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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  • Social media to be used by the Transport Department to make people aware of road safety

    SAV Prasada Rao, Additional Transport Commissioner stated that the police department will be using social media to inform people about road safety and help make every individual feel responsible and adhere to the safety rules.

    The Commissioner had participated in a campaign held at the RTA and during the launch of the Facebook page by the Krishna district transport officials. According to Mr Rao, the steps have been taken to reduce fatalities on roads due to accidents by raising awareness on road safety by coordinating with NGOs.

    According to statistics, around 5 lakh road accidents happen in India every year and due to which 1.5 lakh people die and 3 lakh people sustain injuries.

    26 February 2021

  • Several states change the procedure to apply for a learner’s license

    The process to apply for a learner’s or driving license is tedious. However, that may change soon as many states are looking to shift the process online. The main aim of shifting the process online is to ensure that the demand is met and the process is quick. Individuals who live in Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh will need to visit the official website of the Transport Ministry to apply for a learner’s license. Once the slot is booked, individuals will need to clear a test. Individuals will be provided 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions. Once six questions are answered correctly, a certification will be sent.

    10 February 2021

  • Netizens praise Thane woman for her driving skills

    An elderly woman from Thane district has become the talk of the town after a video of her driving a car has gone viral. The woman who is set to complete 90 years in a few months has stated that she always wanted to learn driving and her grandson helped her in the endeavor a couple of years ago. She added that it was a matter of confidence and that age was never a hindrance. It needs to be mentioned here that the family members of the woman are trying to get a driving license for her. Her grandson said that they had tried to obtain a license earlier but due to lack of certain documents the process could not be completed. However, they plan to gift her a learners' license on her birthday this year. It needs to be mentioned here that there is no upper age limit to avail a driving license and any person who is mentally and physically fit can apply for it.

    01 February 2021

  • The Delhi Traffic Police Rolls out Advisory before Lohri

    The Delhi Traffic Police had released an advisory on Twitter regarding the slow traffic day and jams on the Kalindi Kunj road. The notice was issued as they had been carrying out a few trials for the FASTag toll booths. The tweet had said that FASTag trial would be conducted on the Kalindi Kunj Border. Traffic will also be pretty heavy. If anyone was entering Delhi, they should refrain from using the route and only use the DND flyway.

    20 January 2021

  • Driving licence, vehicle registration through Mohali Sewa Kendras

    You can submit your documents through Sewa Kendras and not to the registration and licensing authorities of the state while applying for vehicle registration and driving license in Mohali, Aashika Jain, additional commissioner (general), said.

    Applicants can now submit their documents through the document management services (DMS) mode for making the application process hassle free. Sewa Kendra personnel will help those who are not technology savvy or are devoid of internet to process their documents.

    6 January 2020

  • Price of duplicate driving licence increases to Rs.1,000

    The fee for a duplicate driver’s licence has increased to double the amount what it was before. Along with this, the applicants will have to pay extra charges for the card, as well as, the service. The rate of a duplicate licence has increased from Rs.500 to Rs.1,000. Applicants will have also have to pay an additional Rs.260 for the card and the service.

    The total cost of getting a duplicate driving licence will Rs.1,260. The fee for a duplicate licence was hiked due to the rise in demand of ‘fancy’ numbers. According to the amended Motor Vehicles Act, the central government assigns the fee for these services.

    24 December 2020

  • Delays in issuance of driving licence and RC due to shortage of smart cards

    The Regional Transport Authority in Vishakhapatnam issues 100 new and 100 renewed smart cards on an everyday basis along with the transport offices at Gajuwaka and Anakapalle issue 300 cards in a day. However, due to a shortage of smart cards, many people have been facing a delay in receiving their driving licence or renewed driving licences.

    The shortage in the supply of smart cards is due to the delay in the appointing of a new contractor for the supply of the cards. However, the government has allowed vehicle owners to carry digital records of their vehicle which includes their licence, RC book, insurance, etc.

    9 December 2020

  • Validity of vehicle related documents extended till 31 December by Delhi Government

    The Government of Delhi has decided to extend the validity of vehicle-related documents till 31 December, 2020. The documents include fitness, permit of all types, driving licence, or any other concerned documents, which had expired on February 1, 2020, or would not be valid by 1 December this year.

    Delhi's transport minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted that due to the increase impact by coronavirus and the current problems faced by the residents of Delhi, the validity of fitness, permit (all types), driving license, or any other concerned documents has been extended till 31 December by the Delhi Government.

    Earlier, the ministry of road transport and highways had also extended the validity of all expired documents like driving licence, fitness, permits, registration and related documents till 30 September, 2020.

    19 November 2020

  • Riding without a helmet could lead to driving license suspension in Karnataka

    According to the Moto Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, the fine that must be levied for riding without a helmet was increased from Rs.100 to Rs.1,000. Along with a fine, the individual’s driving license would be suspended for 3 months. However, many states did not follow the rules. Due to opposition, Karnataka has lowered the fine to Rs.500. However, the Supreme Court has directed the Karnataka government to suspend the driving license in case the individual does not wear a helmet. As per the data given by the Bengaluru Traffic Police, more than 20.7 lakh motorists have been booked for riding without a helmet until September of this year.

    27 October 2020

  • Karnataka transport department set to launch three new contactless services

    Karnataka transport department is all set to launch three new contactless modes of services. The three new contactless services will enable individuals to transfer vehicle ownership, get goods carriage permit and fitness certificate through the Vahan 4.0 and Sarathi portal. The services are likely to be launched by the deputy Chief Minister soon.

    With the launch of the services, citizens can simply upload the required documents online, let it get verified by the RTO, pay the requisite fee and get the printout of the permit. For availing a fitness certificate, applicants will need to bring the vehicle to the RTO for inspection. The Commissioner for Transport and Road Safety stated that the aim of launching the services was to remove the middlemen and make the process contactless.

    12 October 2020

  • New driving licence and registration certificate rules from 1 October 2020

    The Centre has recently introduced certain changes in the process of vehicle registration certificate (RC) and driving licence issuance across the country. On the basis of the new rules, the citizens of India might be required to update their documents.

    The new driving licences which are going to be rolled out will come with an advanced microchip and more advanced features such as NFC and QR code. This step is being taken to help the government keep a better track of the records and penalties of the driving licence holders across the country for a period of up to 10 years. These records will be held in a centralised online database. The government is also looking forward to turn the whole process into an online paperless process from 1 October 2020 itself. The new RCs will come with the name of the owner printed on the front of the certificate. On the other hand, the microchip and the QR code will be put up on the driving licence card.

    30 September 2020

  • NGO contests challaning drive by police

    The Minority People Welfare Society in Amritsar contested the challaning drive organised by the Amritsar police. The challaning spree by the Punjab Police was termed as ‘government atrocity’ and urged the police authorities to take measures to make people aware of the issue rather than just cutting challan.

    In a letter to DGP (Traffic), Satnam Singh Gill, president of the association, said the police did not bother listening to the pleas of people. He said that due to lockdown restrictions, it became difficult for people to apply for driving licence. He also added that some suggestions were sent to the police for improving the working of the police by the association.

    22 September 2020

  • Fake or invalid driving licences cannot be used as valid defense to avoid liability of insurer: J&K

    The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has recently announced that the absence of driving licence or carrying a fake or invalid driving licence cannot be considered to be a valid reason to avoid insurance claim liability by the insurers.

    The HC has also added that to avoid the liability, the insurer will have to prove the guilt of negligence of the insured who must have failed to take sufficient care at the time of driving or riding which has caused the accident and hence the losses.

    10 September 2020

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