Legal Provisions Regarding Driving Licences

As a proud car owner, or aspiring owner, most of us would be concerned about getting the best deal on our car insurance and ensuring there’s not a scratch on our cars. However, even more important than this is the document that gives us the authority to drive one in the first place- a driver’s licence. There are a large number of motorists who are unaware of the rules and regulations regarding driver’s licences and their issuance, revocation as well as suspension.

Given below is a comprehensive list of the laws and Acts relating to driver’s licences :

Section 3: This section communicates that driving a vehicle without a driving licence is an offence punishable as per the provisions of the law.

Section 4: this section details the minimum age at which an individual can apply for a driver’s licence:

Two wheelers below 50 cc: 16 years

Other vehicles: 18 years

Transport vehicles: 20 years

Section 5: This section pertains to laws concerning vehicle owners not being permitted to permit anyone without a driver’s licence to drive their vehicle. If the vehicle is owned by a parent and their children drive/ride it without having a driver’s licence, the parents would be prosecuted under the law.

Section 19: This sections details the various offences for which an individual’s driving licence can be suspended. If he is an individual who:

  • Is a habitual criminal or someone addicted to drugs or psychotropic substances
  • Is a habitual drunkard
  • Has used a vehicle to commit an offence or whose previous record shows he is a danger to the public due to his driving.

Section 20: this section deals with the situations under which an individual’s driving licence will be revoked. If he has been convicted for an offence where his vehicle was used to commit the crime or any other offence under the Moto Vehicle Act, he will be disqualified from holding a licence.

Disqualification of licence will also take place for the following:

  • Not stopping when commanded to by a police officer
  • Not providing information requested by a policeman
  • Failing to report an accident to an insurer when individual is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle
  • Racing and driving dangerously
  • Not moving a victim of an accident in which his car is involved to the nearest hospital

Section 21: This section deals with suspension of a driving licence, with the law stating that an individual who has been convicted for rash driving and repeats this offence will have his licence suspended for 6 months or till the matter comes before a court.

Section 22: under this section, an individual’s driving licence can be cancelled if he is convicted for driving dangerously more than once. If an individual is convicted for driving while inebriated for a second time, the court can cancel his licence.

Section 39: this section states that no vehicle can be driven without its registration information being prominently displayed. In case such a vehicle is being driven, the owner could face prosecution whether he is present at the time or not.

Section 49: Under this section, an individual is obliged to change the address as printed on the Registration Certificate within 30 days of changing his residence.

Section 50: under this section, a transfer of ownership of the vehicle should be communicated to the concerned authority within 14 days if transfer is within the same state and 45 days if it is an outstation transfer.

Section 51: This section states that a vehicle held under a hire purchase, lease or hypothecation agreement requires the written permission of the individual to whom it is hypothecated before transfer of ownership.

Section 52: this section states that an owner cannot modify a vehicle such that its description no longer matches that mentioned in the Registration Certificate. For any such alterations, the approval of the Regional Transport Officer is required.

Section 53: this section states that any vehicle unfit to ply on roads or is being used without proper permits can have its Registration Certificate revoked by the Regional Transport Officer.

Section 93: this section states that only licensed individuals can sell and canvass tickets for passenger vehicles.

Section 115: This section states that certain vehicles could be barred from operating due to public interest, with no notification necessary if the period is less than a month.

Section 119: This section states mandates that all vehicles should be driven as per the displayed traffic signs and boards and abide by the rules as directed by a traffic police officer regulating traffic.

Section 121: This section states that any driver taking a left or right turn should signal his intention to do so, failing which he can be prosecuted.

Section 122: This section states that any vehicle left at a public space in a way that it obstructs movement or is a danger can be towed away as it is an offence.

Section 123: This section stipulates that travelling on the footboard or the bonnet of a vehicle is prohibited and the driver can refuse to move the vehicle in such an instance.

Section 127: This section details the conditions under which a vehicle can be towed, with the owner bearing the coat of towing and additional penalties if any.

Any vehicle left unattended in a public place for over 10 hours or in a no parking zone can be towed.

Parked unattended vehicles creating a traffic hazard can be towed.

Section 128: This section states that having more than one pillion rider on a bike/scooter is an offence.

Section 129: This section mandates wearing a helmet while riding a two wheeler, subject to government rules.

Section 130: This section states that any driver is obliged to show his registration certificate, driver’s licence, permit or any such document if demanded to by an Officer of the Motor Vehicles department.

Section 133: This section states that a vehicle owner whose vehicle is involved in an accident is obliged to furnish all information as demanded by the police regarding details pertaining to the driver of the vehicle at the time.

Section 136: This section states that all vehicles involved in road accidents are to be inspected by authorised personnel from the Motor Vehicle department.

