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  • Driving Licence

    Owning a car or a two wheeler has become a quintessential part of the modern city dwellers life. Growing population and inadequate public transportation facilities have forced people to turn to their own motor vehicles. But it is not enough if you just own a motor vehicle, to ride a motor vehicle on Indian roads you must be licensed. Yes, you must possess a driving license in India to legally take your motor vehicles on roads. Read on to find more about driving license and how to apply for a driving license in India.

    Brief on Driving Licence India


    A driving license 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 license 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 License 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 license in India. If you are practising to drive a vehicle, you must first get a Learners License which will act as a provisional license and then must take a test to qualify for getting a Driving License. With the advent of online facilities that allow users to apply for a Driving License from the comfort of their homes, getting a driving license has become an easy task.

    Types of DL in India

    Depending on the class of the vehicle, Indian applicants are awarded different driving licenses. Also, the eligibility criteria varies for driving licenses pertaining to different vehicle classes. Here are some of the popular vehicle classes for which a driving license can be obtained in India.

    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 license)
    Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle
    Candidates holding a heavy vehicle driving license can apply for heavy trailer license

    Eligibility for Driving License in India

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

    Type of Permanent Driving License 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 License

    While applying for a driving license, the candidate must submit all documents given below. Timely submission of all necessary documents will ensure a smooth and faster driving license application process. Refer to the list given below to know what documents will be required while making an application for driving license in India.

    • 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 license, 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.

    Procedure for Applying New Driving Licence Online

    Applicants who are planning to apply for a new driving licence online can do it by visiting the Sarathi website of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry. Choose ‘New Driving Licence’ option from the ‘Sarathi Services’ column on the website’oter-id/verifications homepage. You will be redirected to a new page that has all the information on it. After reading through all the instructions, download the form to your computer and fill it up with the necessary details.

    Online Application Process for getting Driving Licence

    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 License in RTO or Offline in India?

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

    • The applicant has to obtain a Form 4 which is the application form for motor vehicle driving license 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 License test at the RTO and pay the fee for taking the test.
    • Be present at your Driving License test center on the specified time and date. Once you clear the test, your driving license 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 license.

    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 license 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 license was printed and given to the user.
    • The following digits form the unique identification number for the user.

    Test Procedure for Driving License in India

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

    • You can apply for a permanent Driving License after 30 days from the date of issuance of Learners License. The application for permanent Driving License must be filed within 180 days from the issue date of Learners License.
    • Submit all relevant documents (including driving license test slot booking slip if you have booked the slot online) and pay the fees for taking the Driving License 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 License 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 license, 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 license 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 license, 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 license (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 license by speed post.

    What to do if your Driving Licence is Lost?

    Every driver in India needs to have a driving license. Without this document you are not allowed to drive in the country. If you lose your driving license, 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 license is lost.

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

    International Driving Permit (IDP) in India

    An international Driving License is issued to a resident Indian who holds a valid Indian Driving License. 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 license 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 license 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 License in India?

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

    FAQs on Driving Licence

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

      First of all, you must hold a valid Learners License to be able to apply for a driving license. To apply for a driving license, 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 license application process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Know more about Driving Licence Pages:

    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 License 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 license, 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 license, 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 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 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 License

    If you want to get a driving license in India, you have to first apply for a learner’s license. It is a provisional license that is issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO). To get this license, people must have an idea about road rules and pass the online test. Learner’s license is issued by the RTO on the basis of vehicle class. To apply for this license, 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 license or not. People can book an appointment for driving license 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.

    Check Procedure for : Driving Licence Test


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    • Motor Vehicle Act May Be Amended Soon

      Ananth Kumar, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs stated that amendments will be made to the Motor Vehicle Act to repeal mandatory educational qualification for issuance of driving license to extend all benefits to skilled workers like auto and car drivers, who are not educated, would be affected soon.

      He further stated that a delegation will meet which will be led by former minister S A Ramdas. They will discuss about the extension of benefits, such as insurance coverage and housing to drivers. Ananth Kumar also states that mechanics are the doctors of a vehicle and their skills has to be recognized and they should also be eligible for social security schemes.

      5th December 2017

    • Traffic Police Does Not Have The Right To Take Keys From Your Vehicle While Investigating

      Admit it. We all have seen traffic police stopping a bike in the middle of the road and taking away the keys and the rider is seen pushing his bike to the side of the road, begging the cop to let him go. This is not legal. A traffic police has no rights to take your keys away. In fact, no policeman, irrespective of the rank he holds has no rights to do so. Actually, a traffic police who is taking your keys off is violating a rule. As per the guidelines issued by the police department, no policemen have the right to take out the key of your vehicle in the middle of the road.

      Under a Right to Information (RTI) filed by advocate Pawan Parikh, it is clearly mentioned that no policeman can take your two-wheeler or four-wheeler keys away. It is wrong. So, next time a cop tries to snatch your keys, you can go ahead and file a complaint. Also, make sure you carry your driving licence, Registration document, insurance, and other necessary documents while taking your vehicle out. 

