With the amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by the Government of India, all vehicle owners are required to have a valid driving license in order to be allowed to drive on the roads of India. Along with a driving license, the vehicle owners have to have a valid third-party motor insurance policy, that comes with coverage for the damage caused to the property of the third-party if the accident was the fault of the policyholder. That said, under the Motor Vehicles Act, which has been amended over the years, there are a number of legal provisions with regard to driving licenses. The sections under the act basically highlight the factors based on which a driving license will be issued and offences that will result in the vehicle owner’s driving license being suspended or revoked.
Listed below are the laws as set by the Government of India under the Motor Vehicles Act with regard to Four Wheeler driving licenses:
Section 3 states that if a vehicle owner is driving without a valid license, or no license at all, the offense is punishable by law.
Section 4 drafts out the minimum age that is required to drive a motor vehicle:
Section 5 clearly states that no vehicle owner is allowed to lend his/her vehicle to an individual who does not have a valid driving license. The offense is punishable by law. In addition, if an individual who is below the minimum age limit is driving and obviously does not have a valid driving license, the parents or legal guardian of the minor will be prosecuted for the offense.
Section 19 highlights the situations under which the license of the driver will be suspended:
Section 20 also states reasons based on which the driving license of an individual will be disqualified:
Section 21 clearly states that a driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum period of 6 months or till the court hearing for the offense if he/she is caught driving rash repeatedly.
Section 22 states that a driver’s license will be cancelled if he/she is caught dangerous car driving repeatedly. In addition, if the driver is caught drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs for the second time, then the court has every right to suspend his/her license.
Section 39 states that a vehicle owner will be prosecuted if the vehicle does not have the registration number on it. The vehicle owner can be booked for the offense whether present or not.
Section 49 states that if a vehicle owner changes his/her address, he/she has 30 days to make the change of address update on the registration certificate of the vehicle at the RTO (Regional Transport Department) where the vehicle is registered.
Section 50 clearly states that following the sale of the vehicle, the transfer of ownership of the vehicle has to be done within two weeks from the day of the sale. For outstation transfers, the transfer of ownership will have to be done in the name of the new vehicle owner within 45 days from the date of the sale of the vehicle.
Section 51 states that if the vehicle is granted to another based on a hypothecation agreement or for hire/lease, then a written consent of the individual to whom the vehicle is hypothecated has to be made prior to the transfer of ownership.
This section states that a vehicle owner will be punishable if he/she modifies the vehicle beyond the vehicle specification as mentioned on the registration certificate. The vehicle owner has to seek the approval of the Regional Transport Officer to make modifications to the vehicle.
Section 53 clearly states that if the vehicle owner drives a vehicle that is unfit to be on the roads, the registration certificate of the vehicle will be cancelled by the Regional Transport Officer.
Section 93 clearly states that only those that are licensed have the right to sell tickets on a passenger vehicle. Non-licensed individuals selling tickets on passenger vehicles will be punishable by law.
This section states that a vehicle can be barred from plying on the roads if it is in the best interest of the public.
Section 119 states that all vehicles plying the roads have to follow the road signs and abide by the road rules and regulations or risk being penalised.
Section 121 clearly states that a driver has to make the appropriate hand signals prior to taking a left turn or right turn. Failing to do so and he/she will be prosecuted.
Section 122 clearly states that if any vehicle is parked in a no-parking zone or is parked on the road such that it is obstructing traffic, then the vehicle will be towed and the owner fined for the offense.
Section 123 states that the driver of the vehicle can choose not to move the vehicle if there are people travelling on the footboard of the vehicle or bonnet as such acts are prohibited by law.
Section 127 states the reasons based on which a vehicle can be towed and the vehicle owner penalised:
Section 128 states that a rider will be penalised if he/she is taking more than one pillion rider on the bike.
Section 129 states that wearing a helmet is mandatory by law. That said, the helmet rule differs from state to state.
Section 130 states that a vehicle driver is compelled to show his/her registration certificate, driving license, motor insurance certificate, and other relevant documents when demanded by an officer of the Motor Vehicles Department.
Section 133 clearly states that the vehicle driver has to submit all relevant documents to the policy and all required information following an accident. Failure to do so and he/she will be penalised by law.
Section 136 states that a vehicle that has been involved in an accident has to be inspected by an authorised personnel who represents the Motor Vehicles Department.
Section 140 states that if a victim of an accident suffers from either permanent disability or worse, death, then the vehicle driver that is responsible for the accident will have to pay a compensation to the dependents of the victim of Rs.25,000 for permanent disability and Rs.50,000 in the case of death. The compensation has to be carried out by the owner of the vehicle as well as his/her motor insurer.
