Is it legal to wrap cars and motorbikes in India?
Is it legal to wrap cars and motorbikes in India? Wraps are becoming very popular in India. It is very easy to apply and can give a very fresh look to your vehicle without doing any mechanical changes. The wrap is not a permanent thing so it can be changed to a different one anytime by the owner if he wants to.
The question is, is it legal to wrap cars in India?
Indian laws regarding modification in vehicles are quite ambiguous. There are two laws that talk about vehicle modifications. They are: –
- Section 52 of Motor Vehicle Act as amended in 2000.
- Section 52- Diversification in Motor Vehicles.
To be clear, none of the sections talks clearly about wraps. The hearing by the Supreme Court bench headed by Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran, which cleared almost all the doubts regarding modifying vehicles but it still said nothing about vinyl wrap on a car. This was an important judgement that was given in January 2019 after which most of the cheap modifications which are very dangerous for other vehicles and pedestrians became explicitly illegal.
To clear my doubts regarding the legality of wraps, I contacted the District Transport Office (DTO) of my district and they said that all the wraps on cars, full or partial are legal as long as it is no different than the colour under which the vehicle is registered. For example, if you own a white car, you can only wrap it in white colour. And after wrapping too, you need to get approval from your DTO to stay out of the grey area.
They said that you can even wrap your white car in black but then you will have to apply to your DTO to get your registered again under the new modified colour. I personally won’t recommend you going through all that hassle as wraps get teared very easily and even the best quality wraps last a little over 1 year. So, after the wraps come down, you again need to go to your DTO office and change the registered colour of your vehicle.
So yes, wrapping is legal in India but you need to take approval from your DTO to make it street legal.