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THE MOTOR VEHICLES ACT, 1939

Title : THE MOTOR VEHICLES ACT, 1939

Year : 1939

ACT NO. 4 OF 1939 1*
[16th February, 1939.]

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to motor vehicles. WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to motor vehicles 2* * *;

It is hereby enacted as follows:-

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1. S.44(2) of this Act has been amended in its application to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by s.2 of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Regulation, 1940 (4 of 1940). The Act as applied to Railway Lands in Rajputana came into force on 13th January, 1944 see Notification No. P/1-36, dated 13th January, 1944, Gazette of India, 1944 Pt. I-A, p. 10. This Act has been extended to Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963, 2 and Sch. I. and to Goa, Daman and Diu with modification by Ref. 12 of 1962, s.3 & sch. This Act has been made applicable to Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh with certain modifications and adaptations ride G.S.R. 225, dated 15-2-1967, Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Pt. II, Sec. 3(i), p. 61. The Act has been amended in its application to Madras by Madras Acts 20 of 1948 and 44 of 1949 ; in Madhya Pradesh by C. P. and Berar Act 3 of 1948 ; in Uttar Pradesh by U. P. Acts 11 of 1948, 10 of 1951 and 42 of 1958 ; in Punjab by E. P. Act 28 of 1948; in Bihar by Bihar Act 27 of 1950 and in West Bengal by West Bengal Act 19 of 1951; in Madhya Pradesh by M.P. Act 9 of 1961; in Madras by Madras Act 19 of 1957 and in Rajasthan by Raj. Act 3 of 1961.

2 The words "in the Provinces of India" omitted by the A. O.

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CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY


 
(1) This Act may be called the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939.

1*[(2) It extends to the whole of India 2* * * :

Provided that Chapter VIII shall take effect in the State of Kerala only from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint ; and until that Chapter so takes effect in that State, Chapter VII of the Travancore-Cochin Motor Vehicles Act, 1125, shall have effect in that State as if enacted in this Act.]

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1. Subs. by Act 5 of 1960, s. 2, for sub-sections (2) and (3) (w.e.f. 15-7-1960).

2. The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 25 1968, s. 2 and Sch. (w.e.f. '15-8-1968).
 
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In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-
 
1*[(1) " Area", in relation to any provision of this Act, means such area as the State Government may, having regard to the requirements of that provision, specify by notification in the Official Gazette;

(1A) "Articulated vehicle" means a tractor to which a trailer is attached in such a manner that a part of the trailer is super-imposed on, and a part of the weight of the trailer is borne by, the tractor ;]

2*[(1B)] "Axle weight" means in relation to an axle of a vehicle the total weight transmitted by the several wheels attached to that axle to the surface whereon the vehicle rests ;

(2) "Certificate of registration " means the certificate issued by a competent authority to the effect that a motor vehicle has been duly registered in accordance with the provisions of Chapter III ;

3*[2A) "Commission " means the Inter-State Transport Commission constituted under section 63A ;

(2B) "Conductor", in relation to. a stage carriage, means a person engaged in collecting fares from passengers, regulating their entrance into, or exit from, the stage carriage and performing such other functions as may be prescribed ;

(2C) "Conductors licence " means the document issued by a competent authority under Chapter IIA authorizing the person specified therein to act as a conductor;]

(3) " Contract carriage " means a motor vehicle which carries a passenger or passengers for hire or reward under a contract expressed or implied for the use of the vehicle as a whole at or for a 4*[fixed or agreed rate or sum-

(i) On a time basis whether or not with reference to any route or distance, or

(ii) From one point to another, and in either case without stopping to pick up] or set down along the line of route passengers not included in the contract; and includes a motor cab notwithstanding that the passengers may pay separate fares;

5*[(4) "dealer" includes a person who is engaged in the manufacture of motor vehicles or in building bodies for attachment to chassis; -
 
(5) "Driver" includes, where a separate person acts as steersman of a motor vehicle, that person as well as any other person engaged in the driving of the vehicle ;

6*[(5A) " Driving licence " means the document issued by a competent authority under Chapter II authorising the person specified therein to drive a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle of any specified class or description;]

(6) "Fares" includes sums payable for a season ticket or in respect of the hire of a contract carriage ;

(7) " Goods " includes live-stock, and anything (other than equipment ordinarily used with the vehicle) carried by a vehicle except living persons, but does not include luggage or personal 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;

(8) "Goods vehicle " means any motor vehicle constructed or adapted for use for the carriage of goods, or any motor vehicle not so constructed or adapted when used for the carriage of goods solely or in addition to passengers

8*[(9) "heavy goods vehicle" means any goods vehicle the registered laden weight of which, or a tractor the unladen weight of-which, exceeds 11,000 kilograms;