Section 140: This section states that in instances where a person has suffered permanent disability or death due to a motor accident, the vehicle’s owner will have to compensate the victim Rs. 50, 000 in case of death and Rs. 25, 000 in case of permanent disability. Both the owner and the insurance company are liable under this section.

Section 146: This section mandates that all vehicles plying on roads should have a valid insurance certificate.

Section 158: This section states that a vehicle driver will have to produce his insurance certificate, registration certificate, and driver’s licence when requested by a police officer in uniform.

Section 160: This section states that information pertaining to a vehicle involved in an accident can be obtained in order to make a compensation claim form the police officer at the police station investigating the accident. This information extends to the driver, the injured, property damaged etc.

Section 161: This section states that a compensation amount of Rs. 25, 000 will be paid out in the event of a person’s death due to a hit and run accident and Rs. 12, 500 for grievous hurt by the District Magistrate concerned.

Section 180: This section states that an owner allowing any individual without a valid licence to drive his vehicle can be imprisoned up to 3 months or fined Rs. 1,000 or both.

Section 181: This section states that anyone driving a vehicle without a valid licence can face a fine of Rs. 500 or imprisonment up to 3 months or both.

Section 182: This section mentions the penalty of Rs. 500 or imprisonment up to 3 months or both for individuals who has been disqualified from having a and drive a vehicle without a licence or apply for a driver’s licence and withholds information regarding their disqualification.

Section 182 (a): this section states that individuals who alter or change their vehicle’s construction without approval form the concerned authority will be liable to pay Rs. 1, 000 as fine for the first offence and Rs. 5, 000 for consequent offences.

Section 183: This section details the fines to be paid for speeding.

  • Drivers who break the speed limit are liable to pay Rs. 400 for their first offence and Rs. 500 for consequent ones.
  • Owners who compel drivers to break the speed limit will have to pay Rs. 300 for the first offence and Rs. 500 for consequent offences.

Section 184: This section mentions the action to be taken against motorists who endanger the public due to the speed at which they are driving. Individuals who drive rashly and without regard for the designated speed limit, putting the general public at risk due to their driving are liable to be punished with imprisonment up to 6 months or be fined Rs. 1, 000 or both. For a repeat offence, he is liable to be imprisoned for up to 2 years or fined Rs. 2, 000 or both.

Section 185: this section states the penalty for drunken driving, which is a fine of up to Rs. 3, 000 or imprisonment up to 2 years or both.

Section 186: this section states the penalty for those driving when they are mentally or physically unfit face a fine of up to Rs. 200 for the first time and Rs. 500 for repeat offences.

Section 187: this section details the penalties for drivers who do not report an accident caused due to their vehicle. Those who do not report this information can be punished with imprisonment up to 3 months or a fined up to Rs. 500 or both. This is in addition to the penalty if he is convicted. For repeat offenders, the penalty is a fine amount up to Rs. 1, 000 and imprisonment up to 6 months.

Section 188: this section states the penalty for those who abet an offence as per sections 184, 185 and 186. The law states that this individual will also be charged and punished for the crime.

Section 189: this section states the punishment for those who participate in a race or trial of speed without government consent. Such individuals will face a fine of up to Rs. 500 or imprisonment up to 1 month.

Section 190: This section details the penalties for those who violate road safety laws, with the offender liable to be fined up to Rs. 1, 000 for the first and up to Rs. 2, 000 for later offences.

Section 192: this section details the penalty for those who use an unregistered vehicle on the roads. The individual is liable to be fined Rs. 2, 000 to Rs. 5, 000 for the first offence and Rs. 5, 000 to Rs. 10, 000 for further such offences. This fine will not be imposed for emergency situations such as delivering aid or transporting sick or injured persons.

Section 192(a): This section states the penalty for those who use a vehicle in violation of the mentioned permit conditions is Rs. 2, 000 up to Rs. 5, 000 and imprisonment up to 2 years for a first time offence. The penalty for repeat offenders ranges from Rs. 5, 000 to Rs. 10, 000 or a jail term up to 2 years.

Section 194: those driving a vehicle exceeding the weight limit allowed could be fined Rs. 2, 000 as well as have to pay for the off-loading of the excess weight.

Section 197: This section states that anyone driving or moving a vehicle without the owner’s consent is liable to be fined Rs. 500 or be imprisoned for a period up to 3 months or both.

Section 201: this section states that individuals who leave a disabled vehicle in a way that obstructs traffic and inconveniences the public could be fined Rs. 50 per hour it is left in such a place.

Section 202: this section lists the various offences that a police officer not in uniform can arrest an individual without requiring a warrant for, ranging from someone driving under the influence of alcohol to driving dangerously as well as taking a vehicle without sanction. He can also arrest the individual who has committed the offences listed above and who refuses to provide his personal details when asked.

Section 203: this section states that anyone refusing to breathe into a breath analyser when requested to by police due to suspicion he is driving while inebriated is liable to be arrested without requiring a warrant.

