Process of obtaining RNI License and Title Verification from RNI

In India, it is not possible to start a newspaper or periodical or printed publication without RNI registration. It is mandatory to obtain RNI registration from the Registrar of the newspaper. The publications are also regulated by Press and Books Registration Act 1867. It also led to the formation of the Office of the Registrar of Newspaper for India (RNI). It came into existence by changing journalism as well as the Registration of Books (PRB) Act 1867.

RNI registration



The Registrar of Newspaper for India (RNI) is charged with-

  • Compilation and maintenance of a Registrar of Newspaper
  • Issue of Certificate of Registrations to the paper
  • Verifying circulation claims and other non-statutory functions

RNI Registration

The RNI stands for the Registrar of Newspapers for India. RNI registration and verification of title from RNI is a prerequisite to starting a newspaper or periodical or printed publication. The news industry is becoming prevalent these days, as it offers great Return on Investment.

One thing you should know, whether you are starting a daily, weekly, or monthly newspaper or magazine, it is mandatory to get them registered under Registrar of Newspaper for India. It is governed by the ministry of information and broadcasting, which is responsible for framing the rules for RNI under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.

Who needs to get registered?

The person or a body who is involved in the business or going to start the business of printing of newspaper, magazine or journal is ought to get registered under RNI.

Verification of title

One of the most important steps before obtaining registration is the confirmation of the title. It is necessary to get the title verified as it prevents the misuse of your title and guarantees the accessibility of the title. The District magistrate verifies the title and asks for the following information-

  • Up to 5 title options
  • The name of the owner
  • The language of the circulation
  • Periodicity
  • The proposed area
  • Address/ contact number/ e-mail id of applicant
  • Recent passport size photo of the applicant
  • Complete address of the place of publication
  • Mobile no. and e-mail id.
  • Complete address of the place of publication
  • Self-attested copy of PAN Card/ Voters Identity Card/ Aadhar Card/ Passport as Photo I.D. Proof of applicant.

This information is submitted to the DM. The DM, if satisfied, forwards your application to the RNI. Then, a letter of confirmation is released by RNI to notify the DM and the publisher regarding the title availability.

Process of Verification

There exists a stepwise procedure to get registration under Registrar of Newspaper for India.
Step 1- The first step is the verification of the title or the name proposed for the newspaper. It is to be verified by RNI. For getting the title verified, you would require the following information-

  • Name of newspaper
  • Name of owner
  • Periodicity
  • Language of circulation
  • The proposed area of newspaper publication

Step 2- The application will be filed with RNI and information is to be submitted to the district magistrate of the area.
Step 3- The District Magistrate will verify the credentials of the applicant. If he got satisfied with the information provided, he will forward the application to the RNI for checking the availability of the title.
Step 4- If the proposed title is available, then the Registrar of Newspaper for India (RNI)will verify it. After verification, the RNI will issue a letter to notify the District Magistrate and the publisher.
Step 5- The next step is to file a declaration in form-1 by the publisher with the district magistrate to start the publishing of the newspaper.


In case, the publishers and the printer are different individuals, a separate declaration is required from both of them. In case, the printing press and the publication place are located in different districts, separate declarations are required from both the districts.
If the newspaper has to be released daily or weekly, the first issue of the newspaper should be brought within 45 days from the date of authentication, and or in other cases of periodicity, it should be brought within 90 days.

Process of Registration

There are three steps involved in the registration of the title.


Step 1- Authentication Declaration
So, you got the title verified. The next step is to file a declaration of the publisher/ printer and forward RNI. Make sure each page of the declaration should be authenticated clearly with the reference number, signature, full name, and seal of the authenticating authority concerned.


Step 2- Publication of Volume/ Year-1 Issue- 1

  • If the periodicity of the newspaper is weekly or daily, the first issue should be brought within 42 days of authentication and if the periodicity is different, the first issue should be brought within 90 days of authentication of declaration.
  • The publication should only be printed in the press mentioned in the declaration and should contain news/ articles/ views etc.
  • The title, page number, and date should be mentioned on each page.


