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Driving on roads is more like a passion for some, while for the others, it is one of the best means that makes travel easy and comfortable. Being able to drive on roads gives you the freedom to go wherever you wish to, but you do not get your license to thrill unless you have a valid driving license. In India, for an individual who wants to drive or ride on roads, procuring a driving license is mandatory. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 prohibits individuals from driving or riding a motor vehicle without a driving licence. The provisions of the act clearly state that no individual is allowed to ride/drive on roads without a valid driving licence.
A driving license is an official document issued by the government of India, permitting an individual to drive a vehicle on Indian roads. This document certifies that the individual is eligible to drive or ride motorized vehicles such as a car, truck, bike, bus, etc., without any supervision. Commonly referred to as DL, a driving license specifies that you have undergone the required training and tests and are well-aware of all the traffic rules and regulations.
In India, a driving license is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of the state you reside in. A driving licence contains a registration number and a passport size photo that gives you the identity of the owner of the vehicle. It must have a rubber stamp and the signature of the officer-in-charge along with the mention of the office it was issued from. In India, if you are learning to drive, then you should first get a learner's license after which you can get a permanent driving license.
Driving licence in India is issued depending on the class of your motor vehicle. However, the eligibility criteria is subject to change depending on the class of the vehicle.
|Category of Use||License Class||Vehicle Type|
|Personal Use||MC 50CC (Motorcycle 50cc)||Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50 cc or less|
|MCWOG/FVG||Motorcycles with any engine capacity, but without gears, including mopeds and scooters|
|LMV-NT||Light motor vehicles that are used for non-transport purposes|
|MC EX50CC||Motorcycles with gear, Motorcycles with a capacity of 50CC or more, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars|
|MC With Gear or M/CYCL.WG||All motorcycles even with gear|
|Commercial Use||MGV||For medium goods vehicle|
|LMV||Light motor vehicles including motorcars, jeeps, taxis, delivery vans|
|HMV||Heavy Motor Vehicles|
|HGMV||Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle|
|HPMV/HTV||Heavy passenger motor vehicle/Heavy transport vehicle|
|Trailer||Person holding heavy vehicle driving licence can apply for heavy trailer license|
Knowing the steps involved in applying for a DL in India becomes easy as you can get the driving online offline and offline too.
For applying for driving license online follow the below mentioned steps:
Visit the official Sarathi Website (sarathi.nic.in). Click on ‘Sarathi Services,’ and select ‘New Driving license,’. Read the details and download the form.
Fill the form as per the instructions and submit it. Before submitting the form, note down the form application number.
After submission, you will receive an SMS that will show you the status of your driving license application.
Schedule your learner’s license test by clicking on ‘Appointment for LL test’ under the Online Transaction with Sarathi’ section.
The ‘Appointment for LL test’ will let you schedule the time and date of your test.
At the time of the test, you will have to carry the required documents i.e. the age proof and residence proof.
The steps mentioned below will help you understand how you can apply for driving license offline.
Get the application form (Form 1 for Learner License and Form 4 for Permanent license) i.e. the form of a motor vehicle driving license in India. You can download the form online from the state transport website or can get it from the nearest RTO office.
Fill the form and submit it along with your age proof and address proof at the RTO office in your area. Ask the RTO officials to schedule your driving licence test and pay the fees for the same.
Reach the driving licence test centre on the given date and time. On clearing the test, your driving license will be sent to your registered address.
If you are taking driving lessons from a driving school, then the school officials can help you procure your license.
|Vehicle Type||Eligibility Criteria|
|Motorcycles with gear||The applicant must be at least 18 years old. |
He should be aware of traffic rules and regulations and should have a valid age proof and address proof.
|Motorcycles without gear (capacity of up to 50CC)||The applicant should be minimum 16 years old and should have the consent of his guardian or parents. |
He must be aware of traffic rules and regulations, and should possess a valid age proof and address document.
|Heavy commercial vehicles||The applicant should have cleared the 8th standard. |
The applicant should be above the age of 18 (In some states, the minimum age for this vehicle type is 20 years).
The applicant should be trained from a government training school or one that is affiliated with the state government.
While applying for a driving licence, here is a list of documents that you need to submit:
Other document requirements for getting a driving licence:
To obtain a driving license in India, you are required to go through a test procedure that will test your driving skills and also your knowledge of traffic rules and regulations.
An application for a permanent driving license can be filed after 30 days from the issuance of your learner’s license. The application must be filed within 180 days after the 30-day period of the learner’s license is over.
Appear early for the test, at least an hour before.
Submit all the relevant documents and pay the fees at the counter. You will be required to submit the test booking slip if you have booked an appointment online.
Different states have different test procedures. The test will be conducted in the presence of a Motor Vehicle Inspector.
Usually, you will have to undergo a ‘Forward 8 shaped track test’, ‘Parallel Parking test’, or ‘Reverse S Test’ or ‘Drive backwards on S-shaped track’.
For a two-wheeler test, you should ensure that your feet do not touch the ground, while for car test, you should make use of rear-view mirrors, use proper hand signals and shift gears smoothly.
You will also have to undergo a written test where you will be asked questions related to traffic rules and regulations.
If you are applying for driving license online, then the written test will be conducted online.
On passing both the exams, you will be handed over a receipt which will be your driving license for the time being until you don’t receive your driving licence copy by speed post.
How can I check my driving license status?
You can check your driving license status online or can get it from your nearest RTO office.
What if I have not received my driving licence even after 2 months?
If you have not received your driving license even after two months, then you will have to visit your nearest office and check the status of the same. Ideally, you should receive your driving license in 2-6 weeks after you have passed the test.
What is a driving test?
A driving test is done to check your driving skills and how well-versed you are with traffic rules and regulations. The test is conducted by an inspector at the RTO and as per his recommendation you are given/provided the driving license.
What will be done if I drive my bike without a driving licence?
If you ride your bike without a valid driving license, then you will be fined Rs. 500 or be imprisoned for 3 months.
Is it necessary for me to carry my driving license with me all the time?
Yes, your driving license is a legal document that allows you to ply your vehicle on roads. You have to carry this document with you all the time while driving.
Is a medical certificate mandatory for obtaining a driving license?
Yes, to avail a driving license it’s mandatory for you to submit a medical certificate.
Is driving license renewable?
Yes, a driving license is renewable as long as you renew it before the date of expiry.
Who will conduct my driving test?
An inspector of the transport department at the regional transport office will conduct your driving test.
Will I have to take my own vehicle for the driving test?
Yes, you will have to take your own vehicle for the driving test.
What is Learning License?
A Learner’s license is a temporary license that is valid for six months. Before getting a permanent driving license, you need to get a learner’s license when you are learning to drive. After getting this type of license, you are allowed to drive on public roads only when you are accompanied by an individual holding a permanent driving license. You can apply for this type of license only by the age of 16.
What is Permanent Driving License?
An individual becomes eligible to receive a permanent driving license after 30 days of issuance of the learner’s license. The minimum age for holding a permanent driving license in India is 18 years.