How to get driving licence in India as a foreigner?

If you are not an Indian citizen and want to obtain a driving licence, there is a procedure availed by the government. As a driver when you are driving the vehicle on the roads of India, there are certain rules to be followed therefore knowing the traffic rules and sign is of utmost importance before putting your hands on the steering wheel. The transport department of the central and state governments in India have also set specific fines for specific violations.

Procedure to obtain a driving licence in India as a foreigner

  • If a foreigner wants to use the driving licence of his or her country of residence, he or she cannot do so as the government of India does not allow the operation of foreign licences in India.
  • A foreigner can apply for an international driving licence in India if he or she is going to reside in India for less than a year.
  • If the stay in India is or will be more than a year, the foreigner needs to apply for an Indian driving licence.
  • To obtain an Indian driving licence, the applicant has to visit the RTO office in his or her area of residence and apply for it.
  • As a foreign national, to obtain a driving licence in India, follow the steps mentioned below:
  1. Visit the nearest regional transport office in your region of residence.
  2. As the applicant, ask for a registration form for the registration of your vehicle from the concerned authority.
  3. Next, after filling out the application, submit all the documents required for registration of the vehicle.
  4. The types of vehicles for which an Indian driving licence can be applied are:
    • Licence for a two-wheeler.
    • Licence for Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) like passenger cars.
    • Licence for Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) like a bus or truck.
  5. To be eligible for application of a driving licence in India, the applicant needs to pass the driving test.
  6. The documents to be submitted for registration are:
    • The sales certificate - It is the document which indicates you as the owner of the vehicle having bought it from the dealer. It is also known as Form 21.
    • The original invoice of the purchase of the vehicle.
    • The ‘Road Worthiness Certificate’ has to also be provided to the concerned authority in the RTO. A roadworthiness certificate is a document which states that the vehicle is safe to be driven on the road and is not a threat to the environment when in operation.
    • The ‘Pollution Under Control Certificate’ which states that the vehicle in question emits pollution under the legal limit.
    • If the car has been imported from another country which is very likely the scenario in this situation, the ‘Customs Clearance Certificate’ has to be provided by the owner of the vehicle.
    • A document stating the valid insurance of the vehicle in question.
    • The owner also has to provide the proof of address where he or she is currently residing in India. Providing this document could prove to be tricky as the owner of the vehicle might find it difficult to provide an address proof given that he is not a citizen of India.
    • The owner of the vehicle has to also pay the road tax fee that is levied once.
    • The owner of the vehicle has to pay the registration fee for getting the vehicle registered.

The case of importing a vehicle from your country to India

Importing a vehicle from another country is a facility that can be availed by a foreign citizen but it should be done only and only if there is no other option left for the owner of the vehicle. The import duty levied by the government of India for a used vehicle is 125% of the value of the vehicle. An import licence is also required by the owner of the vehicle to transfer it from his or her home country to India. Some of the conditions that have to be met by a vehicle being imported to India are:

  1. The vehicle should have a right-hand steering wheel. In most of the cars that are manufactured abroad, the steering wheel is on the left-hand side.
  2. The speedometer should indicate the speed in kilometres per hour rather than miles per hour.
  3. If the vehicle to be imported has been bought recently, it should be imported only from the country that it has been manufactured in.
  4. If the engine of the imported vehicle which has been bought recently exceeds 1600cc it is not allowed by the Indian government to be imported.
  5. For vehicles that have been bought and operating over a long period of time, there is no limit on the capacity of the engine if it is being imported to India.
  6. The only port of entry for imported vehicles in India is through the city of Mumbai.

Car insurance facility in India for imported cars

  1. For any vehicle that is operational on the roads of India, it is mandatory to get a valid vehicular insurance.
  2. The insurance will cover theft and damages to the vehicle from fire, floods or earthquakes.
  3. Overall, opting for a insurance in India is a good choice.
  4. There are a variety of companies in India that offer vehicular insurance in India to foreigners.
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