Off late there had had been talks about motorcycles being exempt from obtaining a permit for crossing Rohtang Pass. This however is not the case. All non HP vehicles to obtain permits for Rohtang Pass, whether two or four wheelers,from Manali SDM office before continuing to Rohtang Pass. This was bought into effect to control the huge traffic jams near Rohtang top but why only non HP vehicles were asked to obtain the permit is beyond me because majority of the vehicles plying on this route are HP registered.
Timings for the SDM Office are 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM, closed on national or local Holidays, Sundays and Second Saturdays. Phone numbers for the SDM office are 01902-254100 and 01902-254200. Documents required to obtain the permit are a copy of your driving license and vehicle’s registration certificate. There is no charge / fee to obtain the permit as of now. All you need to do is reach the SDM office with the above mentioned documents after 10 AM, fill up the required application form and that should suffice but there is no saying how long it may take there.
Also read: How to Obtain Rohtang Pass Permit?
What it means for tourists? Well for people visiting only Manali it doesn’t make much of a difference but people who are planning to go beyond Rohtang towards Leh or Spiti, It either means a delay of an entire day or to start from Manali almost by 11 AM (If you were lucky enough to get the permits within an hour) and risk getting stuck in traffic at 2ohtang Top.
There is an alternative to it though. When you reach Manali, inquire about 2ohtang permits at the point where you pay for Manali entrance fee. While there is no charge at the SDM office; getting the permits here will cost you money which can be around Rs. 100 / person. Reason is simple, they are not suppose to distribute permits here but a few government employees; and a couple of cops have made this under-the-table arrangement to earn some more money. In my opinion, this isn’t a bad arrangement at all because it means I don’t have to wait till 10 AM the next day; and can be on my way to Rohtang early in the morning.
Non HP vehicles to obtain permits for Rohtang Pass – Conclusion
I do hope though that this restriction doesn’t result in complete chaos. Permits if not issues in time may cause a lot of frustration among people whose livelihood depends on tourism; like taxi drivers etc. An online portal I believe will definitely be of help where people can apply, pay and get the permit. I hope the information above was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum and I will be glad to answer.