Owning a car is no longer a luxury or a dream that the common man can’t fulfil. It has become a quintessential part of the modern city dwellers’ life. But just owning a car is not enough. You must have a driving licence to take it around. The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 states – no individual without a driving licence is authorised to drive a motor vehicle in a public place.
It is important that every driver on the road is a pro when it comes to driving. Not only does this ensure safety, but also helps people avoid road accidents and prevent from creating unorganised traffic conditions. Or, at least, we hope it does.
This article will tell you all that you need to know driving licence and how to apply for one in India.
Additional Reading: Linking Aadhaar To Driving License And Vehicle Registration
What Is A Driving Licence?
A driving licence is an official document issued by the Government of India permitting individuals to operate or drive cars, motorbikes, trucks, buses, etc., on public roads. It is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of each state.
You must first hold a valid driving licence in India before you take your car, bike, or scooter on a round. If you are learning how to drive then you must first apply for a learners’ licence. It will act as a provisional licence. Once you learn how to drive, you must take a test before you get your driving licence.
Thanks to the internet, you can now apply for a driving licence online from the comfort of your homes. You, however, have to visit the RTO to take the test.
Additional Reading: How To Renew Your Driver’s Licence
Different Types Of Driving Licence
There are different types of driving licences available.
The first step to obtaining a Driving Licence in India is getting a learner’s licence. It acts as a provisional licence. You must have a good sense of road rules to get a learners’ licence. In India, learners’ licence is issued after a candidate passes a written or online test on road rules.
You will be allowed to practice driving on public roads after you get a learners’ licence but you will have to be accompanied by a person who holds a permanent driving licence.
You must obtain learners’ licence for the right class of vehicle before you can get a driving licence.
Additional Reading: Car Loan Application 101
You are eligible to receive a permanent driver’s licence after 30 days of receiving the learner’s licence.
International Driving Licence
If you are travelling abroad and I want to drive there, you have to apply for an international driver’s permit in India. The international driver’s permit is an official travel document that is authorised by the United Nations. It is issued to tourists travelling to foreign countries.
Duplicate Driving Licence
Every driver in India needs to have a driving licence. You are not allowed to drive in the country without this document. If you lose your driving licence, you will have to apply for a duplicate at the earliest. More about how to apply for a duplicate driving licence later in the article.
Light Motor Vehicle Licence
This licence allows you to drive light motor vehicles such as autos, jeeps, taxis, delivery vans.
Heavy Motor Vehicle Licence
This licence is given to people who drive vehicles like buses, trucks, cranes etc.
Additional Reading: Change of address in Driving License
Driving Licence Based On Vehicle Type
|Motorcycles with engine capacity of 50 cc or less than 50 cc|
|Motorcycles with gear, motorcycles with a capacity of 50 cc or more, light motor vehicles (LMVs) including cars|
|All Motorcycles types including motorcycle with gear|
|Motorcycles of any cc but with no gears – including scooters and mopeds|
|Light motor vehicle for non-transport purposes|
|Light motor vehicle intended for commercial purposes|
|Heavy passenger motor vehicle (also referred to as All India driving permit for trucks and cars or open licence)|
|Heavy goods motor vehicle|
|Candidates holding a heavy vehicle driving licence can apply for heavy trailer licence|
Additional Reading: Your Car Loan EMI Calculator Guide
Eligibility 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 eligibility criteria for different permanent driving licence types in India are given below.
|Type of Driving Licence||Eligibility Criteria|
|Motorcycles without gear (with a capacity of up to 50 cc)||The applicant must be at least 16 years old and must have the consent of parent or guardian if less than 18 years old.|
|Motorcycles with gear||The applicant should be at least 18 years old.|
|Commercial heavy vehicles and transport vehicles||The applicant should have completed 8th standard. The applicant must be at least 18 years old (in some states, the minimum age limit is 20 years).|
|General requirement||The applicant must be conversant with traffic regulations and rules and must have valid age proof and address proof documents.|
Documents Required For Getting A Driver’s Licence
Keep the following documents handy when submitting the application for a driving licence in India.
|Age proof (any one of the below given documents)||1. Birth Certificate
2. PAN Card
4. 10th Class mark sheet
5. Transfer certificate from any school for any class with your date of birth printed on it.
|Proof of address||Permanent proof of address (anyone from the following):
· Self-owned house agreement
· Electricity bill (issued in applicants name)
· LIC bond
· Voters ID Card
· Ration card
|Current proof of address (anyone 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
· You can even provide rental agreement with recent utility bill copy as current address proof. Utility bills can be your gas bill or electric bill.
