Driving Licence in Karnataka

If you are a Karnataka resident and have not obtained a driving licence yet, now is the time. The state follows a distinct traffic laws and regulations that must be stringently followed. Earning a driving licence in Karnataka is not a long process as it once was. Yet there is no compromise or short cut when it comes to getting a learners first and then the license.

To be able to drive a car and/ or a two wheeler is one of the most common yet essential skill to master in current times. This holds true be it in metro cities, semi-urban regions or villages. To drive legitimately in any country or state, you need to achieve a certain standard of proficiency. Evidence of having attained that benchmark is bestowed to you by the state government, which is a valid driving licence for a definite period of time. Usually it is essential to clear a written, theoretic or verbal test to ensure that the applicant has a decent understanding of the road conduct, customs, protocols, regulations and traffic laws. Then follows the practical test in a dual-controlled car to make sure that the applicant is comfortable with managing a vehicle on the road, which will be closely monitored by an official from the respective transport department.

Types of Driving Licences in Karnataka

In Karnataka, license aspirants has to obtain a Learners License first and then obtain a Permanent Driving Licence in six months. You can get a slot for a permanent driving licence test only after one month of getting the learners.

There are three types driving licences granted by the Karnataka government:

  1. Driving Licence for Motorcycles without Gear:

    This type of permanent Driving Licence is given to candidates for driving motorcycles and two wheelers without gear like scooters and mopeds. The applicant must be of age 16 and above to apply for this.

  2. Driving Licence for Light Motor Vehicle:

    This is conferred to those individuals applying for license for driving light motor vehicles such as bikes and cars. The legal age to apply for this type of license is 18 and above.

  3. Driving Licence for Transport Vehicles:

    Those who want to be able to drive transport automobiles such as cabs, private service vehicles, lorries, trucks, and trailers should go for a permanent Driving Licence for transport vehicles. In Karnataka, Driving Licence for transport automobiles is generally meted out to applicants of age 20 and above.

Documentation Required for Driving Licence in Karnataka

To obtain a Driving Licence in Karnataka, the candidate should submit the below documents at the concerned RTO Office.

  • Four passport sized photos of the applicant
  • Medical certificate in Form 1 A and 1 given by any licensed Government doctor, if applicable
  • Valid documents of the vehicle if you own a vehicle
  • Duly filled license application form which can be downloaded from the website of Karnataka Transport Department
  • Valid Age Proof: SSLC Book, PAN Card, Voters ID, Aadhar card etc.
  • Valid ID Proof: Any photo and signature bearing national identity cards such as Voter ID, Passport, PAN Card or Aadhar card
  • Residence Proof: Ration card copy, rental/ lease agreement, utility bill etc.
  • Specified Application Fees

More documents might be requested by your RTO official based on your profile. Please check with the concerned staff, before proceeding with the document submission.

How to Apply for a Driving Licence in Karnataka

You can visit the nearest RTO and collect an application form from there directly, apply via a motor driving school or download one directly from www.rto.kar.nic.in. After the required documentation (passport sized photos, ID proof, residence address proofs etc.), you will be given a slot for the preliminary test. This is to check how aware you are of the road rules, regulations and traffic laws. Once you pass the test, you will be given a learner’s license.

Assuming that you have already given the preliminary test and attained a learner’s license in Karnataka, the rest of the procedure is quite straightforward. Firstly, know that your Learners License is valid only for six months. And you can apply for a permanent driving licence only after a month, meaning you are expected to practice driving on road and ground at least for month. You can opt for any available slot after one month providing you become confidence to go for the practical test.

How to check Driving Licence Status in Karnataka

Driving licence is usually sent to the applicant in less than 30 days after passing the test by post. If you haven’t received it in the set time, you can get in touch with your RTO and check the status. These days you can check your driving licence status online and do not have to pay a visit to the RTA office. All you need to do is enter the required details given to you in the relevant columns. Remember that your license can get cancelled in case unpaid challans and ignored summons.

