The process of buying a vehicle will now remain incomplete without the registered owner's mobile phone number.
The government issued an order on Wednesday, making it mandatory for dealers to collect the phone numbers to "improve the quality of public service".
Existing owners, too, will have to give their phone numbers in self-declaration forms that will be available across all regional transport offices. The transport department is in the process of uploading the form on a website for easy access.
The order was circulated among the public vehicles department in Bhowanipore, Salt Lake and Kasba apart from the regional transport offices on the city's fringe and in the districts.
Also, police in Calcutta, Salt Lake, Howrah and Barrackpore and the director-general have been notified about the order.
While selling a vehicle, a dealer would have to verify the mobile phone number of the person who would be the registered owner and submit it in Form 21.
The dealer and the registered owner will be held accountable for incorrect information, the order said.
The number will be fed in the transport department's software against the name of the owner. It will be used to send SMS alerts on a range of issues starting with registration renewal date and pending taxes, if any.
"If a registered owner doesn't submit his phone number now, he/she will have to do it during future transactions like paying taxes or registration renewal fees," a transport official said.
There have been many instances in the past when transport officials failed to contact a registered owner because of invalid phone numbers. Often, the numbers belong to those who turn up to pay fees or taxes on behalf of the owners, the official said.
"Once the new system is in place, messages or alerts will reach the registered owners," he said. "In many cases, owners forget registration renewal dates and end up paying hefty fines. Phone numbers will ensure they get alerts on time."
Feeding the phone numbers of existing registered owners into the transport department's software can take more than six months.
3 hurt in accident
Three men were injured when the Toyota Innova they were travelling in climbed on the footpath after hitting a minibus on Narkeldanga Main Road on Wednesday.
Naresh Agarwal, 57, the owner, was at the wheel with his driver Shiv Kumar Thakur seated beside him when the accident occurred around 6.55am, police said. Agarwal's neighbour Kailash Tandia was seated behind.
Tandia and Thakur were taken to hospital immediately but it took almost 40 minutes to bring Agarwal out of the mangled car, an officer of Phoolbagan police station said.
A police ambulance provided him with oxygen support during that time.
All three were discharged after fist aid.