Section 206: this section pertains to fraudulent documentation. A police officer or State government official can arrest without warrant any individual who is suspected of carrying a driving licence, permit, insurance, registration certificate or such document that is fraudulent.

Further, the police officer could seize the individual’s licence if he believes the accused will abscond or not present himself before a court for his hearing.

The individual whose licence has been seized will receive an acknowledgement from the concerned officer or official. He can use this to drive on a temporary basis till his court hearing or till the licence is retuned to him.

Section 207: this section states that anyone suspected of misusing the vehicle or using it in violation of the above provisions can be arrested by a police officer or state government official. The vehicle can be seized and be taken into custody till such time as seen fit.


News About Legal Provisions Regarding Driving Licences

  • Approximately 30% of DLs are bogus

    The Union Road Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari has said that approximately 30% of licenses being used in the country are invalid. In an effort to prevent the use of these bogus licenses, the government has decided to register all licenses being issued under the umbrella of e-governance. The details of the license holder will now be registered online and will be available nation-wide, this will prevent people from registering for multiple licenses in various different places. The new system will also ensure that any person who has not cleared his/her driving test will not be issued a license. Individuals who clear their driving test will receive their license within three days, and if there is a delay in delivery of license there will be action taken against the Regional Transport Office (RTO).

    12 April 2017

  • Three Month Driving Ban for 48 Drivers in Chandigarh

    Holi was a fun time for a lot of people across the country, but not so much for 48 individuals who lost their licenses for several different traffic violations on the auspicious day. Most of these drivers were subject to drunken driving, and, as a result, lost their driving privileges for the next three months. The challans and vehicles were released by the local court within the next few days of Holi, but their license remains suspended for at least three months. These individuals also had to pay a fine depending upon the severity of their violation. In 2016, 33 individuals were sentenced to a month-long sentence in jail by Chief Judicial Magistrate, all for drunken driving.

    22 March 2017

  • RTO orders auto drivers to get permit

    Regional Transport Office has issued an order to school auto drivers and van drivers asking them to get necessary permit from the department to avoid seizure of vehicles. According to a statement made by transport officials, most of the van drivers and rickshaw drivers do not possess the necessary permit from the department. The drivers have been breaking the rules by not applying for transport and school permits from the department. According to official sources there are more than 8,000 auto-rickshaws and over 3,000 private vans in the city ferrying schoolchildren.

    20 June 2016

  • Vehicle Owners to Be Held Responsible for Juvenile Road Offences

    A number of states have approved holding vehicle owners responsible for accidents caused by juvenile drivers, as well as more stringent punishments for offences such as rash driving, violating the speed limit, using mobiles while driving and riding without a helmet.

    The ministry of road transport has also given the nod to suspending the driving licences of motorists who are caught committing the above violations.

    Those caught would face community service, including juveniles.

    As of now, there are no rules holding the vehicle owners responsible for road violations by juveniles, and the owners should be indicted in the case of grievous injury or death according to a Home Ministry official.

    The proposals will be presented before a panel of transport ministers from various states, who will suggest recommendations or amendments. Once the panel approves the proposed changes, the penalty for specific offences will be decided upon.

    26 April 2016

  • LGBTs to be trained as cab drivers in Pune

    Wings Travels Management Limited, who have been training Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) cab drivers in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, is all set to take it forward to other cities. Yes, they have already launched the same project there. The company officials met up with LGBT folks in Pune and they discovered that none of the member own a valid driving license. One reason for this could be – there is no option of ‘others’ in the gender column. They took initiative to report this as a social problem and the Pune RTO soon rectified this limitation by adding another gender column quickly on their online application form. Speaking about the issue, a Pune-based LGBT fellow Payal or Rajendra Khalade, who has been struggling to obtain a license for their two wheeler, lamented about the limited rights and resources for the LGBT community. Now with this glitch corrected, one can hope that it will open doors of opportunities and possibilities for LGBT people.

    15 March 2016

  • In Pune, Female Autorickshaw Drivers All Set to Hit the Road

    March 8th saw the first two women autorickshaw drivers given their commercial driving permits by the Pune Regional Transport Office, making them among the 10 to take Pune’s streets by storm.

    While both women already had their driving licence and badges, they required permits to ply a commercial autorickshaw, which they received on March 8th. To complete the process, they will have to acquire an autorickshaw, after which they will be issued with the final permit.

    This is seen as an encouragement for other women with aspirations of becoming commercial drivers.

    The women, aware of the challenges they will face when driving for the first time, have decided to take it slow and begin by ferrying children to and from school. They also intend to practice until perfect in order to prepare themselves for the challenges of weaving through the city’s erratic traffic.

    The Maharashtra government is looking into assigning a special colour for autorickshaws driven by women to make them easily identifiable.

    14 March 2016

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