How to Make Corrections in Driving Licence Online

If applicants having a driving licence wish to make any kind of corrections (such as misspelt names, address etc.) printed on the card, they need to forward a written application along with any of the relevant documents with the correct information.

  • Passport
  • Any of your latest utility bill
  • LIC Policy
  • Ration Card
  • Caste Certificate (SC/ST, Backward Class and Minorities, etc.)
  • Income Certificate issued by your Tahasildar
  • Self-swearing Affidavit by an applicant in front of an executive Magistrate or a First Class Judicial Magistrate or a Notary Public, with the correct information.
  • Proof of lawful residential status in India (for overseas applicants)

The required correction can be filed and a fresh license will be meted out to you on the same day if it was issued in the same RTA office in the first place. And if applied in a different RTO, the new license with changed address will be sent in one month after due verification. The applicant also has to disburse a fee of INR 215 and be present in person to be photographed by the official.

How to change Address for Driving Licence Online

If applicants having a driving licence wish to change the address printed on the card, they need to forward a written application along with any of the following proofs for the new residence address.

  • Passport
  • LIC Policy
  • Any recent utility bill
  • Ration Card
  • Caste Certificate (SC/ST, Backward Class and Minorities, etc.)
  • Income Certificate issued by your Tahasildar
  • Self-swearing Affidavit by an applicant in front of an executive Magistrate or a First Class Judicial Magistrate or a Notary Public as age and residence proof
  • Proof of lawful residential status in India (for overseas applicants)
  • Change of address can be filed and the new license can be given to you on the same day if issued in the same RTA office.
  • If applied in a different RTO, the new license with changed address will be sent in one month after due verification.
  • The applicant also has to disburse a fee of INR 215 and be present to be photographed.

Test Procedure for Driving Licence in Karnataka

Assuming that you have obtained the learners license, you can appear for the practical driving test any time after one month is up. You can choose a slot when you feel confident enough to give the test. On the day, an inspector will scrutinize your documents before you will be cleared to go for the test. Transport department doesn’t provide vehicles, you will have to bring your own. Or if you are trained in a motor vehicle driving school, that will be taken care of by the school.

Four wheeler test: First you will have to go for the ground test, which is basically driving along the marked ‘H’, without touching the poles planted at the edges. This is mainly to gauge your ability to control the vehicle, reverse, shift gears, focus and so on. Upon flunking this, you will be given another date to repeat the test. Once you clear the ground test, you will be cleared for the road test, which is the final stage. Here, the examiner will accompany you and will mainly check your driving skills, adaptation with the vehicle, how well-versed you are in practical application of traffic rules & laws.

Two-wheeler & three-wheeler tests: For these too, the ground test comes first. You will have to ride the bike or auto rickshaw along the previously bordered ‘Figure of Eight’ without touching the poles planted at different corners. This tells the examiner how comfortable you are with your vehicle, shifting gears, reversing, bending corners and so on. After clearing this, you will be directed for the road test, in which you have to ride for a certain distance on the road complying with all the rules and regulations.

The Inspector of motor vehicles will take the test of your capability to drive in accordance with the guidelines listed under Rule 15 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (1989). If he is satisfied with your results, he can pass on his commendations to the RTO and you will soon receive your driving. Failed applicants can appear for retest after 7 days be paying a small fee of INR 50.

Driving Licence Renewal in Karnataka

Driving Licence (DL) is issued with a validity of 20 years or for up to age 50, whichever is earlier. And once you cross the barrier of age 50, you will probably have to renew your license at least every three to five years in Karnataka. You may request for renewal at least 20 years before it is expired or within a month after expiry.

First you need to collect a renewal form from the same RTO that issued you your license or renewed your license last. Submit the filled form and a medical certificate in form CMV 1/ IA, along with three passport sized photographs and original DL.

You have to pay the renewal fee of INR 300 towards the new card and you will receive the license on the same day.

How to Apply for Duplicate Driving Licence

In the event of loss or theft of your driving licence, you might need to apply for a duplicate driving licence. You can submit an LLD form duly filled at the nearest RTO. The steps mentioned below will clarify on how to obtain a duplicate Driving Licence in Karnataka.