Step 3- Submission of Documents to RNI for Registration
These documents are to be submitted with RNI Office with the application for a Registration certificate, filled and signed by the publisher for obtaining registration:

  • Copy of the Title Verification Letter
  • Declaration duly authenticated by the concerned authority. It could be DM, DC, SDM, DCP, JCP, CMM, etc.
  • If the printer and publisher of the newspaper is not the owner, an authorization letter is to be issued in the favor of the applicant from the owner of the printer and publisher authorizing the applicant as publisher and printer.
  • An affidavit signed by the Publisher and notarized is required, in case there is no foreign tie-up.
  • Copy of the first issue of the newspaper published.
  • Signed copy of printer agreement either original or attested along with an attested copy of printing press. The documents shall be signed by both the publisher/ owner of the printing press.
  • After the completion of these three steps, RNI registration gets completed.

Publication of the first issue

According to the PRB Act 1867, if the periodicity of the newspaper is daily or weekly, the first issue should be brought within 42 days of authentication of declaration and if the periodicity is fortnightly or more the first issue should be brought in 90 days of authentication of declaration.

Also, if the place of publication and printing press is different, then the date of authentication of the place of publication declaration filed by the publisher will be counted by using this formula-
42/90 days for the beginning of the first issue.


If the owner failed to issue the newspaper on the declared date, then, a revised declaration should be filed. Make sure it should only contain news, articles, views, etc. Also, if you are releasing the newspaper in multiple languages, make sure the news, articles, views should be released in the languages mentioned.

Documents Required for the Final Registration

  • Here is the list of documents required for final enrolment.
  • A duplicate copy of the title verification letter provided by RNI.
  • Declaration (Form-1) submitted by the publisher and duly authenticated by DM/DC/SDM/JCP/ CMM.
  • A written contract between proprietor or periodical. In a situation the owner of the periodicals, as well as the owner of the printing machine, is not the same, the agreement should contain the signature of both parties.
  • When sending the first issue, make sure that-

– The first issue of the periodical should be within 42 days of authentication of declaration.
– The first issue should have Volume 1, issue 1. It should be published right on the first page.
– The title should be written in the same font or letter size. The variation is allowed up to 25%.
– The newspaper or the periodical should contain public information, comments, or views.
– The newspaper should only be released in the declared languages.
– It is advisable to make the use of signs, graphics instead of syllables or letters to offer clarity.

  • If the publisher or printer is not the owner, a signed copy of the Printer Agreement authorization is written from the owner(s), authorizing specific (by name) to make the declaration as publisher/ printer.

Mandatory Information to be included in a newspaper

  1. The newspaper should contain the issue number, volume number, title, displayed on the cover page of the newspaper.
  2. If the printer and publisher are not the same people, then separate declarations are required to be submitted.
  3. The dateline and page number and an imprinted line that should contain the name of the publisher, printer, owner, and the editor, address of the place of publication, and name and the address of the printing press.

Post Registration Compliance

  • Form no. 4 which is a statement regarding the ownership and other detail of the newspaper should be filled on the first day of March.
  • Annual statement in form 2 on or before the last day of May.

Words not to be used for title option

The list of words that should be avoided for the title of a newspaper-

  • Book
  • Channel
  • Gazette
  • Abbreviations of words
  • Negative Connotations or symbols
  • Religious Overtones
  • Any other object which may not be in public interest taste
  • Names of Prominent National leaders
  • Heads of The Functioning Government
  • Name same or similar to any national emblem
  • Obscene or offending to the public sense

Certificate of Registration

The certificate of registration is issued by Press Registrar, after that-

  • The magistrate issues a copy of the declaration.
  • It also allows the first issue of the periodical.

List of enclosures to be sent along with Revised Registration Application

Let’s talk about the enclosures to be sent along with the Revised Registration Application-

  1. Original certificate of registration issued by RNI. If your original certificate got misplaced, then, a notarized affidavit for the loss of the original certificate along with an IPO of Rs. 5/- should be given.
  2. New Declaration (Form 1) filed by the publisher specifying the reason behind the filing at relevant column. It should be authenticated by DM/DC/SDM/JCP/ CMM. (A separate declaration is to be filed by the printer if he is not the owner.)
  3. A written agreement between the printing press and the owner of the periodical for printing the periodical, bearing signatures and designation of both the parties.
  4. The copy of the issue brought out immediately after authentication of declaration or whichever is the latest.
    The publisher should comply with-

