obtained for a maximum validity of 3 or 6 months and single/double/multiple entries. The ‘Permits’ must be stamped by the Indian Border Check Post on entering and exiting the Indian territory.
- d) The Consulate General of India, Birgunj, issues vehicle permits in respect of vehicles falling under the eight districts of its consular jurisdiction, namely, Parsa, Bara, Makawanpur, Chitwan, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, and Dhanusha and registered either with Narayani or Janakpur Zonal Transport Office. Accordingly, only the vehicles with registration numbers with prefixes ‘Na’ and ‘Ja’ are advised to approach the Consulate General of India, Birgunj, regarding vehicle permits. Applications can be made on any working day between 0930-1230 hrs. The licenses are usually issued within three working days. The relevant forms/details can be downloaded from the list below:
- (i) Application Form
- (ii) Types of Permit and Fee Structure
- (iii) Requirement of documents, etc., and amount of bank guarantee
- (iv) Proforma of bank guarantee
- (v) List of border check posts in India and Nepal
2. Indian registered vehicles
- a) Indian vehicles, including two-wheelers, can visit the nearest municipal area/market in Nepal for day-long visits (return to India on the same day) without payment of any levy or tax. However, the vehicle owners must register the vehicle at the Nepalese border checkpost and obtain a Pass/Challan, which must be compulsorily returned to the Nepal customs authorities while returning to India.
- b) The Indian vehicles going beyond the nearest Nepali town or staying overnight in the bordering districts of Nepal are required to register the entry of vehicles for a specific number of days on payment of charges varying from NRs. 250/- to 500/- per day, depending on the type of vehicle. The Pass/Challan issued by the Nepali Custom Authorities should always be available for inspection. It must be surrendered to the Nepali customs authorities at the time of exit from Nepal.
- c) If the Indian vehicle enters Nepal on the day ‘Pass,’ it must return to India the same day. Similarly, the cars with ‘Pass’ for a specific duration must exit Nepal before the ‘Pass’ date expires and then re-enter on a new ‘Pass.’ Suppose, due to any difficulty, the vehicle has to overstay in Nepal. In that case, the vehicle owner should approach the nearest Nepalese Customs Office (Bhansar) or the Police Authorities to extend the ‘Pass’ period. The extension must be sought within the validity period of the initial permission/’Pass.’
- d) Indian vehicles cannot be retained in Nepal for more than one month, even on payment of charges.
- e) Indian vehicles found in Nepali territory without the said entry ‘Pass’ are treated as illegally smuggled into Nepal. The police seized these and later auctioned them by the Nepali customs authorities. Such stringent measure from the Nepali side is to curb the smuggling of stolen Indian vehicles in Nepal as well as the unauthorized commercial use of Indian vehicles in Nepal (The very high customs import duty on cars in Nepal tends to encourage the smuggling of stolen Indian vehicles in Nepal as well as commercial use of Indian cars in Nepal).
DISCLAIMER:- Vehicle Permit
The information above is for the guidance of owners of the Indian vehicles entering Nepal and should not be construed as the exact legal position.