Driving Licence

To drive two-wheeler or four-wheeler legally on the roads, an Indian driving licence is mandatory. However, a permanent driving license cannot be received right away. There is a separate process for it.

An individual who wants to drive any type of motor vehicle in India has to get his/her learner's license first. A learner’s license is issued for learning. After a month of the issued learner’s license, the person has to appear for the test in front of an RTO authority, who upon proper examination, will declare if he/she has passed the exam or not.

Brief on Driving Licence India


A driving licence is basically an official document issued by the Government of India, permitting individuals to operate or drive a motorised vehicle such as a car, motorbike, truck, bus, etc., on a public road, without any supervision. In India, a driving licence is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of that particular state. The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 states that no individual without the Driving licence is authorized to drive a motor vehicle in a public place.

Hence, if you wish to drive a motor vehicle like car or scooter on roads, you must first hold a valid driving licence in India. If you are practising to drive a vehicle, you must first get a Learners licence which will act as a provisional licence and then must take a test to qualify for getting a Driving licence. With the advent of online facilities that allow users to apply for a Driving licence from the comfort of their homes, getting a driving licence has become an easy task.

Types of DL in India

Depending on the type of vehicle a person uses, he or she can get a license for it. However, the eligibility requirements for every vehicle type will vary. The list of categories for which the driving license can be applied for are as follows:

Vehicle Type
Motorcycles with engine capacity of 50 cc or less than 50 cc
Motorcycles with gear, motorcycles with a capacity of 50 cc or more, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars
All Motorcycles types including Motorcycle with gear
Motorcycles of any cc but with no gears - including scooters and mopeds
Light Motor Vehicle for non transport purposes
Light Motor Vehicle intended for commercial purposes
Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicle (also referred to as All India driving permit for trucks and cars or open licence)
Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle
Candidates holding a heavy vehicle driving licence can apply for heavy trailer licence

Eligibility for Driving licence in India

The eligibility for driving licence in India depends on the class of vehicle and the type of driving licence. The eligibility criteria for different permanent Driving licence types in India are given below.

Type of Permanent Driving licence Eligibility Criteria
Motorcycles without gear (with a capacity of up to 50 cc) The applicant must be at least 16 years old and must have the consent of parent or guardian if he is less than 18 years old.
Motorcycles with gear The applicant should be at least 18 years old.
Commercial Heavy Vehicles and Transport Vehicles The applicant should have completed 8th standard. The applicant must be at least 18 years old (in some states, the minimum age limit is 20 years).
General Requirement The applicant must be conversant with traffic regulations and rules. The applicant must have valid age proof and address proof documents.

Document Required for Driving licence

To ensure that there is no delay in the application process, the documents that are to be submitted have to be valid and correct. The list of documents required for driving licence are:

  • Age Proof (any one of the below given documents)
    1. Birth Certificate
    2. PAN Card
    3. Passport
    4. 10th Class mark sheet
    5. Transfer certificate from any school for any class with date of birth printed on it.
  • Proof of Address required for DL:
    • Permanent Proof of address (any one from the following):
      • Passport
      • Aadhaar Card
      • Self-owned house agreement
      • Electricity bill (issued in applicants name)
      • LIC bond
      • Voters ID Card
      • Ration card
    • Current Proof of address (any one from the following):
      • Rental agreement and electricity bill
      • Rental agreement and LPG bill
  • Other Requirements for Driving Licence:
    • Duly filled application form (to get the application form for driving licence, visit the nearest RTO or download it from the online portal for your state)
    • 6 passport sized photographs (when applying for Learners Licence)
    • 1 passport sized photograph (when applying for driving licence)
    • Application Fees
    • If you are staying in other cities, as current address proof, you can present the rental agreement with one recent utility bill copy which can be gas bill or electric bill.
    • Medical Certificate - Form 1 A and 1 which is to be issued by a certified Government doctor
    • For all applicants over the age of 40 years, a Medical certificate is mandatory.

How To Apply For Driving Licence Online?