This section clearly states that all vehicles plying on the roads of India have to have a valid third-party motor insurance policy or a comprehensive motor insurance policy with a third-party liability coverage.
Section 158 states that the vehicle owner has to submit his/her motor insurance certificate, registration certificate, and driving license when demanded by the police.
With the section, vehicle owners have the right to request for information from the police following an accident regarding the property damage of the third party, and details of injury or even death of the victim.
Section 161 clearly states that the vehicle driver responsible for the accident will have to pay a compensation of Rs.25,000 in the case of a hit and run incident and Rs.12,500 if the victim is grievously injured.
Section 179 states that if the driver of the vehicle fails to obey the demands of the authority, he/she will be fined Rs.500.
Section 180 states that if a vehicle owner allows an individual without a valid license to drive his/her car, the vehicle owner can serve an imprisonment sentence up to 3 months or a fine of Rs.1,000 or both.
Section 181 states that individuals driving without a valid four wheeler driving license can face a jail term up to 3 months or a fine of Rs.500.
Section 182 states that individuals whose driving license has been disqualified will face a penalty of Rs.500 or a jail term of 3 months. The same applies if the individual does not disclose information with regard to his/her disqualified driving license.
This section clearly states that if a vehicle owner modifies his/her vehicle without prior approval from the authorities will be fined Rs.1,000 for the first instance and Rs.5,000 for any following offenses.
Section 183 states that drivers will be fined Rs.400 for the first instance of overspeeding and Rs.500 for any repeated offense. In addition, if the owner of the vehicle forced the driver to exceed the speed limit, the owner of the vehicle will be fined Rs.300 for the first instance and Rs.500 for any repeated offense.
This section states that motorists that endanger the general public due to overspeeding will be either imprisoned up to 6 months or a fine of Rs.500 or both penalties for the first instance and for repeated offenses will be handed a jail term up to 2 years or a fine of Rs.2,000 or both.
Section 185 states that vehicle owners will be fined up to Rs.3,000 or imprisonment up to 2 years or both if he/she drives drunk or under the influence of drugs.
Section 186 clearly states that if a vehicle owner who is mentally or physically unfit to drive does so, he/she can be fined Rs.200 for the first instance followed by Rs.500 for a repeated offense.
A vehicle owner or driver that does not report an accident that he/she is responsible for, he/she can be imprisoned up to 3 months or fined Rs.500 or both. In addition, if the driver is convicted for the offense, he/she will have to pay an additional fine of Rs.1,000 or serve jail term up to 6 months or both - depending on severity of the accident.
Section 188 basically states that individuals who support or encourage drivers booked under Section 184, Section 185, and Section 186 will be punished by law.
Section 189 clearly states that those who race on public roads without permission will face a fine of Rs.500 or a jail sentence up to 1 month.
Section 190 states that those drivers that violate the safety laws as set by the Government of India will face a fine up to Rs.1,000 for the first instance and Rs.2,000 for repeated offenses.
If a vehicle owner drives an unregistered vehicle, he/she will be fined between Rs.2,000 and Rs.5,000 for the first instance and anything between Rs.5,000 and Rs.10,000 for repeated offenses. However, if the vehicle owner is using the unregistered vehicle in case of an emergency or to aid someone in an emergency situation, then he/she will be exempted from the punishment.
This states that if a vehicle owner is using a vehicle that does not fall within the permit conditions, then he/she will be faced with a fine between Rs.2,000 and Rs.5,000 for the first instance and imprisonment up to 2 years, and for a repeated offense a fine between Rs.5,000 and Rs,10,000 will be charged or imprisonment up to 2 years.
Vehicles with excess load will be fined Rs.2,000 and will the vehicle owner will have to bear the cost of offloading the excess weight.
Section 197 states that if an individual drives a vehicle without the consent of the owner, then he/she will face a fine of Rs.500 or will have to serve a jail term up to 3 months or both.
This section states that if a vehicle owner leaves his/her broken down vehicle on the road and obstructs traffic, he/she will be fined Rs.50 per hour.
This section states that a police officer not in uniform can arrest an individual driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs without displaying a warrant, or if the driver is driving dangerously. The individual can be fined if he/she does not submit relevant documents when demanded by the officer.
This section states that anyone who refuses to use the breathalyser when requested by the police can be arrested even without a warrant.
Section 206 states that a police officer can arrest a vehicle owner or driver if he/she is found using fraudulent documentation.
Under section 207, if a person is found misusing a vehicle or using it against the above-listed laws can be arrested by a police officer and the vehicle will be seized.