• 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

    In order to ride or drive a vehicle legally on the public 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.

    Driving Licence

    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, a driving licence is used for the following reasons:

    Important Document of Personal Identification

    • Often, in high-security places, you are asked to display an ID. You can use your driving licence as an ID card, as it is a widely accepted personal identification card.

    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.

    Features of a Genuine Driving Licence

    There are certain features on a driving licence that you can look out for to find out if a driving licence is genuine or fake. The main features that help differentiate a fake licence from a genuine one are listed below:

    • The photograph of the licence-holder, which also makes the driving licence an eligible photo ID proof.
    • The licence should have a unique registration number which is assigned by the issuing authority.
    • The name of the office wherein the licence was generated and issued from.
    • The rubber stamp and signature of the issuing officer of the issuing RTO.

    Types of DL in India

    There are three different types of licences issued in India:

    1. Learner's licence
    2. Permanent licence
    3. Commercial Driving Licence
    Learner's licence:
    • The Road Transport Authority (RTA) issues a learner's licence to the applicant before giving a permanent driving licence. It is valid for up to 6 months.
    • To get this licence, the applicant needs to submit valid documents at the RTO and pass a small test.
    • During the period of six months, the applicant is expected to polish his driving skills.
    • If the applicant still does not feel confident about driving, he can extend his learning licence.
    Permanent licence:
    • The RTA issues a permanent driving licence post the completion learner's licence period if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
    • As per the criteria, the applicant should be 18 years of age and should clear the driving test.
    • In case he fails the driving test, he can reappear for it after seven days of time.
    Commercial driving licence:
    • This commercial driving licence is specifically issued to heavy vehicle drivers such as trucks and delivery vans.
    • The criteria for this are that the applicant should be 18 years of age or above (some states also keep 20 years as minimum age), should be trained either in a government training centre or a government-affiliated centre, should have completed education till 8th grade, has valid documents and already possess a learner's licence.

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

    Vehicle Type Licence class
    Commercial purpose vehicles having All India Permit to carry passengers. HPMV
    Heavy vehicles used to carry goods. HGMV
    With and without gear motorcycles. MCWG
    With gear vehicles having engine capacity 50cc or more. MC EX50cc
    Without gear vehicles like mopeds and scooters. FGV
    Vehicles having engine capacity 50cc or less. MC 50cc
    Non-transport class vehicles like cars. LMV-NT

    Fees for DL and LL

    You can pay the fee either through SBI challan or online. The DL fees for the different categories of licence are given below:

    Licence Issued Old Fee New Fee
    Applying for a new driving licence Rs.40 Rs.200
    Driving licence test Rs.50 Rs.300
    Renewing a driving licence Rs.50 Rs.200
    Applying for a new learner’s licence Rs.30 Rs.200
    Renewing a learner’s licence Rs.40 Rs.200
    Applying for an International driving licence Rs.500 Rs.1,000
    Driving school licence issue and renewal Rs.2,000 Rs.10,000
    Issuing a renewed driving licence Rs.50 Rs.200
    Fee for appeal against RTO Rs.100 Rs.500
    Issuing driving schools with duplicate licence Rs.2,000 Rs.5,000

    Eligibility Criteria 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 criteria for different licence types are given below:

    Types of Vehicles allowed Criteria
    Vehicles without gears with engine capacity up to 50cc
    • 16 years of age and parental consent.
    Vehicles with gears
    • 18 years of age.
    • Must be aware of the traffic rules and regulations.
    Commercial vehicles
    • 20 years of age (18 years of age in some states)
    • Should have completed formal education till 8th grade.
    • Should be trained from government or government- affiliated training centre.

    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 as follows:

    1. Age Proof (any one of the below given documents)
      • Birth Certificate
      • PAN Card
      • Passport
      • 10th Class mark sheet
      • Transfer certificate from any school for any class with date of birth printed on it.
    2. 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
    3. 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 a gas bill or electric bill.
    • Medical Certificate - Form 1A 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 (DL)

    You can apply for DL either through the official government website or by visiting the nearest RTO office. But do note that having a learner's licence is a prerequisite for a driving licence application. Other than that, the applicant must be of or above 18 years of age and have knowledge of traffic rules and regulations to be eligible for the licence.

    How to Check the Driving Licence Status?