Applying for a driving licence online is a simple process and involves only a few steps. Go to the official Sarathi website of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry. From the column named “Sarathi Services,” select “New Driving Licence.” You will be redirected to a new web page, which will have all the details about it. Read through the instructions. Download the form and fill all the required information.

Process To Fill The Driving Licence Application Form Online

The process for filling out an online application for a Learner’s Licence or Driving Licence is as follows:

  • Visit the Sarathi website and download the driving licence application form.
  • Fill in the form as per the instructions provided on the screen and click on ‘Submit’.
  • In the case of minor applicants, the form is to be printed out and Part D is to be filled out and signed by the parent/guardian at the nearest RTO.
  • Upload the documents to be submitted along with the application form (proof of age, proof of address, learner’s licence number).
  • A Web Application Number will be generated after submission, which can be used to track the status of the application.
  • Once the application has been processed, a notification will be sent via SMS.

How to Apply for a Driving licence in RTO or Offline in India?

The procedure to apply for a Driving licence in India is very simple and straightforward. The steps given below will help you understand how to apply for a Driving licence offline.

  • The applicant has to obtain a Form 4 which is the application form for motor vehicle driving licence in india. The Form can be downloaded from the state transport website. Alternatively, the customer can also visit the nearest RTO to procure Form 4.
  • Completely fill the application form and submit it with other documents like age proof and address proof at the RTO in the jurisdiction in which you live. Also, schedule a slot for Driving licence test at the RTO and pay the fee for taking the test.
  • Be present at your Driving licence test center on the specified time and date. Once you clear the test, your driving licence will be awarded on the spot or will be sent to your registered address.
  • Also, if you are taking driving lesson from a Driving school, the school will help you apply for a driving licence.

Format of Driving Licence in India:

The driving licence in India has a format. Let us understand this particular format by using an appropriate example:

Let us say that you stay in Bangalore and the vehicle you own has the licence plate number KA-01-2009-0004558 (reference use only).

  • The first two characters KA indicate the state where the vehicle is registered. In this example, it is Karnataka.
  • 01 is the city code.
  • 2009 is the year when the licence was printed and given to the user.
  • The following digits form the unique identification number for the user.

Test Procedure for Driving licence in India

You must undergo a driving licence which will test your driving skills and knowledge on road rules & signals and pass the test to get your driving licence. Here are some of the important points regarding the driving licence test procedure in India.

  • You can apply for a permanent Driving licence after 30 days from the date of issuance of Learners licence. The application for permanent Driving licence must be filed within 180 days from the issue date of Learners licence.
  • Submit all relevant documents (including driving licence test slot booking slip if you have booked the slot online) and pay the fees for taking the Driving licence test at the designated counter. Get the receipt and approach the allotted track cabin to take the test.
  • You must be present in person for the Driving licence test at least an hour before the allotted time. You will have to take a test before or along with the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) at the designated track.
  • Different states have different test tracks and procedures. Generally, for two wheelers, you will be asked to drive a two wheeler in a path designed in shape of number 8. Also, the Motor Vehicle Inspector will check if you are using indicators and relevant hand signals while driving. You will have to trace the shape of number 8 in your vehicle without your legs touching the ground.
  • For a four wheeler driving licence, the Motor Vehicle Inspector will ask you to ride the car in a track and will note your skills. You must show proper hand signals, use the indicator and apply brakes wherever necessary. Also, shift the gears smoothly and use side & rear view mirrors while driving.

How long does it take to get the Driving Licence after passing the test?

To avail a driving licence test, you must follow a certain procedure:

  • You must fill the online form and take an appointment at the RTO office for your learning test. A few multiple choice questions will be asked during your test at the RTO. You will find a wide range of questions on the website, which might be asked during your learning licence test. Once you pass that test, you will receive a receipt. With this receipt, you will have to collect your learning licence.
  • After one month has passed from the date of issuance of your learning licence, you will have to take an appointment for a driving test. During this test, the questions that will be asked will be related to the vehicle for which you are getting the licence (two wheeler/four wheeler). Once you pass this exam too, you will get a receipt. This particular receipt will serve as your driving licence till the time you receive the real driving licence by speed post.

