The Act No.14 of 1916 which was introduced aiming at registering vehicles and issuing driving licenses in Sri Lanka , was commenced its proceedings under the Inspector General of Police. Another important milestone in this regard was the enactment of Motor Traffic Ordinance No.20 of 1927, on the recommendation of a special committee that was set up for this purpose, later in 1925.Under this Act which was introduced in 1927, the office of the Registrar of motor vehicles was commenced on 01st of January, 1928, and it was aimed at registering motor vehicles and drivers and inspecting taxis and lorries prior to issuing annual revenue licenses.

Another significant milestone in this journey was the establishment as a department by the Motor Traffic Act No. 14 of 1951.Today, the main objective of the department is to provide an efficient and effective service focusing on registering and regulating motor vehicles, issuing driving licenses, ensuring road safety and usage of eco-friendly vehicle in Sri Lanka.

At present the department provides its service through Werahera Office and each and every district office while the head office at Narahenpita is functioning as the centre for all, in order to provide quantitative and qualitative service with the rapid increase in vehicle usage in Sri Lanka. Accordingly the department has been able to operate several district offices on on-line connection by now.

One of the key aspirations of the department is to fulfill the customer needs expeditiously and to accomplish the customer expectations/requirements using modern facilities and technology at rural/regional level, through the online connection of all district offices.