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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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    • Driver data can now be tracked country-wide

      The state transport department in Maharashtra has now shared Driving Licence (DL) and car details with the central government to help track traffic offenders across the country.

      With this, DL-related data will be available to all law enforcement agencies in India such as the traffic police and RTOs. Data from 44 RTOs in Maharashtra have been shared and uploaded on a central NIC server in Delhi.

      If an offender is caught in any other part of the country, his/her details can be easily assessed by the police with the help of the central server. Details can be obtained by authorities by giving the licence number as an input.

      19th June 2017

    • CCTV Cameras To Be Installed At Accident-Prone Zones in Goa?

      The Goa Transport Department is pushing for the installation of CCTV cameras at accident-prone zones in the state. The accident-prone zones would be identified by the Public Works Department (PWD) and the aim is to reduce traffic violations, which often lead to accidents. The CCTV cameras would capture the licence plate number of the errant vehicle, which would then be fed into a central database.

      The challans would then be mailed to the concerned vehicle owners.

      According to the department, there are over 70 such accident-prone areas in the state. An initiative to issue Smart Driving Licences to motorists is also being fast-tracked, as well as a move to issue challans for violations within 48 hours. Currently, applicants receive their smart Driving Licences a fortnight after clearing the test. Registration certificates for new vehicles are also issued months after applications have been submitted, which has led to a number of problems for motorists and traffic police alike.

      Driving Licence applicants will now also be able to apply for their licence at any RTO in the state, though they will have to complete all formalities such as the Driving Test and payment of fees at the same RTO on the same day the application is submitted. The driving licence would then be delivered by courier to the applicant’s address as listed on the form.

      13th June 2017

    • Applicants of DL must be present in person

      The DTO (District Transport Officer) of Ranchi, Nagendra Paswan, stated that all the applicants for Driving Licence and vehicle registration must be present in person for candidate verification purposes. The application will not move forward unless the candidate is physically present at the counter. This order was passed after Bhor Singh Yadav (SDO of Ranchi Sadar) came for a surprise check at the District Transport Office of Ranchi and caught the two touts, Krishna Kumar and Ranjeet with several applications of other people. These touts were handed over to the police later. Paswan stated that the employees are always there assisting the people and the processing of applications take place within a period of 7-45 days depending on the type of application. A helpline has also been issued if individuals face any kind of problem. Applications can also be one online which makes it clear that touts are not required.

      Approximately 600 people go to the DTO every day to apply for new license, renewal of license, transfer of ownership, vehicle registration, road tax submission, etc. Rs.520 is charged for issuance of temporary DL and Rs.1,050 is charged for a permanent driving license.

      30th May 2017

    • First Hearing-Impaired Man To Get Driving Licence From Hyderabad

      The first hearing impaired man to be issued a Driving Licence is from Hyderabad. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had issued a notification in November 2016 directing all RTO’s across the country to issue Driving Licences to hearing impaired individuals on their successful completion of the requisite Driving Test.

      The first such recipient is Mr. Annapragada Manikanta, a graphic designer from Hyderabad. He successfully cleared the driving test and was issued a driving licence. To indicate that he is disabled, Mr. Manikanta will be designing a logo for the licence that will be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle he drives.

      The move to issue Licences to hearing impaired individuals comes on the heels of a Supreme Court ruling declaring that individuals with this impairment are not a threat to the public, which was done in consultation with AIIMS.

      23rd May 2017

    • Now, get DLs on spot in Muttathara

      The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) at Muttathara in Thiruvananthapuram has started issuing on the spot Driving Licences and fitness certificates on a trial basis.

      The computerised centre is equipped with an automated Driving Test yard and automated vehicle testing centre. As soon as a candidate takes a test, the results can be obtained within minutes through the ‘Softtrack’ software. The DL is then generated and verified by MVD officials at the centre and a certificate of fitness is also issued.

      On the spot DLs will also be issued in Parassala, Kannur and Kozhikode.

      18th May 2017

    • RTO will soon scrap offline payment for Driving Licence

      Meerut: The Regional Transport Office will not be accepting offline payment for Driving Licence fee anymore. The applicants are expected to make the payment on the Sarathi’s website before visiting the RTO for the biometrics. The announcement has caused a lot of confusion as most applicants are not sure how to make the payment. Despite the fact that this announcement was made, only a handful of applicants were able to make the payment online, and the rest visited the RTO to make the payment, The RTO has extended the deadline by a keep to accept offline payments. Soon, only online payments will be accepted for the application of Driving Licence.

      10th May 2017

    • Driving Licenses can be Suspended if Motorists Exceed 12 Penalty Points

      The transport department of Telangana recently launched a ‘scheme for penalty points’ in an effort to lower the number of errant motorists. Riders and drivers, under the new regulations, could incur one to five penalty points depending upon the severity of the offence. In case the tally of the motorist hits 12 penalty points, their DL shall be cancelled for 12 months. Once the DL of a motorist has been cancelled, and the motorist incurs 12 more points, their license shall be cancelled for another 24 months. Another 12 points will mean that their license shall be cancelled for 36 months. Individuals who ride or drive with LLs can have their documents suspended in case their tally hits five penalty points.

      8th May 2017

    • Transport Department Makes Blood Certificate Compulsory

      Driving License applicants have to now provide a medical certificate that mentions their blood group when they apply for a new license or renewal with the Transport Department in Chennai. The certificate has to be signed by a registered laboratory or a medical practitioner. This step has been taken to help road accident victims get blood quickly. It will also stop people from mentioning wrong blood group. There is a section in FORM 1A and Form 4 where blood information has to be provided, but many applicants leave it blank.

      4th May 2017

    • Aadhaar compulsory for vehicle registration

      In order to avoid the problem of duplication, the Centre has asked to link vehicle registrations and driving licenses to Aadhaar number. The Union Cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 the previous week, and is not proposing to link Aadhaar number with their driving licenses and also a pan-India register for vehicles. The government said that doing so would help to keep a check on the registration of stolen vehicles and also help the transfer of vehicle registration from one state to the other.

      A proposal to provide learner’s license online has also been put forth. An applicant who wishes to procure a learner’s license need not come to the RTO office but can submit the application online while giving the details of his Aadhaar number. Once the online verification has been done, learning driving license will be provided online. This move to link license with Aadhaar is due to registration of stolen vehicles. 30% of all driving licenses were fake and there were also many cases of one person holding multiple licenses. As per the transport ministry’s information, there are around 18 crore Driving Licences that have been given across the country so far.

      21st April 2017

    • The Cabinet has approved the changes to the DL - Motor Vehicle Act

      The Cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicle Bill 2016 for Aadhaar-based Driving Licence (DL) and vehicle registration system along with the proposal of heavy penalties for traffic violations. According to the new Bill, an applicant applying for a new licence or the renewal of it will be required to submit the Aadhaar details. Aadhaar will be made mandatory for the application of new DLs as well for the renewal of existing/expired DLs. An applicant will no longer be required to visit the RTO for LL application, it can be done online. The Bill also lists the new proposed heavy penalties and actions that will be taken for violation of traffic rules. The new rules will help the government in ensuring road safety, reducing the number of accidents, and also elimination duplicate DLs. The new Bill has many more rules and regulations for the improvement of road safety. The heavy fine and penalties will be imposed to deter motorists from violating traffic rules.

      12th April 2017

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