Online Registration of Newspapers- India

January 11, 2023
laptop side newspaper

By Rupin Chopra and Vidhi Oberoi
The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) regulates the publication of newspapers, periodicals and books. Section 19A of the Act provides for the appointment of Press Registrar of Newspapers in India (hereinafter referred to as the “RNI”) and other officers as may be necessary for performing the function assigned to them under the Act.

The RNI has been entrusted with the responsibility to maintain, in prescribed manner, a Register of newspaper, issue of Certificate of Registration to the Newspaper (RNI registration) and verification of circulation claims and other non-statutory functions.

Online RNI Registration

In wake of the Digital India and Ease of Doing Business initiatives taken by the Government, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has decided to start online registration of newspapers and the exercise is expected to be completed by March 31, 2023.

The Present regime for registering newspapers with the RNI is a time-consuming lengthy process running where the applications have to be submitted physically to the required authority(discussed in detail under the subsequent head). With registrations going online, the time taken for the entire process is likely to come down to a few days.

Until any new update on online registration of newspapers is actually notified by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the process is to be complied as it is. However, there are certain facilities that can be availed online for registration of newspapers, such as, online application for verification of title and online access to registration data of duly registered newspapers.

Present regime for registration

Registration of newspapers involve following steps:

  1. Verification of Title

Any person desirous of publishing a newspaper shall file a declaration with the specified authority, along with the proposed Title(s) of the newspaper. The specified authority will authenticate the said declaration after ascertaining from Press Registrar that the proposed Title is not : a) Same or similar in a State in any language, or b) Same or similar to an existing Title, in the same language in whole of India.

  • Application for Title verification of newspapers/ periodicals is through Online Mode only. The Application Form is on the website of RNI.[1] A print of the same may be forwarded through the Specified Authority (District Magistrate/Executive Magistrate of the district concerned) to RNI.
  • If new edition of an existing publication is to be brought out from another district in the same state and in the same language, no prior Title verification is required. The publisher may directly file declaration and then submit required documents to RNI for issuance of Registration number and Certificate.
  • The owner/publisher has to get the Title registered in the office of Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), within a period of one year from the date of Title verification. In case the verified Title is not registered within one year, it will be de-blocked and will be available for other applicants.


  1. Authentication of Declaration

After obtaining the title verification letter from the RNI, it should be  presented to the forwarding authority concerned (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM etc.) along with properly filled declaration (Form-I) for authentication.

  1. Publication of Volume/Year-1/Issue-1[2]


  • Under section 5 (5) of the Act, volume/year-1 issue-1 should be brought within 42 days of authentication of declaration, if periodicity is daily or weekly;
  • If periodicity is fortnightly or above, volume/year-1 issue-1 should be brought out within 90 days of authentication of declaration.
  • The publication should be printed in the press mentioned in the declaration.
  • The publication should primarily contain news/views/articles etc. and in case of bilingual/multilingual publications, news/views/articles etc. should be brought out in all the languages of the publication.
  1. List of Documents required

Following is the list of documents required for registration of newspaper:[3]

  • Copy of the title verification letter issued by RNI;
  • Declaration form (Form-1) filed by the Publisher and duly authenticated by (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM.
  • A written agreement between owner of periodical and keeper of printing press for printing the periodical, bearing signatures & designation of both the parties. (Where keeper of printing press and owner of the periodical is the same person, no such agreement is required to be furnished).
  • A copy of the first issue (i.e. volume 1, issue 1) brought out after authentication of declaration by DM/DC/SDM/JCP/CMM.

There are certain important points that the publisher must ensure, such as, the first issue should be brought out within 42 days from the date of authentication; the first issue of Volume 1, Issue 1 is prominently printed on its front cover; the title, page numbers, date/month/year of publication along with certain editorial requirements, etc.

  1. Submission of documents to RNI for registration
  • After downloading the title verification letter from RNI website, the same should be presented to forwarding authority concerned (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM etc.) along with properly filled declaration (Form-I) for authentication and other required documents.
  • Refer the list of documents required for registration of newspaper given on the website.

[1] http//



Rachita Thakur, Junior Associate at S.S. Rana & Co. has assisted in the research of this article.

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