    – The issue had volume and issue numbers printed on the front page.
    – The issue should contain printed title, retail selling price, page numbers, and date/month/ year of the publication.
    – The published newspaper should contain the news, articles, or views.
    – The title should be in the same font or letter size and the variation is allowed up to 25%.
    – The newspaper/ periodical should be published in the languages verified by RNI.
    – Use of symbols, graphics should be made over syllables or letters.
    – The use of the term “Editor” should be made and other terms like Editor-in-chief, Chief Editor, Sub Editor should be avoided.
  5. If the publisher or printer is not the owner, written authorization from the owner, authorizing individual is presented to make the declaration as publisher/ printer.
  6. A penalty of Rs. 1000/- per year should be given in the form of a demand draft in favor of DDO, RNI, in case of non-submission of annual statements.
  7. Change of ownership due to death of the owner
    – A copy of the death certificate of the owner.
    – A copy of the certificate of family members, issued by the office of Tehsildar or any other same authority.
    – A no objection cum transfer of ownership affidavit duly executed before DM/DC/SDM/JCP/CMM. It should contain the signatures of all the surviving legal heirs of the deceased owner.
  8. Change of Ownership
    A copy of the transfer ownership affidavit executed before DM/DC/SDM/JCP/CMM. The date of the declaration mentioned in Enclosure 2 above should not precede the date of transfer of ownership.
  9. Change of Ownership (from a firm/ entity to an individual)
    A copy of transfer ownership affidavit executed before District magistrate concerned by the authorized signatory of the firm/ entity. The date of the declaration mentioned in Enclosure 2 above should not precede the date of transfer of ownership.
  10. Change of ownership Due to Change/ Amalgamation in The Name (5) of a Registered firm/ entity:
    – A copy of the court’s the order/ decree, duly attested.
    – A copy of the certificate of incorporation for change of name. It should be issued by the Registrar of companies.
  11. Change of Ownership involving Multiple Editions of the Same Title-
    A copy of the transfer of ownership affidavit should be executed before the District Magistrate. The transfer of ownership affidavit is to be executed before the District magistrate under whose jurisdiction the newspaper is printed. The application for revised registration should be submitted in RNI simultaneously for all editions. The date of the declaration mentioned in Enclosure 2 should not precede the date of transfer of ownership.
Title verification Procedure

Procedure for obtaining magazine license

We love to educate readers completely. So, here is the procedure for obtaining a magazine license-

  • First of all, you need to get title verification. For that purpose, submit an application form and approach the Regional Magistrate Court.
  • Now consider obtaining a diary number which has to be allotted by Magistrate court and apply to the Registrar of Newspaper for India to check the availability of the name through the magistrate court.
  • After the approval of the name, approach magistrate court to get the date for the hearing.
  • The printer, publisher, editor have to come forward to take the oath with the following documents.
    – Declaration copy that has to be filed by the printer, publisher, or editor.
    – Address and ID proof of the printer, publisher, and editor.
    – Printing press license copy of the printer.
  • After the completion of the above-mentioned steps, the Magistrate court will send an approval.
  • After that, you can publish your magazine and submit the copies to the RNI.
  • Once the office of the RNI is gratified, they will issue an RNI certificate and both the RNI number and the diary number are to be mentioned on each copy of the magazine.

Fees of Obtaining RNI Registration

The best part of obtaining RNI registration Is that the services provided by the office of the Registrar of newspaper for India are free of cost and all the services are provided in compliance with the Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act 1867.

Timeline for RNI Registration

The first step is the verification of the title and the last is the registration of the title. The total process takes around 3-4 months to get completed.

Must Read: How to Start A News Portal In India

Who cannot obtain RNI registration?

RNI registration cannot be obtained for the following-

  • The titles which are similar to Foreign title of any language may not get verified unless and until a valid license agreement with the foreign title owner is obtained.
  • Newspapers and publications must contain only news, views, or articles. Because titles that contain words like ads, tender, calendar matrimonial, or directory may not be approved.
  • A title that is similar to the existing title will also not get approved.
  • The titles that contain absurd or meaningless words may not get approved.
  • The title that contains religious overtones, obscene language, offends public sense, negative connotations may not get approved.
  • The title that contains a word book or channel or gazette would not be approved.
  • The title containing a name similar to the name of government scheme or organization, foreign government organization, institutions, prominent titles may not get approved.

