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  • 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

    Driving-Licence

    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.

    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.

      If you choose to apply for a learning licence offline, you will have to visit the concerned Regional Transport Office (RTO) and collect Form 1 and Form 1A, duly fill the form, and submit it with the respective fees in the counter. 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.

    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 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.

    Check Procedure for : Driving Licence Test

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    • Government to issue smart driving license with NFC and QR code from July 2019

      The government of India is gearing up to issue smart driving license across the country by July 2019. All new Driving Licenses (DL) issued by Road Transport Offices (RTO) across the country will carry the same uniform look, design, and color. The road transport ministry has already started the process of issuing new DLs and RC. Moreover, these smart driving licenses will come embedded with a SIM card like microchip and QR codes. In addition, the cards will have near-field communication (NFC) feature that will enable traffic cops to access the details easily. The new driving licence will also have the driver’s blood group and a declaration to donate organs and mention if the driver is driving a specially-designed vehicle meant for the physically challenged. The vehicle’s emission norms will be mentioned on the registration certificate so that pollution tests can be carried out easily. The tester will not have to ask the vehicle owner for vehicle details. If anyone wants to renew their license renewal or conduct re-registration of their vehicles, the transport authorities will issue the new DLs and RCs so that the old ones will get replaced gradually. A report by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways further confirms that over 32,000 new driving licenses are issued every day in India and over 43,000 vehicles are registered every day. The cost of moving to this new system and issuance of the new smart driving license will not be more than Rs 20 and State Governments will be given enough time to roll out this new process.

      15 October 2018

    • Government to issue smart driving license with NFC and QR code from July 2019

      The government of India is gearing up to issue smart driving license across the country by July 2019. All new Driving Licenses (DL) issued by Road Transport Offices (RTO) across the country will carry the same uniform look, design, and color. The road transport ministry has already started the process of issuing new DLs and RC. Moreover, these smart driving licenses will come embedded with a SIM card like microchip and QR codes. In addition, the cards will have near-field communication (NFC) feature that will enable traffic cops to access the details easily. The new driving licence will also have the driver’s blood group and a declaration to donate organs and mention if the driver is driving a specially-designed vehicle meant for the physically challenged. The vehicle’s emission norms will be mentioned on the registration certificate so that pollution tests can be carried out easily. The tester will not have to ask the vehicle owner for vehicle details. If anyone wants to renew their license renewal or conduct re-registration of their vehicles, the transport authorities will issue the new DLs and RCs so that the old ones will get replaced gradually. A report by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways further confirms that over 32,000 new driving licenses are issued every day in India and over 43,000 vehicles are registered every day. The cost of moving to this new system and issuance of the new smart driving license will not be more than Rs 20 and State Governments will be given enough time to roll out this new process.

      15 October 2018

    • Driving license and PAN card accepted for flyers, Aadhar card not mandatory.

      Kumar Rajesh Chandra, chief of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has issued an order along with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, mentioning that, apart from Aadhar card, the driving license and PAN card will be accepted as valid ID proof of an airline passenger.

      Your Aadhar card, PAN card and driving license is available under ‘Issued Documents’ section on Digilocker which is a trusted app developed and monitored by the Government of India and upon asking for identification by Airport Authorities, flyers can open their Digilocker account and show any of these three IDs as a valid ID proof.

      However, if the person has uploaded these documents on their own under the section of ‘Uploaded Documents’, then it will not be accepted by the authorities. It has also been reported that airports will not be continuing the boarding pass system as an aeroplane ticket. A facial recognition system will be installed as a security clearance in major airports.

      9 October 2018

    • Government set to take action against people with two DLs

      The government is set to take action against people with two DLs that A database is being prepared by the government to stop issuing multiple driving licences to people in the country. With India suffering a shortage of 22 lakh skilled drivers and people being issued fake licences all over the country, the government has started to crack down on the issue. Nitin Gadkari who is the Road and Transport Minister said that the number of people who hold driving licences in different states will have to give up one. In addition to all of this, the government is also planning to create driving training centres so that the road accidents that occur so frequently in the country can be curbed. Currently, India ranks second in terms of people killed by road accidents with 1.5 lakh being killed every year.    