What to do if your Driving Licence is Lost?

Every driver in India needs to have a driving licence. Without this document you are not allowed to drive in the country. If you lose your driving licence, you will have to apply for a duplicate one to be able to drive.

Things to do if you lost your Driving Licence:

  • Go to the police station that has jurisdiction over the area where you lose your driving licence.
  • Lodge a complaint and make sure you get a copy of the First Information Report (FIR).
  • Visit the Notary office to get an affidavit on a stamped paper. The affidavit will act as a proof that you took an oath before the concerned officer (executive magistrate/notary public/first class judicial magistrate) that your licence is lost.

You will have to pay a small fee for the notary service and the stamped paper.

How Does The International Driving Permit In India Works?

An international Driving licence is issued to a resident Indian who holds a valid Indian Driving licence. An international driving permit (IDP) allows an Indian citizen to drive motor vehicle in a foreign country. The international driving permit (IDP) has multiple language translation of the existing driving licence and is similar to a passport in appearance. Though the process for obtaining an IDP varies from state to state, the general process flow is mentioned below.

The application process for an international driving licence varies from state to state. Do get in touch with the nearest RTO or your State Transport department to know the complete application process and the list of documents required.

Why do you need a Driving licence in India?

Apart from the fact that a person must hold a driving licence to legally drive a motor vehicle in India, the uses of a driving licence are many. Here are some of the reasons as to why you need a driving licence in India.

  • Important Document of Personal Identification

    Often, while travelling or visiting a pub, you are asked to display an ID. At this point, most of us conveniently reach into our wallets to pull our driving licences. So, another rather important purpose which a driving licence fulfils is as a widely recognized form of personal identification. Among other documents like passports, PAN cards, Voter ID Cards, Aadhar Cards, driving licences too are a widely accepted form of personal identification.

  • Make Commuting Easier

    Commuting these days is an extremely stressful activity. Using public transport might not be everyones cup of tea. Also, owning a vehicle provides you with the freedom of being mobile, as and when you need. Considering that, if you wish to purchase a car or motorbike to commute, you will need to obtain a driving licence prior to doing so.

  • Compulsory Legal Requirement

    If you wish to drive, in India or even abroad, you are required to hold a valid driving licence to do so. A driving licence is an important document indicating your ability to operate or drive a motorised vehicle.

Driving Licence Valid As ID Proof For Exchanging Old Notes

After the PM announced a ban on Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes, people have been rushing to the banks to exchange their old notes. When you go to exchange your old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes, you can show your Driving Licence as identity proof. Please note that the original document has to be shown at the counter while exchanging the notes.

Know more about Driving Licence

How to apply for a Driving Licence online?

To drive in India, one must have a driving licence (DL). Earlier, people had to visit the RTO of their area and stand in queues to apply for a DL. Now, people can apply online on the website of the RTO (Regional Transport Office) of their state or Union Territory. Driving licence is also important because it is considered a valid identity proof in India. The online application process is easy, quick and people can book appointments for their driving test online. To apply, applicants have to fill Form 9, which is divided into 5 categories and submit it along with the required documents. Before applying for a driving licence, applicants have to apply for a learner’s licence, which they can do online on the Sarathi website.

Duplicate Driving Licence in India

Driving licence (DL) is an important document in India because it gives citizens the permission to drive and at the same time acts as a valid identity proof. If people lose their driving licence, they can easily get a duplicate DL from the RTO (Regional Transport Office) that issued it. People can apply for a duplicate DL online or directly at the RTO. To apply, they have to fill the application form for availing a duplicate DL and submit it at the RTO along with the required documents.

Read on to find more about : Duplicate Driving Licence in India

Traffic Fines: Offences and Penalties in India

In India, when people violate traffic rules, they will be penalised for the same. The road rules in India came in effect from 1989 under the name ‘Rules of the Road Regulation’. It is compulsory for every driver in India to follow these rules. Violating or breaking them is a serious offence as per the traffic rules and traffic fines and the Motor Vehicle Act of India. Get more information about the offences related to documents, driving, road marking, vehicle number plates, horn, etc., and penalties charged for them.