(9A) "heavy passenger motor vehicle" means any public service vehicle or omnibus the registered laden weight of either of which, or a motor car the unladen weight of which, exceeds 11,000 kilograms,]

(10) Invalid carriage" means a motor vehicle the unladen weight of which does not exceed 7*[300 kilograms], specially designed and constructed, and not merely adapted, for the use of a person suffering from some physical defect or disability, and used solely by or for such a person; 9** * * * * *
 
(12) "Licensing authority" means an authority empowered to grant licences, appointed by the State Government by rule made under section 21 10*[or section 21J];

11*[(13) "Light motor vehicle" means a transport vehicle or omnibus the registered laden weight of which, or a motor car or tractor the unladen weight of which, does not exceed 13*[14*[4,000] kilograms];

19*[(14) "Medium goods vehicle" means any goods vehicle, other than a light motor vehicle, heavy goods vehicle or road- roller;

(14A) "Medium passenger motor vehicle" means any public service vehicle, other than a motor cycle, invalid carriage, light motor vehicle or heavy passenger motor vehicle;]

(15) "Motor cab " means any motor vehicle constructed, adapted or used to carry not more than six passengers excluding the driver, for hire or reward ;

(16) " Motor car " means any motor vehicle other than a transport vehicle, 15*[omnibus], road-roller, tractor, motor cycle or invalid carriage;

16*[(17) "Motor cycle" means a two-wheeled motor vehicle, the unladen weight of which, inclusive of the unladen weight of any detachable side car, having an extra wheel, attached to motor vehicle, does not exceed 600 kilograms;]
 
(18) "Motor vehicle" means any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads whether the power of propulsion is transmitted thereto from an external or internal source and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached and a trailer ; but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or

17*[A vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosed premises];

18*[(18A) "Omnibus" means any motor vehicle constructed or adapted to carry more than six persons excluding the driver;]

(19) "Owner" means, where the person, in possession of a motor vehicle is a minor, the guardian of such minor, and in relation to a motor vehicle which is the subject of a hire purchase agreement, the person in possession of the vehicle under that agreement;

(20) "Permit " means the document issued by 20*[the Commission or] a State or Regional Transport Authority authorizing the use of a transport vehicle as a contract carriage, or stage carriage, or authorizing the owner as a private carrier or public carrier to use such vehicle;

(21) Prescribed " means prescribed by rules made under this Act ;

(22) Private carrier " means an owner of a transport vehicle other than a public carrier who uses that vehicle solely for the carriage of goods which are his property or the carriage of which is necessary for the purposes of his business not being a business of providing transport, or who uses the vehicle for any of the purposes specified in sub-section (2) of section 42 ;
 
(23) "Public carrier" means an owner of a transport vehicle who transports or undertakes to transport goods, or any class of goods, for another person at any time and in any public place for hire or reward, whether in pursuance of the terms of a contract or agreement or otherwise, and includes any person. body, association or company engaged in the business of carrying the goods of persons associated with that person, body, association or company for the purpose of having their goods transported;

(24) Public place " means a road, street, way or other place, whether a thoroughfare or not, to which the public have a right of access, and includes any place or stand at which passengers are picked up or set down by a stage carriage;

(25) " Public service, vehicle " means any motor vehicle used or adapted to be used for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward, and includes a motor cab, contract carriage, and stage carriage ;

22*[(25A) "Rebuilt vehicle" means a motor vehicle rebuilt with an engine and a chassis both of which had not been registered under this Act as one vehicle;]

21*[(26) "Registered axle weight" means, in respect of the axle of any vehicle, the axle weight certified and registered by the registering authority as permissible for that axle ;]

(27) " Registered laden weight " means in respect of any vehicle the total weight of the vehicle and load certified and registered by the registering authority as permissible, for that vehicle ;
 
(28) " Registering authority " means an authority empowered to register motor vehicles under Chapter III;

23*[(28A) "Route" means a line of travel which specifies the highway which may be traversed by a motor vehicle between one terminus and another;]

(29) " Stage carriage " means a motor vehicle carrying or adapted to carry more than six persons excluding the driver which carries passengers for hire or reward at separate fares paid by or for individual passengers, either for the whole journey or for stages of the journey ;

24*[(29A) "tourist vehicle" means a contract carriage constructed or adapted and equipped and maintained in accordance with such specifications as the State Government may, by notification in the Official, Gazette, specify in this behalf;] 25* * * *

(30) "Tractor " means a motor vehicle which is not itself constructed to carry any load (other than equipment used for 26***; but excludes a road roller;

(31) " Traffic signs " includes all signals, warning sign posts, direction posts, or other devices for the information, guidance or direction of drivers of motor vehicles ;

(32) " Trailer " means any vehicle other than a side-car drawn or intended to be drawn by a motor vehicle ;

27*[ (33) Transport vehicle" means a public service vehicle or a goods vehicle;]

(34) Unladen weight " means the weight of a vehicle or trailer including all equipment ordinarily used with the vehicle or trailer when working, but excluding the weight of a driver or attendant ; and where alternative parts or bodies are used the unladen weight of the vehicle means the weight of the vehicle with the heaviest such alternative part or body ;

(35) " Weight " means the total weight transmitted for the time being by the wheels of a vehicle to the, surface on which the vehicle rests.
 
