Drivers can expect new vehicle registration rules

Drivers can expect new vehicle registration rules

The State Duma plans to change the current rules for state registration of vehicles. Thus, the amendments introduced in parliament will complicate the procedure for deregistering a car for citizens planning to enter into a purchase and sale agreement in simple written form. But Russians will have the opportunity to register a vehicle with the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate without presenting an MTPL policy. The amendments have already been criticized in the Duma Committee on the Financial Market and the Russian Union of Auto Insurers.

The State Duma Committee on Transport yesterday recommended adopting amendments to the law on state registration of vehicles in the first reading. The bill, introduced by the head of the committee, Evgeny Moskvichev (United Russia), could be considered as early as the end of September.

The current legislation regulating registration procedures establishes that the owner, when selling a vehicle, enters into a purchase and sale agreement (SPA; in simple written form, notarized or executed through the public services portal) and deregisters the car by submitting an application to the traffic police in electronic form or by appearing at the inspection unit in person. But this can be done no earlier than ten days from the date of the transaction - this time is allotted to the new owner to register the car. However, often, as stated in the explanatory note, the previous car owner receives fines from cameras during these ten days for violations committed by the new owner.

The amendments will allow a citizen to rent a car on the same day that he sold it, if the purchase and sale agreement is drawn up through State Services or with the help of a notary. The current version of the bill does not provide for the option of deregistration under the DCT in simple written form at all. However, according to Kommersant, a government review is already being prepared, in which deputies will be asked to still leave this opportunity to citizens, but in a reduced form. Having completed the DCT in simple written form, you will need, as today, to wait ten days and then go to the traffic police (it will no longer be possible to deregister the car through Gosuslugi). At the department, the original document will be taken from the seller and the data will be checked.

If it later turns out that the DCP is fake (the driver, for example, executed a fictitious transaction in order to avoid receiving fines from cameras), then the citizen can be held accountable under Art. 327 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Forgery of documents,” says Kommersant’s interlocutor familiar with the development of the amendments. Now the traffic police only has a copy of the contract, which makes it difficult to carry out an examination.

A number of drivers resort to the DCP trick. One of them, for example, was the popular blogger Edward Beale. After a scandalous accident in April 2021 in Moscow, it turned out that he regularly drove over the speed limit in an unregistered car and did not receive fines. In 2022, the traffic police announced amendments to the legislation to solve this problem.

Mr. Moskvichev also proposed to cancel with his amendments the obligation to present a compulsory motor liability insurance policy when registering a car. Let us note that this has long been proposed by representatives of the State Traffic Inspectorate. Registration of a car does not automatically mean that the vehicle will participate in traffic, as follows from the explanatory note. Insurance is required when the driver interacts with other road users. Evgeny Moskvichev, speaking at the committee yesterday, recalled plans to introduce automatic control of the presence of compulsory motor liability insurance using traffic cameras (this has been discussed for many years) and noted that no one is removing the obligation from the traffic police to check policies when supervising traffic. In 2021, we would like to remind you that the authorities abolished the mandatory MTPL check when issuing diagnostic inspection cards.

These plans were criticized in the Duma Committee on the Financial Market (the conclusion of the head of the committee, Anatoly Aksakov, was published in the State Duma database). Control of compulsory motor liability insurance by inspectors “is carried out very selectively,” he writes. While checking the vehicle license during registration “provides a much greater coverage of controlled persons,” the committee believes, and if it is abolished, then some citizens will drive without compulsory motor insurance (this happens now, but the phenomenon will become larger, Mr. Aksakov predicts). All this “will have a detrimental effect on law-abiding road users,” the deputy is sure, since when drivers get into an accident with cars without compulsory motor insurance, they have to recover damages from the culprits through the court. Mr. Aksakov asks that the bill be sent to the Central Bank for assessment.

The criticism was also supported by the Russian Union of Auto Insurers. There, Kommersant was told that the abolition of the MTPL check during registration would “stimulate” management without policies. “Driving without compulsory motor liability insurance is prohibited by law; it is legally impossible to get to the registration point without a valid policy, that is, at the time of registration of the vehicle, its owner must still have a policy,” the union noted.

“The cancellation of the MTPL inspection is justified for the traffic police, but for insurers it is a mega blow,” said Anton Shaparin, vice-president of the National Automobile Union (NAU). Changing the registration procedure, he believes, will only make life more difficult for citizens. Electronic DCTs, says Anton Shaparin, are not popular; to issue such documents, an enhanced electronic signature is required. A trip to the traffic police with a paper contract is complicated by queues at the departments, the expert explains, and a visit to a notary is an additional expense. At the same time, Anton Shaparin believes, the bill will not solve the problem of cars with fictitiously discontinued registration, which in fact continue to participate in traffic (according to US estimates, we are talking about approximately 6.8 million vehicles). NAS believes that the law on vehicle registration requires the seller to notify the traffic police about the fact of selling the car, and the Code of Administrative Offenses should establish fines for violations.

The bill also introduces a number of other norms that do not apply to a wide range of citizens, like those mentioned above. In particular, it is planned to allow the registration of cars put on the international wanted list through Interpol (today this is prohibited). This amendment is needed to “realize the rights of residents of new regions to register their vehicles, which are unlawfully and unreasonably put on the wanted list by the Ukrainian side,” the explanatory note says. A framework norm is being introduced into the law; the details of the procedure itself will be described later in an order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Ivan Buranov

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