Learner’s licence

If you want to get a driving licence in India, you have to first apply for a learner’s licence. It is a provisional licence that is issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO). To get this licence, people must have an idea about road rules and pass the online test. Learner’s licence is issued by the RTO on the basis of vehicle class. To apply for this licence, people have to fill up the application form, which is divided into two sections and submit it along with the required documents and fees. People can apply for a learner’s licence online on the RTO websites.

Get more details on : Learning Licence

Driving Licence Test

When you apply for a driving licence (DL) in India, you will be ask to appear for a driving test. The result of this test will decide if you will get a driving licence or not. People can book an appointment for driving licence test on the RTO website. While booking the appointment, they can choose a slot that is suitable for them from the list of available time slots. For the test, the tracks vary depending on the type of vehicle and drivers are judged on various parameters. If drivers fail the test, they will have to reappear for it.

Driving Licence Fees In India

The fee structure for a learner’s licence include:

  • Fee for Form 3 – Rs.30.
  • Fee for Form 6 – Rs.40.
  • The road safety cess fee – Rs.50.

The fee structure for a permanent driving licence include:

  • The driving licence test fee – Rs.100.
  • Fee for form 7 (or smart card) – Rs.200.
  • The driving licence grant fee – Rs.40.
  • The road safety cess for a license for 2-wheeler, with/without gear – Rs.100.
  • The road safety cess for a license for light motor vehicles (non-transport) – Rs.150.
  • The road safety cess for a license for light motor vehicles (transport) – Rs.200.
  • The road safety cess for a license for medium and heavy motor vehicles– Rs.500.

The fee for international driving licence include:

  • The issue of the international driving licence – Rs.500.

How To Check The Driving Licence Status?

  • Go to the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
  • On the portal, enter your application number and date of birth. Click on the submit button.
  • Now, the driver licence status is displayed.

Note: It takes a maximum of 3 weeks for the licence to be delivered by post. Hence, make sure to have your ID proof handy while receiving it because the authoritative person will ask for it before handing over it to you.

FAQs on Driving Licence

  1. How do I start the application process for driving licence?

    First of all, you must hold a valid Learners licence to be able to apply for a driving licence. To apply for a driving licence, you can get in touch with the Regional Transport Office for your area. Alternatively, you can also visit the online portal for the Transport Department of your state or city to get more details on driving licence application process.

  2. Suppose I get a driving licence in bangalore, will it be valid throughout India?

    Yes, a driving licence obtained in any RTO in India is valid throughout the country.

  3. What is the validity period for a Driving licence in India?

    Generally, in India, driving licences are valid for 20 years from the date of issue or till the holder attains 50 years of age, whichever comes earlier. A driving licence for commercial vehicles is valid for up to three years.

  4. Should I produce a medical certificate to obtain a driving licence in India?

    If you are under 50 years of age and if you are applying for non - transport licence, you do not require a medical licence. But, applicants over 50 years of age must produce medical certificate. Similarly, applicants of Transport vehicle licence must produce medical certificate irrespective of age.

  5. What happens if I fail the driving licence test?

    In case you fail the driving licence test, you can apply for a re test after 7 days.

  6. How to apply for a Learner's License?

    If you want to apply for a Learner's Licence which is also called as Learning Licence, you can do it online or offline. If you choose to do it online, you will have to visit your state transport official website and download the Form 1 and Form 1A. Both the documents have to he scanned and uploaded in the computer to submit the application. Once you submit the application, you will be allowed to choose the date and time when you will be taking the learning licence test. Once the appointment is fixed, you will have to be present in the concerned Regional Transport Office (RTO) to take the learning licence test.

Read Driving licence news or Enjoy it on the go

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  • Issuance of new driving licenses in Delhi can take up to 3 months

    On 4 May, 13 RTOs in the city reopened after the lockdown and the number of appointments had reduced to a great extent to maintain social distancing norms. Some of the busiest RTOs who saw almost 1,000 applicants in a single day have allotted time slots to people, reducing the number to couple of hundreds. The South Zone Regional Transport Office at Sarai Kale Khan which caters to most of South Delhi was conducting around 250 driving tests in a day before the lockdown and since resuming services, a maximum of 80 driving tests are allowed in one day. Along with this, a maximum of 50 applicants are allowed to give tests for learner’s license.

