Vehicle theft is a serious crime and very commonly seen in day to day life. However, citizens often don’t know how to report a vehicle theft and when to report it. The lack of trust in Police authorities also discouraged citizens to report vehicle theft. Sometimes, people also end up losing important documents along with the lost vehicle. A lost or stolen vehicle may be used for more criminal activities. Therefore, it is very important to immediately make use of legal routes to bring theft to public authorities’ notice. Let us see how this can be done.

 Registration of Police Complaint or F.I.R:

If your vehicle is stolen or lost, you need to immediately register an F.I.R or a Police complaint. Immediate registration of complaint ensures that if the vehicle is used for any criminal activities, the original owner will not be answerable for the crimes committed using the said vehicle.

Registration of complaints also makes it easy to claim insurance in a shorter period of time. If you have lost some important documents along with your vehicle, then the copy of a registered complaint or F.I.R can be used to submit a request for duplicate copies.

Steps to register a Lost-complaint for F.I.R:

There are several ways to register a lost-complaint if your vehicle is missing or stolen. Firstly, you should immediately call on 100 and submit your grievance on the Police Control Room (PCR). Having a record of a call made on PCR is helpful in various ways. Therefore, it is highly recommended.

It is extremely important to register a complaint as soon as possible. If any delay is caused, recovery of the stolen vehicle becomes very difficult, especially if the vehicle crosses the State border. If the delay is caused without any reasonable explanation, and meanwhile some criminal activity has been committed using the stolen vehicle, then the criminal liability for such crime will be placed on the owner of the car. Thus, immediate registration of complaint saves you from many problems.

After making a call on 100, make a list of documents and items that were inside the vehicle. It is recommended to keep photographs of original documents on email or at home.

Collect all the necessary documents which you have. Write an application on plain paper addressed to the nearest police Station informing of the vehicle theft. Your application must contain the following details:

1.      Time of the theft, and the last time you saw the vehicle.

2.      Place of Theft or parking address from where it was stolen.

3.      Details of the vehicle (color, model, registration number, and other crucial details).

4.      Photos of the vehicle. (if any)

5.      Items and documents that were stolen along with the vehicle.

6.      Attach all important documents along with the application like your Driving license, RC, insurance certificate etc.

Nowadays, it is possible to register a lost vehicle report to obtain an F.I.R through online portals. Each state has its own online website (or mobile application) for this purpose. You can obtain the information for the same by calling on PCR or dialing 100.

For instance, for the state of Panjab, you can register a lost-vehicle report through For NCT Delhi, you can go to and for the state of Uttar Pradesh, you can visit Uttar Pradesh Police portal here.

Once you register a Lost Vehicle Complaint, you will receive a signed F.I.R copy. If you register online, a signed F.I.R copy will be sent on your registered email id. Keep this copy safe as it will be used for various legal formalities.

After you receive the copy of F.I.R, you can straight away apply at the Insurance Company and inform of the vehicle theft. Insurance claims are passed if the vehicle remains non-traceable even after 60 days of F.I.R registration. Submit all necessary documents along with the F.I.R copy.

After applying at the Insurance office, you must inform of the theft at the RTO office as well. You can attach all the documents in your possession (RC, Insurance Certificate, Driving License and photos of the vehicle) and attach the copy of F.I.R.

Remember to adopt the following practices in daily life to avoid legal problems in event of vehicle theft:

1.      Never leave important documents inside your car/vehicle. Always carry insurance, driving license, Registration Certificate (RC) with yourself in your purse.

2.      Always keep the original copy of your documents in form of clear photos or scanned copies, preferably on your email accounts.

3.      Always keep a photo of your vehicle(s) with yourself as it can come very handy in event of theft.

4.      Remember to keep a photo or scanned copy of your important documents such as Aadhar card, voter-id, PAN card, etc. with yourself.

5.      Always make sure that the documents related to the vehicle are not expired, especially RC and Insurance Certificate.

Lastly, remember that registering an F.I.R is not enough. You must keep a check on the latest updates by the Police and keep checking if your complaint has been acted upon by the police. Recovery of stolen vehicles is as common as theft! Never give up hope and make sure that the Police authorities know that you are still waiting for the recovery of your vehicle.


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