      4th December 2017

    • You Could Lose Your Driving License If You Are Involved In a Fatal Accident

      The Noida Police has recently recommended an idea to the State Transport Department. The Noida Police has collected a list of accused drivers who have caused fatal accidents in the past from over 20 police stations and have recommended the State Transport Department to appoint a investigating officer for all the accident cases. If this investigating officer finds the driver at fault, then the driving licence of the concerned person will be canceled for 3 to 6 months. This makes sure that even if the driver comes out in bail, he would not be able to drive without a valid driving license.

      According to sources, the Superintendent of Police (traffic department) has so far shared the names of 153 accused with the State. These cases will now be analyzed by an investigating officer who will be required to submit a report on each case. So, drive safe and own your driving license.

      30th November 2017

    • Drivers Caught Using Mobile Phones Can Lose Their Driving Licence

      From time to time, the Transport Department has been warning drivers that they will lose their driving licence if they are found using mobile phones while driving. But the Jammu and Kashmir officials are taking things seriously now. An official from Jammu and Kashmir stated that they will suspend driving licence for three months of those caught using mobile phones behind the wheel. This decision was made after several accident cases were recorded due to using mobile phones while riding or driving.

      30th November 2017

    • Driving License Not a Valid Identity Proof For RBI Assistant Prelims 2017Driving License Not a Valid Identity Proof For RBI Assistant Prelims 2017

      While most of them are reading about the exam pattern for the upcoming RBI Assistant Prelims, one should focus on the rules of the exam as well. On 27 and 28 November 2017, Reserve Bank of India, will conduct preliminary online exam for recruitment of Assistant.

      For this exam, candidates will have to carry a valid identity proof, without which they would not be allowed to take the test.

      While carrying an ID proof is mandatory for entering the exam hall, ration card and learner's driving license will not be considered as valid ID proofs. Also, candidates shall have to carry original call letter with photograph affixed to the exam hall along with valid ID proof.

      20th November 2017

    • Supreme Court Declares That Drivers Having A LMV DL Can Now Drive A Transport Vehicle

      Recently, Supreme Court in India declared that there is no need to get separate endorsement to drive a transport vehicle. Going forward, a driver having a licence for light motor vehicle can drive any vehicle of any such vehicle.

      The court had a three judge bench which included Justice Amitava Roy, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul who concluded this decision.

      The bench ruled out that if a driver is skilled to drive a vehicle, he/she will be able to drive it for personal or private purposes.

      18th August 2017

    • First Automated Driving Test Track To Be Open In Mysuru shortly

      Mysuru conceptualised the idea of building an automated driving track in their city in the year 2015. However, due to many reasons the project took time to be completed. Meanwhile, the RTO officials asked the drivers to take their Driving Licence Tests on main roads. This also includes KSRTC trainee drivers. These drivers are trained in the test tracks but take the driving test on the main road. The new track is designed is such a way that it puts the driving skill of the driver to test. There are tracks in “8” shape that helps in assessing how good a driver will be in hairpin bends.

      20th July 2017

    • Plan for autorickshaws stays on hold

      The Delhi government has kept its plan of new auto rickshaw permit issuance on hold. This happened after some complains that few of he applicants who were shortlisted, were already issued permits earlier. Unnecessary controversies are being avoided by governments at this point. The government's intention was to issue 10,000 permits for auto rickshaws. Application were invited by the transport department for the new permits in the month of January, 2017. 22,000 applications were made, of which 11,177 were selected. Seniority of Driving License holders played a major factor while shortlisting of applicants.

      14th July 2017

    • Driving License Delay Because of Testing

      Most of the applicants have to wait for 3 to 4 weeks for the driving test to get their license as all the five testing tracks in the city of Hyderabad are not able to accommodate all the applicants. There are 11 RTA offices in the GHMC limits but all of these offices do not have the testing tracks to conduct the driving tests causing this delay for the applicants to undergo this test. Right now, the testing tracks are in Uppal, Medchal, Kondapur, Nagole, and Irahimpatnam and it is believed that there is a delay of at least 2 weeks to undergo the test.

      Sources say that there is a delay of 3 weeks in Medchal and Uppal testing tracks. They also say that if applicants come for a test for 2 categories like car and bike, the applicants have to wait for 25 days particularly at the Uppal testing track. When asked about it, the authorities said that the driving tracks are in the outskirts of the city because there is no space for the land and hence, the delay. The applicants from Khairatabad and Mehdipatnam RTA offices have been asked to take tests at the nearest centre at Kondapur.

      10th July 2017

    • Now, you can land in jail for driving without DL

      The Traffic Police in Visakhapatnam are tightening up screws against traffic offenders and will soon prosecute those who are found driving without their valid Driving Licenses.

      The Road Transport Authority (RTA) in the city are strictly implementing this rule. Those without a driving license can also land up in jail for the offence and will have to go to the court.

      This initiative has been introduced to bring down the number of accidents in the city, which seems to be on the rise in the recent past.

      6th July 2017

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