    In other areas such as South Zone II RTO, the earliest date which people can get a test slot for is 28 September which is the same case as the RTO in Loni Road for north-east Delhi. The waiting period at other RTOs which used to be busy before the lockdown, such as in Mayur Vihar, Janakpuri, Dwarka, etc. is two months long. According to a transport department official, the number of slots varies from one RTO to the other depending on the infrastructure and space. Due to this, the waiting period in some RTOs is longer than the others, keeping in mind the social distancing norms.

    1 July 2020

  • Nagpur City RTOs to restart driving license tests with effect from 22 June 2020

    Tests for permanent and learners driving licenses will be restarted by the Nagpur City RTO and the deputy East offices RTOs from 22 June 2020.

    According to City RTO Dinkar Manwar, the decision to restart the tests was taken after the state commissioner Shekhar Channe gave the nod. On 16 June 2020, the state commissioner said that learners and permanent driving licenses will be issued in all the RTOs in Maharashtra. He further added that all the tests will be conducted as per the new guidelines and the regulated safeguards and social distancing will be maintained. Quotas will be given to every individual on when they can visit the RTO. According to Martand Newaskar, the Assistant RTO, the city office is planning on reducing the number of existing quotas for permanent and learners’ driving license. He said that the quota may be reduced by around 20%. He further added that the department may face challenges in conducting the tests for learners driving license. Computers and keyboards will be sanitised after every test. Individuals will also have to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. East RTOs have reduced the quote for a learners’ license from 200 to 75 and for a permanent license to 60 from 140.

    22 June 2020

  • Extension provided for expired driving licenses until 20 September

    On 9 June 2020, the road transport and highway ministry announced that driving licenses that have expired and could not be renewed due to the lockdown have been provided an extension until 30 September 2020. The government announced in March that they had extended the deadline until 30 June. According to the ministry, the extension has been provided due to the prevention of COVID-19 until 30 September 2020. The initial extension was provided to help individuals who had to renew the documents as government transport offices were closed because of the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown. Last month, the ministry had announced that any payments that have been made for obtaining driving licenses from February onwards will be valid until 31 July. The ministry further added that no penalties will be levied as well.

    11 June 2020

  • Rs.88.9 lakh collected from challans since COVID – 19 lockdown

    As per data available from the challenging branch, traffic police have collected Rs.88.9 lakh from challans since the lockdown was imposed in the city. A total of 11,938 challans and 758 e-challans have been issued so far. The challans have been issued for offence related to driving license. 7,293 challans have been issued for driving without license or with an expired license while 5,021 have been issued a challan for failing to provide the driving license on demand by an officer.

    The city has also registered 5,626 violations for driving without or with expired insurance and 4,671 violations for driving without registration certificate. As many as 8,000 vehicles have been impounded during this time

    The Deputy Superintendent of police (DSP) has stated that the traffic police are now setting up nakas to ensure that social distancing is being followed inside vehicles and people are not venturing out without masks.

    20 May 2020

  • Relief to motor vehicle drivers – order banning illiterate persons from having a driving licence stayed

    In a move that brings relief to lakhs of heavy motor vehicle drivers, a division bench of the Rajasthan High Court stayed an order which had previously directed the state government to withdraw licences given to illiterate persons. A month ago, a single bench of the Rajasthan High Court stated that a driver who is illiterate is “virtually a menace for pedestrians”. As such, the court directed the state government to illiterate people since they wouldn’t be able to read warning signals, signboards, and other signals. The court had also instructed relevant authorities to take action in cases where licences were issued to people who were unable to read and/or write. Moreover, the central working committee of the Lok Sabha also omitted the condition of literacy (as a factor) in obtaining a driving licence.

    2 July 2019

  • Central Government to remove the requirement of minimum educational qualification for driving

    The Central Government has planned to remove the requirement of a minimum educational qualification to obtain a driving license. This was mainly done to boost more employment opportunities according to the Transport Ministry.

