Driving Licence in Kerala

It is a legal grant issued by a state by the Regional Transport office of a particular state which authorizes the applicant to drive and operate a specific category of motor vehicles, depending on the intent. It is a document issued to the applicant after he/she successfully passes the required test which also includes a demonstration of their ability to operate the vehicle in presence of the officials.

Once issued, the license holder is required to carry the original/copy at all times and produce it on demand from various law enforcement agencies. It also doubles up as a reference document for address and ID proof.

In the state of Kerala, the responsibility of issuing a driving license is entrusted with the Motor Vehicles Department under the aegis of Government of Kerala.

Kerala Motor Vehicles Department

The department is headed by the Transport Commissioner and consists of multiple offices and staff members in various districts of the state. The primary functions the Kerala MVD are as follows.

  • Registration of motor vehicles
  • Enforcing the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act
  • Collection of taxes and fees
  • Miscellaneous services such as issuing driving license, permits, fitness certificates and others

There are 18 Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in Kerala headed by a Regional Transport Officer at each of the offices. One of the offices is dedicated for dealing with the nationalized sector, statewise. In addition, there are 55 Sub Regional Transport Offices headed by Joint Regional Transport Officers.

Driving License

The DL issued under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, authorizes the bearer to drive a motor vehicle in any part of India. To obtain a driving license, the applicant should first apply and receive a learner's license. The following eligibility criteria need to be fulfilled to obtain one.

  • Applicant between the age group of 16-18 years is required to get a written consent from their parents and apply for a license. Applicants falling in this age group can only drive a motor vehicle below 50cc.
  • Applicants aged more than 18 years and less than 20 years can apply for license to drive a motor vehicle in the non-transport category.
  • If the applicant has a minimum of 1-year experience driving a non-transport motor vehicle and is above 20 years, he/she can apply for a license to drive a transport vehicle driving license.

Before being offered a driving license valid for a certain period, first-time applicants are required to take up computer-based learner’s test at the designated test centers. The test will consist of the applicant’s knowledge on aspects such as road safety, rules and regulations, signals, and signs etc.

Upon passing this test, the applicant will be provided a learner's license, valid for 6 months from the date of issue. If the applicant fails to clear the test, he/she can reappear for the test by paying a fee of Rs.30. After holding the LL for 30 days or more, the applicant can take up the driving test to obtain a driving license. The test will consist of two phases. In part 1, the ability of the applicant to control the motor will be scrutinized and the second part deals with driving skills on the track.

Documents Required

  • Form 1: Contains self declaration of the physical conditions of the applicant. This form holds good for persons below 50 years and valid for non-transport vehicles.
  • Form 1A: This form is valid for persons over 50 years of age. To apply for a driving license, persons falling under this category should produce a certificate from a registered medical practitioner along with the form.
  • Form 2 & 3: Application form for learners license.

In addition to the forms above, the applicant should also furnish an Eye Test Certificate from an ophthalmologist along with ID and address proof such as Voters id card, passport, school leaving certificate, Aadhar card etc.

Fees & Charges

Fee Description Amount
Learners License Rs.30
Driving test (each class) Rs.50
Driving License Rs.200
Service charge Rs.50

The fees and charges are payable in cash at the regional transport office at the payment counter.

DL Renewal Procedure

If your license is due to expire, make sure to apply for a renewal at least a month before the expiry. For renewals done 30 days after its expiry, a new DL card will be issued on the date of receipt of the payment and the application. A fee of Rs.250 should be remitted for renewal done before 30 days from the expiry date.

Procedure for International Driving License

The RTO in Kerala will also issue IDP (International driving permit) to applicants who hold a valid driving license issued in India. If you wish to get an IDP, ask for form IDP or write to the jurisdictional RTO, providing the details of the countries to be visited and other details such as duration of the stay.


News About Applying Driving Licence in Kerala

  • Kerala High Court suggests making road rage a punishable offence.

    Justice VG Arun of Kerala High Court has put forward a suggestion to make road rage a punishable offence. The suggestion comes after considering a bail plea filed by a 58-year-old of Vaniyampara near Peechi in Thrissur. While passing the judgment, the court stated that there has been various instances of road rage, violence, and assaults on the roads thereby putting the lives of drivers and passengers at risk. Given these circumstances, making road rage a punishable offence can be considered as countries like Australia, Germany and Singapore have done.