How to apply online?

  • Log in to the RNI official website www.rni.nic.in.
  • Read the instructions under “RNI Guidelines”.
  • Click on the link on the page of the website.
  • Read the instructions for filling online application and proceed to apply.

Conclusion

The newspaper industry is flourishing these days. People are finding profitable opportunities in the business of publishing newspapers or magazines both online as well as offline. And obtaining RNI registration is a prerequisite in starting a newspaper business. You can obtain RNI registration online using the website www.rni.nic.in.
Obtaining RNI registration and verification of title is not difficult. It has a simple procedure. You can do it by simply registering at the website www.rni.nic.in. The best part is that the office of Registrar of Newspaper of India provides free services and the procedure is not lengthy.

It is advisable to enter the news industry. Nowadays, the digital news industry is running equally well. So, if you are planning to enter the digital world of the news industry, get connected with the 7k network, a platform happily serving the journalists, editors, or news providers.

Do you know?

  • Last year India’s newspaper industry grew by 8%.
  • Between 2010-2014, the advertising revenues from newspapers rose by 40%.
  • You can apply for verification of title online as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is it mandatory to register a newspaper with RNI?

Ans. According to Section 5 PRB Act, 1867, no newspaper shall be published in India except in conformity with the rules laid down in the Act. Therefore, registration with RNI is a prerequisite to start a publication work in India. It also prevents the title of a newspaper from getting misused.

Q2. What are the steps involved in the registration of a newspaper?

Ans. The steps involved in registration of newspaper include-
1. Verification of title
2. Registration of title

Q3. What is the stipulated period required to get the verified title registered with RNI?

Ans. The process of registration of title should be completed within 2 years from the date of verification of title.

Q4. What is the procedure to get a verified title registered with RNI?

Ans. Following documents are required for getting the newspaper registered-
Declaration (Form 1) filed by the publisher before the District Magistrate.
A copy of the first issue bearing Volume 1 and Issue 1.

The written agreement between the publisher and the printing press.
Written authorization from the owner authorizing publisher (name) to make a declaration under provisions of PRB Act, 1867.

Q5. Is there any timeline for bringing out the first issue of a newspaper?

Ans. Yes, the first issue must be released within-
42 days of authentication of declaration in case of the newspaper is published once a week or oftener, 90 days in the case of other newspapers.

Q6. How can I restart the publication of a registered newspaper after a long half?

Ans. The publisher must file a new declaration before DM by clearly specifying the reason to restart the newspaper at col. 11 {c} and restart the publication by numbering the issue brought out immediately after authentication of declaration of volume 1 and issue 1. Following documents are to be submitted along with the authenticated declaration:
Certificate of Registration issued by RNI in original, Or,
Loss affidavit duly notarized in the case where the original certificate had been lost/ misplaced, along with IPO of Rs. 5/-
– A copy of the latest issue of the newspaper
– A written agreement between the publisher of the newspaper and the printing press.

Q7. Is Do RNI permits the transfer of ownership of a verified title before registration?

Ans. No. The transfer of ownership is allowed only for the registered newspapers.

Q8. Is it necessary to drop the language of a verified bilingual/ multilingual at the time of filing declaration?

Ans. Yes, you can drop as many languages as you want. However, the publisher must assure that the newspaper is released only in the declared language (s). The same is to be done in the case of revised registration.

Q9. How do I permanently cease/ discontinue publication of a newspaper/ periodical?

Ans. Form 1 must be filed before the DM, clearly specifying the reason ‘To permanently cease publication of XYZ newspaper (title of the newspaper), registered under RNI No. (fill number) at col.11 {c}. RNI certificate must be presented in original.

Q10. What is to be done after a title is deblocked?

Ans. The process is to be followed again. The application for verification of title is to be submitted to the concerned District Magistrate.

Q11. What happened to a verified title whose registration is not completed within two years?

Ans. The title gets deblocked if authenticity is not completed with two years.

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