    Currently, under Rule 8 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989, a transport vehicle driver must have passed 8th Standard. However, now in order to benefit the economical underprivileged section of the society, the decision has been made to remove the minimum educational qualification requirement.

    According to the government, the removal of the minimum qualification required will help boost employment, especially in the transport and logistics sector where a shortage of 22 lakh drivers needs to be met.

    The Haryana Government had approached the Transport Ministry to remove the education qualification requirement for the drivers in the economically backward region of Mewat. Amongst the chief sources of income was driving and since they are not literate, many were not able to obtain a license.

    The Central Government has emphasized that removal of the educational qualification will be put in effect however applicants will need to pass a more difficult driving test where skill and training will be tested.

    The training given by a school to the driver must ensure that they can read important road traffic signs and maintain a driver log along with inspecting the trucks and trailers and submit pre-trips and post-trip records.

    19 June 2019

  • Govt. to issue new RCs and DLs from October

    The Road, Transport and Highway Ministry last week through a notification informed that the government would be issuing uniform vehicle Registration cards (RCs) and driving licenses (DLs) in the country from October.

    The new driving license will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The technology used will be like the one used in debit and credit cards. This will help the government retain records and penalties of the DL holder up to 10 years on the centralised online database. Records of differently abled drivers, changes done to the vehicles and the person’s declaration to donate organs will also be on the new DL.

    As for RCs, the government will go paperless starting October 1 with the paper-based registration certificate being ditched. The new RC will have the owner’s name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card. The RC will also carry similar features as the new driving license.

    12 March 2019

  • Government approves soft copies of driving license and RC

    You will no longer need to carry hard copies of your driving license and RC papers. The Ministry of Road Transport has recently announced that general public can show soft copies of driving license and other vehicle documents for the purpose of verification. In accordance with the Information Technology Act of 2000, digital copies accessed from the Digilocker will be treated as original documents. The move will bring relief to general public as they will not have to carry hard copies of driving license any more. The digital driving license and RC papers stored in Digilocker app will now be considered as valid, as per the latest amendments in the IT Act 2000 and the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. The move comes from the Ministry of Road Transport as it received several RTI applications for the same. Carrying physical copies of license and other documents is a hassle not only for the general public but also for the authorities. The Digilocker and the mParivahan app are available for download from the Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store. Once you upload the documents on the app, they will be validated automatically. All states and union territories have been notified to accept driving licenses and vehicle documents through the Digilocker or mParivahan app.

    7 February 2019

  • Driving licence now available in smart card format in Chennai

    Residents of Chennai can now carry driving licence in the smart card format. The smart card will be embedded with smart chip that will also have security features. The smart card in which the driving licence can be carried was inaugurated in a function by transport minister Vijaybhaskar. The function was held at Regional transport office in south Chennai. The smart card that will be manufactured by the state government will based on the guidelines provided by the central government. The smart card will have two sections namely Visual Interpretation Zone (VIZ) and Machine Readable Zone (MRZ).

    The time that will be taken by the state authorities to issue the smart card is one hour after the applicant completes the driving tests and provides the data. The smart card was introduced a few years back but will now be implemented in all 24 districts across the state.

    24 January 2019

  • Centre asks state traffic departments to accept documents in electronic format

    Centre has ordered the state traffic departments to treat the soft copy version of the driving documents in the same manner as the hard copy is treated. The government has recently introduced the facility of storing documents such as driving licence and the Aadhar online via mobile apps such as Digilocker and mParivahan. The centre has issued an SOP to the state

    governments for the same. The traffic departments across the different states can also login via the e Challan app which contains data about online verification and the licence status.

    The documents that can be accepted in the electronic form as well include the fitness certificate, driving licence and the certificate for pollution control. With this initiative of allowing the citizens to store the documents electronically, the government is hoping that the hassle of carrying the documents everywhere you go will be scraped in the near future. Introduction of this system will also ensure that the offenders are punished more quickly as everything will become much faster.

    24 December 2018

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