· Medical Certificate – Form 1 A and 1 which is to be issued by a certified government doctor
· A medical certificate is mandatory for all applicants over the age of 40 years.
How To Apply For A New Driving Licence Online
You can apply for a new Driving Licence online on the Sarathi website of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry (https://parivahan.gov.in/sarathiservice/sarathiHomePublic.do).
On the left-hand side column expand the option ‘Apply Online’. Then click on ‘New Driving Licence’.
You will be taken to the guidelines page. Read them and click continue. You can even apply for a New Learner’s Licence.
How to Apply for a Driving Licence At The RTO (Offline mode)
Follow the steps given below to apply for a driving licence via the offline mode.
- Obtain a Form 4, which is the application form for motor vehicle driving licence in India. The Form can be downloaded from the state transport website. Alternatively, the customer can also visit the nearest RTO to procure this form.
- Completely fill the application form and submit it with other documents like age proof and address proof at the RTO in the jurisdiction in which you live. Next, schedule a slot tot ake your driving licence test and pay the fee for the same.
- Once you clear the test, your driving licence will be handed on the spot or will be sent to your registered address.
- If you are taking a driving lesson from a driving school, the school will help you apply for a licence.
You have to take a driving test before you can get a driving licence. The test is designed to evaluate your driving skills and understanding of rules and signals. You must pass the test to get your driving licence.
Additional Reading: Everything You Need To Know About Car Loan Transfer
Useful Tip: You can apply for a permanent driving licence after 30 days from the date of issuance of learners’ licence. The application for a permanent driving licence must be filed within 180 days from the issue date of learners’ licence.
What To Do If Your Driving Licence is Lost?
You are not allowed to drive in the country without a driving licence. If you lose your driving licence, you will have to apply for a duplicate one.
Here’s the procedure:
- Go to the police station that has jurisdiction over the area where you lost your driving licence.
- Lodge a complaint and make sure that you get a copy of the First Information Report (FIR).
- Visit the Notary Office to get an affidavit on a stamped paper. The affidavit will act as a proof that your licence is lost. You will have to pay a small fee for the notary service and the stamped paper.
- Go to the RTO. Make sure that you take 3 passport-sized photos, a copy of the FIR and the affidavit with you.
- Go to the enquiry counter at the RTO and collect the application form for a duplicate license.
- Complete the application form and submit it at the driving license branch along with the other documents.
- After this, you will have to go through the biometrics section. Here, your photo will be clicked and thumbprint will be taken.
- Your duplicate driving licence will be delivered within the time period stated by the Asst. RTO officer. You will have to pay a certain amount of fee for the new DL Book or the Smart Card.
Once you get your new driving license, make a laminated copy of it. If you have a duplicate copy of your license, it will be easy for the RTO to track your details using your DL number.
Additional Reading: Drive Away With These Paperless Car Loans
Why Do You Need A Driving Licence In India?
Other than being allowed to legally drive around, holding a driving licence can serve many other purposes as well.
Your driving licence works as ID proof among other documents like passports, PAN cards, Voter ID Cards, Aadhar Cards.
Gives You The Freedom To Commute At Your Own Terms
Commuting via public transport might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you wish to purchase a car or motorbike to commute, you need to obtain a driving licence before you take it out on the roads.
If you wish to drive, in India or even abroad, you are required to hold a valid driving licence to do so.
Now you know all about getting a driver licence in India. So, apply for a Car Loan now and stop relying on public transport and cab services to get around the city.