      21 September 2018

    • Government set to take action against people with two DLs

      The government is set to take action against people with two DLs that A database is being prepared by the government to stop issuing multiple driving licences to people in the country. With India suffering a shortage of 22 lakh skilled drivers and people being issued fake licences all over the country, the government has started to crack down on the issue. Nitin Gadkari who is the Road and Transport Minister said that the number of people who hold driving licences in different states will have to give up one. In addition to all of this, the government is also planning to create driving training centres so that the road accidents that occur so frequently in the country can be curbed. Currently, India ranks second in terms of people killed by road accidents with 1.5 lakh being killed every year.    

      21 September 2018

    • Government set to take action against people with two DLs

      The government is set to take action against people with two DLs that A database is being prepared by the government to stop issuing multiple driving licences to people in the country. With India suffering a shortage of 22 lakh skilled drivers and people being issued fake licences all over the country, the government has started to crack down on the issue. Nitin Gadkari who is the Road and Transport Minister said that the number of people who hold driving licences in different states will have to give up one. In addition to all of this, the government is also planning to create driving training centres so that the road accidents that occur so frequently in the country can be curbed. Currently, India ranks second in terms of people killed by road accidents with 1.5 lakh being killed every year.    

      21 September 2018

    • Now driving licenses can be delivered to your home if you are a resident of Udhampur

      There is good news for residents of Udhampur, Punjab as now driving licenses will be directly be delivered to the homes of residents under the ‘zero footfall in RT office’ scheme of the Udhampur transport department. This would greatly decrease the effort it would take to go to the transport registration office and get your license. People have to stand in long queues for hours to get their driving licenses usually.  

      6 August 2018

    • In a new initiative by the Government, vehicle drivers can carry soft copy of pollution control certificates

      The government has announced that vehicle drivers are not required to carry a hard copy of the pollution control certificate with them saying that a digital copy of the same will suffice. Also, the need for fitness registration certificate at the time of the registration of the vehicle has been discarded by the government. Some of the other changes that have been implemented by the government include changing the validity of the duration of the fitness certificate. For a vehicle that is not more than 8 years old, the fitness certificate will be valid for a period of two years and for a vehicle that is more than 8 years old, the fitness certificate will be valid for a period of a year.

      23 July 2018

    • Fitness certificates of 4,780 buses declined in Vijayawada

      The Road Transport Authority (RTA) of Vijayawada has not decided to renew the fitness certificate of 4,780 buses in the city after finding serious flaws in the vehicles. The inspection of these vehicles was done during the annual inspection drive conducted between May 16 and June 12. A total of 23,754 buses of educational institutes were verified by the authorities in the state. Out of these 4,780 buses failed the test and had shortage of facilities such as absence of fire extinguishers and lack of proper documentation of the conductor and driver.

      The Road Transport Authority (RTA) is taking the matter of road safety really seriously but it seems the educational institutions are hell bent on risking the life of children travelling in buses. As per data provided by the government, 443 school buses were involved in road accidents only last year with 57 students passing away. When the Joint transport Commissioner, SAV Prasad Rao was asked about the state of educational institution’s buses, he said that over 50 percent of the buses are being driven by drivers who do not even possess a driver’s licence. Rao has assured the people that the government is working hard to prevent so many road accidents from happening in the near future.     

      9 July 2018

    • Driving licence becomes the latest document to be mandatorily linked with Aadhaar

      Union Minister for Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced that the government will soon it make it mandatory for every driving licence holder to link it with Aadhaar. The decision to link Aadhaar with the driving licence was taken after talks with was taken after Prasad confirmed that he was in conversations with Union minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari.

      The initiative as per Prasad is aimed at catching drunk drivers who escape the clutches of the law. Previously there have been cases of drunk drivers causing accidents on the road and then moving to another state to escape punishment. Linking Aadhaar with driving licence will provide the government with vital information about the driver such as his or her fingerprints and name which cannot be changed. Linkage of driving licence and Aadhaar will also help identify fake driving licences. With this move the government hopes to reduce issuing of fake licences and promote road safety at the same time.

      15 June 2018

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