  • The Driving Licence holder is expected to fill the LLD form accurately and give it at the same RTO which approved or renewed the license.
  • Along with the LLD form, you should also give at least three copies of your most recent passport sized photos and the fee stipulated in KMV guidebook.
  • If your application for duplicate Driving Licence is made in Form 7, then you will need to shell out a small fee of INR 40.
  • You will also have to present the duplicate copy of your lost license, otherwise it will be difficult for the concerned official to extract your details. It will speed up the process and make it easier.

How to Get International Driving Licence in Karnataka?

Please go through the guidelines below if you wish to apply for an International License in the state.

  • Collect the Application Form CMV 4-A from your nearest RTO or download the same from their website.
  • You have to shell out an IDP (International Driving Permit) charge of INR 500 to the RTO cashier. You can pay online as well.
  • Show your Original Valid Driving Licence, Visa, Passport and Air ticket and submit Photostat copies of each at the office.
  • A medical certificate and fitness certificate in form CMV 1 & CMV 1A must be given with your duly filled application and three latest passport sized photos.
  • To proceed with the application, the applicant must be an Indian citizen and has to go to the office in person.
  • If the driving licence given is within 90 days, the candidate must go for a re-test.
  • The address given in the license must be under the RTO dominion, where you are applying.
  • Your International Driving Permit (IDP) is valid for 12 months or until the driving licence expires, whichever happens earlier.

FAQs on Driving Licence in Karnataka

  1. I have license for gearless two wheeler. Do I have to reappear for the test to get a license for geared two wheeler?

    As you are already a license holder, you will be exempted from the preliminary test (oral/ written). You can apply for the practical test slot and appear on the same day for it. First you have to pass the ground test (Figure-of-eight) and if qualified, appear for the road test. If you fail the ground test, you will be given another date.

  2. What will be the topics covered in the prelims?

    The below topics will be asked for the preliminary test.

    • Traffic signs, signals and road rules and regulations specified under section 118 of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act.
    • What the driver should do in case of an accident.
    • Precautions and papers to have handy when on the road.
  3. What is the fee for driving licence application?

    You have to pay INR 30 to apply for one class of vehicles. If you are applying for license for more than one classes of vehicles, you have to disburse INR 30 for each.

  4. What is validity period of an Indian Driving Licence?

    It is valid across the country and is generally issued for 20 years or until age 50, whichever is first.

News About How to Get a Driving License in Karnataka

  • 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.

    21 December 2020

  • Multiple buses bearing single registration number in Bangalore, RTO imposes fine

    Six private buses from other states found driving on the roads of Bangalore were found to have identical registration number. This discrepancy was noticed by the officials from Regional Transport Office (RTO). These buses were depriving the government of taxes. A fine of Rs.41 lakh was imposed on them.

    1 December 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.

    23 October 2020

  • Drive against commuters not following COVID-19 SOPs launched in Poonch

    On Thursday, the Transport department launched a drive against commuters not following COVID-19 related standard operating procedure (SOPs) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. The development comes after it was found that people were violating COVID-19 SOPs in several locations. While passenger vehicles are allowed to run with 50 percent of passenger capacity and wearing of mask made necessary, it has been seen that no attention is being given to it. Resident of the district has also alleged that auto drivers are over charging them despite RTO settling a fixed rate for a particular distance.

    22 September 2020

  • Karnataka records a 170% rise in driving license cancellations due to drunk driving

    In Karnataka, in 2018 there was a 170% increase in driving license cancellations compared to 2 years before due to drunk driving.

    In 2016, the number of driving licenses cancelled due to drunk driving was 20,611 which increased to 21,945 in 2017. This number increased drastically to 41,134 in 2018.

    From around 12,150 motorists losing their license due to drinking and driving in 2016, the number increased to 32,765 in 2018. The transport department cancels licenses of riders and drivers based on the recommendation of the traffic police.