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1. Cls. (1) and (1A) ins. by Act 56 of 1969, s. 2 (w.e.f. 2-3- 1970). Amended in Pondicherry by Pondi. Act 16 of 1966 Amended in Mysore by Mysore Act 2 of 1967. Amended in Mysore by Mysore Act 9 of 1968. Amended in Madras by Madras Act 18 of 1968. Amended in Kerala by Kerala Act 16 of 1968. Amended in Kerala by Kerala Act 24 of 1969 Amended in Tamil Nadu by T.N. Act 18 of 1968. Amended in Rajasthan by Raj. Act 3 of 1969. Amended in Haryana by Haryana Act 15 of 1970. Amended in Kerala by Kerala Act 34 of 1971. Amended in Kerala by Kerala Act 35 of 1971. Amended in Kerala by Kerala Act 36 of 1971 Amended in Maharashtra by Mah. Act 10 of 1972. Amended in Meghalaya by Megh. Act 2 of 1974. Amended in Madhya Pradesh by M.P. Act 17 of 1973. Amended in Tamil Nadu by T.N. Act 48 of 1974. Amended in Maharashtra by Mah. Act 19 of 1975. Amended in Uttar Pradesh by U.P. Act 15 of 1976. Amended in Tripura by Tripura Act 10 of 1973. Amended in West Bengal by W.B. Act 15 of 1976. Amended in West Bengal by W.B. Act 33 of 1977. Amended in Kerala by Kerala Act 7 of 1977. Amended in Haryana by Haryana Act 15 of 1977. Amended in Punjab by Punjab Act 34 of 1978. Amended in Uttar Pradesh by U.P. Act 32 of 1978. Amended in West Bengal by W.B. Act 26 of 1978.

2. Renumbered by Act 56 of 1969, s. 2 (w.e.f. 2-3-1970).

3.Ins. by Act 100. of 1956, s. 2 (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

4. Subs. by Act 56 of 1969, s. 2, for certain words (w.e.f. 2-3-1970).

5. Explanation to cl. (3), and cl. (4), omitted by Act 100 of 1956, s. 2 (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

6. Ins. by Act 47 of 1978, s.2 (w.e.f. 16.1.1979)

7. Ins. by Act 100 of 1956, s. 2 (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

8. Subs. by s. 2, ibid., for the original el. (w.e.f. 16-2- 1957).

9. Subs. by Act 51 of 1960, s. 2, for "18,000 pounds avoirdupois" (w.e.f. 1-1-1961).

10. Subs. by Act 56 of 1969, s. 2, for "8.200" (w.e.f. 2-3- 1970).

11. Cl. (9A) ins. by Act 3 of 1951, S.3 and Sch. (w.e.f. 15-8- 1968). Sch.; omitted by Act 25 of 1968, s. 2

12. Subs. by Act 51 of 1960, s. 2, for "five hundredweight"' (w.e.f. 1-1-1961)

13. Cl. (11) omitted by Act 100 of 1956, s. 2 (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

14. Subs. by Act 47 of 1978, s.2 (w.e.f. 16-1-1979).

15. Added by Act 100 of 1956, s. 2 (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

16. Subs. by s. 2, ibid., for cls (13) and (14) (w.e.f. 16-2- 1957).

17. Subs. by Act 51 of 1960, s. 2, for "6,000 pounds avoirdupois" (w.e.f. 1-1-1961).

18. Subs. by Act 56 of 1969, s. 2, for "3,000" (w.e.f. 2-3-1970).

19. Subs,. by Act 100 of 1956, s. 2, for "locomotive" (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

20. Subs. by Act 56 of 1969, s. 2, for cl. (17) (w.e.f. 2-3- 1970).

21. Subs. by Act 100 of 1956, s. 2, for "used solely upon the premises of the owner" (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

22. Ins. by. s. 2, ibid. (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

23. Subs. by Act 47 of 1978, s. 2(w.e.f. 16-1-1979).

24. Ins. by Act 100 of 1956, s. 2 (w.e.f. 16-2-1957).

25. Subs. by s. 2, ibid., for the original cl. (w.e.f. 16-2- 1957).

26. Ins. by Act 47 of 1978, s. 2 (w.e.f. 16-1-1979).

27. Ins. by Act 56 of 1969, s. 2 (w.e.f. 2-3-1970).

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Last updated on August, 2016

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