    To check the driving licence status online, follow the steps mentioned below:

    • Step 1: On the main page, click on the “Online Services” tab.
    • Step 2: From the drop-down menu, click on the “Driving Licence Related Services” tab.
    • Step 3: Select the state in which you have applied for a driving licence, from the drop-down menu.
    • Step 4: Click on the “Application Status” tab present at the top-right.
    • Step 5: Enter the details required like, “Application Number”, “Date of Birth”, and “Captcha”.
    • Step 6: Click on “Submit”.

    Test Procedure for a Learner's Licence

    The Learner's Licence test is conducted to check the applicant's knowledge about traffic rules and regulations along with basic driving skills. All the applicants are required to take the written exam for a learner's licence at the RTO office.

    Test Procedure for a Permanent Driving Licence

    • For two-wheelers:

    Usually, for two-wheelers Learner's Licence test the applicant is asked to drive a bike in the shape of number 8. In this, the use of indicators and signals by the applicant are tested. The applicant is expected to complete his drive without touching his feet on the ground within the stipulated time.

    • For four-wheelers:

    The applicant is asked to drive in the shape of a number 8. In this test, the applicant's ability to maneuver forward and backwards, parallel parking, use of mirrors, gears and brakes, and judgement of the track are tested.

    What is the International Driving Permit for an Indian?

    An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a legal document issued to the Indians travelling abroad by the Road Transport Authority (RTA) of India, allowing them to drive in any foreign country that holds the document valid. It is advisable to carry the original driving licence along with a passport and IDP when on foreign roads to avoid inconvenience. It is similar to a passport in appearance and often gets issued in multiple languages as per the destination country’s requirement. An IDP is valid for one year. If you need it beyond this duration, you need to get it reissued.

    Who Issues a Driving Licence in India?

    Driving licences are issued by the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) across the country. Every geographical area has a dedicated RTO. An applicant can apply for a driving licence to the RTO under whose jurisdiction he or she resides. It is important to get a valid driving licence issued by one of the authorised issuing committees as it is mandatory to hold a driving licence to be able to ride or drive a vehicle on public roads.

    Learner’s Licence

    A Learner's Licence is a prerequisite for a driving licence. The applicants of or above 18 years of age having parental consent with basic driving skills are eligible for this type of licence. You can apply for it by visiting the official government website or by visiting the nearest RTO office.

    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). To apply, you have to fill the application form and submit it at the RTO along with the required documents.

    Traffic Fines: Offences and Penalties in India

    In India, it is estimated that 150,000 die in road accidents. In order to curb the number of fatalities, the Indian Government revises Traffic Rules & Regulations and penalties every few years. It is responsibility of every citizen to adhere to them, failure of which is an offence and can lead to penalties.

    FAQs on Driving Licence

    1. Can I reapply for a driving licence in case I fail the driving test?

      Yes, you can reapply for a driving licence in case you fail the driving test. You can take the test again after 7 days.

    2. What documents do I need to submit to apply for a driving licence?

      The below-mentioned documents must be submitted when you apply for a driving licence:

      • Forms 1, 1A, 2, and 3
      • Age proof
      • Address proof
    3. How long is a driving licence valid for?

      In the case of private vehicles, a driving licence is valid for 20 years. However, the driving licence is valid for 3 years in the case of commercial vehicles.

    4. What should I do if I lose my driving licence?

      You need to apply for a duplicate driving licence in case you lose your original licence.

    5. How long do I have to renew the driving licence?

      From the date of expiry, you must renew the licence within 5 years. However, it is illegal to drive with a licence that has expired.

    6. What should I do to start the driving licence application process?

      Initially, you must apply for a learner’s licence before submitting an application for a driving licence. You must have a learner’s licence for at least 30 days before you applying for a driver’s licence. The application form for a driver’s licence can be submitted at the RTO or online.

    7. Is the driving licence valid across the country?

      Yes, the driving licence is valid across the country.

    8. Is it mandatory to provide a medical certificate to apply for a driving licence?

      Individuals who are below the age of 50 years need not provide a medical certificate. However, individuals who are using a vehicle for transport purposes must provide a medical certificate.

    9. Where can I apply for a learner’s licence?

      You can visit the nearest RTO or by visiting the official website of Sarathi to apply for a learner’s licence.

    10. Can I get my IDP renewed while on foreign lands?

      Yes, you can get your IDP renewed online through Indian embassies, if your permit expires while you are still abroad.

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