    Apart from drunk driving, there are other instances by which a driving license can be cancelled such as jumping traffic signals, speeding, using phones while driving, riding without helmet or driving without a seatbelt on.

    For the other instances, the traffic police cancel the license only if the offense is constantly repeated however when it comes to drunken driving, it is subjected to immediate cancellation. A transport department official recently mentioned that the police department will be taking strict actions in all instances of drunken driving. Once the license is cancelled, the person must reapply for his or her license again from scratch. They must apply for a learner’s license and then be given the official driving license.

    AGDP, Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety and Crime and Technical Services, MA Saleem strongly mentions that apart from booking cases, there must also be sustained awareness campaigns conducted to show citizens the ill-effects of drinking and driving.

    7 June 2019

  • Online RTO transactions soon

    All RTO related work can be done online in Bengaluru as the Transport Department will soon launch a software that will help with this.

    The software Vahan 4.0 and Sarathi 4.0 will help implement this through a central grid mechanism. The softwares have already been introduced in many RTOs in Bengaluru. With Vahan, one can make payments online and one can take driving license tests through Sarathi. One can also book an appointment for the test online through the Sarathi software.

    10 July 2017

  • 4.6 Lakh Smart Cards Yet to be Issued by RTOs

    The issue of driving licenses and vehicle registration certificates has become a problem due to a lack of smart cards over the past couple of months. Individuals whose vehicles have been registered lodged complaints saying that they are forced to go to RTO offices. Since February, about 2.1 lakh individuals who sought vehicle registration, and 2.5 lakh individuals seeking Driving Licences had to enrol in the 60 RTOs. However, these individuals are yet to receive their smart cards. Even though these individuals have paid Rs.151 for a driving license and Rs.137 for a registration certificate, their Smart Card DL are yet to arrive.

    Bengaluru has been the hardest hit by this shortage of smart cards as the city records the most vehicle sales in Karnataka. The Jayanagar RTO is short of 15,000 cards, while the RTOs in Yeshwantpur and Electronics City require 9000 and 12,000 cards respectively.

    4 May 2017

  • Automatic Cars Not Permitted For Driving Licence Test

    Driving licence applicants who are going for their driving licence test are not permitted to drive automatic cars, according to the law. The provision, part of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, allows the granting of a driving licence only to manual transmission automobiles.

    This particular provision as highlighted when an applicant from Bengaluru, on taking her automatic car for the test, was informed that the RTO did not issue licences for such cars.

    The law mandates that applicants know how to operate a manual transmission car.

    As the Central government is yet to amend the rules regarding awarding of driving licences for automatic cars as well, RTO officials have stated they are unable to issue licences for such cars.

    The emergence of automatic cars in India in the past few years has been attributed to the increasing traffic snarls, as commuters are fed up of constantly shifting gears in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

    22 March 2017

  • Shocker for the motorists of Mysuru at the RTO

    At the Regional Transport Office in Mysuru, motorists got a shock on Saturday. The Central Government already announced the changes in fees but it was completely new to the public. The officials of the RTO stated that the information about fee hike was sent to them from the higher authorities in Bangalore. They also said the implementation of the revised rates was directed to put in effect immediately.

    The rates that have been revised are applicable to licence issuance, transfer of vehicle ownership, International Driving Permits, etc. As per the RTO officials, people who were taken aback by the hike in fees finally paid the revised fees without creating any problem.

    19 January 2017

  • Karnataka RTO Announces Launch of New Website

    The Karnataka Transport Department recently announced the launch of its new website while also introducing its online payment system that will allow citizens to make tax payments online. The website also accommodates payments towards quarterly tax and license fees, a statement from the transport department reported. The Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy also stated that with the inception of the Vahan and Sarathi Projects, the procedure to apply for driving licenses and register new vehicles will also be made possible online. Currently, the e-transport system is being run on a trial basis and the government has already collected a sum of Rs. 380 crore in the form of taxes and other fees. The payment system is integrated with the state government’s Khajane II portal. The new website can be accessed through the following url: transport.karnataka.gov.in.

    14 October 2016

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