    It needs to be mentioned here that though Section 19 of the Motor Vehicles Act provides for disqualifying a person from holding a driving license or revoking it if such person has by his previous conduct as the driver of a motor vehicle shown that his/her driving is likely to be attended with danger to the public, there is no specific provision under the Act which makes road rage a punishable offence.

    29 March 2021

  • Riding sans helmet in Krishna district can lead to suspension of driving licence

    Your driving licence stands the risk of getting cancelled permanently, if you are found without a helmet while riding a bike in Krishna district. The transport department said that wearing a helmet is the responsibility of every rider, hence making it mandatory to wear helmets while riding bikes. This rule has been implemented by the transport department with the support of police department from January 2021.

    Despite strict laws and awareness campaigns conducted by the RTA and police department, many two-wheeler riders do not pay heed and ride without wearing a helmet. Close to 1,400 persons were booked by the police since January this year for not wearing helmets. Henceforth, any rider found riding their bike without a helmet will see their licence get suspended by the transport department for three months. On repeating the offence, their licence will be cancelled permanently.

    2 December 2020

  • The number of people seeking driving licences in Kerala declines

    Due to COVID-19, many people in Kerala are refraining from applying for their driving license and are postponing their plans to get a new licence. This has resulted in the lower number of driving license applicants in the state.

    As per the report from the Motor Vehicles Department, only 50,650 people appeared for the learner’s test online since the facility of online tests began in June. According to Rajeev Puthalath, Joint Transport Commissioner, the fear of COVID-19 has been the major reason for a lower turnout for the license test. In the online driving test, around 3.8% of the candidates failed compared to the 1.36% failing in the offline tests which were held in the previous year.

    31 August 2020

  • Driving license for LMV can be used to drive auto rickshaws in Kerala

    As per the Transport Mission Mode Project’s flagship uniform pan-India applications Sarathi for driving licence, individuals having a valid driving licence for Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) can now use it to drive auto rickshaws. Given this, no separate driving licence will be issued for driving auto rickshaws in Kerala as it cannot be ported separately in the Sarathi.

    State Transport Commissioner in an order issued on June 8 stated that those holding e-rickshaw driving licence issued before 1 January 2019 under the old driving licence issue system will be allowed to drive auto rickshaws in the state. The intervention comes after reports emerged that several driving schools were pressurising individuals to go for the costly LMV licence when they came forward to obtain the driving licence for plying auto rickshaws. It must be noted here that under Sarathi, learner’s licence, renewal of licence and duplicate licence, international driving permit, addition of class, and licence-related fee and charges are covered.

    11 June 2020

  • Over 150 Licenses Suspended In Kochi For Traffic Violation

    Suspending driving license looks like the best way to reduce traffic violations. In the district of Ernakulam, over 150 licenses of motorists were suspended due to traffic offences. Over 175 driving licences may be suspended in the near future.

    The Supreme Court Road Safety Committee has suggested to suspend the driving licence for three months if the driver is caught for offences like overloading, using mobile phone while driving, and overspeeding.

    Since this operation has been launched, over 176 notices were sent to motorist for compulsory hearing before their licences can get suspended.

    18 August 2017

  • New driving rules failing in Kerala

    Although the motor vehicles department (MVD) has declared that the driving license test will be stricter, lots of regional transport offices and their sub offices in Kerala are still stuck to using the same old methods. The regional transport officers reported and joint regional transport officers said that the latest system is proving to be a failure as they do not have any provisions to arrange for tests according to the new directions.

    A joint RTO from Alappuzha said that they don't have any facilities to arrange for driving tests according to the new rules. The main reason, he says, is that they don't have their own ground. According t the new rules, the learner should stop the vehicle on a slope and then proceed effortlessly. At first, they had tried to conduct such tests on bridges. But it led to huge traffic jam. So, they have gone back to the old procedures. Meanwhile, the same official said that decreasing the length of the rods to half the existing five feet has not been troublesome for the applicants. They can drive four-wheelers inside the suggested spaces as the rods as attached to a ribbon. They can easily take H relying on the rear-view mirror and the side mirrors with the help of the ribbon.

    3 July 2017

Driving Licence
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