The driving licence issued by the government of India is a very important and an authentic identity proof. The permanent driving licence gives an individual the right to drive on public roads as driving without a licence is illegal in the country. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, has mandated driving licences for all bike riders and car drivers in India. Apart from the legality perspective, the driving licence can be used as a valid identity proof in any KYC procedure.
The application and issuing process for a permanent driving licence is controlled by the Regional Transport Office (RTO). Earlier, one had to go the nearest RTO, and stand in long queues to apply for licence. Today, however, the Indian government has set up a website where a person can apply online for the driving licence.
Since it is compulsory to have a driving licence to drive a vehicle, one may be in a fix as to how he/she will practice using the vehicle. That is why the RTO issues learner’s licence. This is a government-backed document that allows a person to use a vehicle without a permanent driving licence. The condition while using a vehicle with only a learner’s licence is to have an ‘L’ board that lets other drivers on the road know that the person is still learning how to drive.
A person looking to apply for the learner’s licence, can apply through the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways called Sarathi. He/she will also have to submit the necessary documents such as age proof, address proof, recent photographs, etc. that need to be verified to issue the learner’s licence.
The learner’s licence application process also serves as a preliminary examination. To apply for a learner’s licence, one will have to answer a few questions related to traffic signs, road rules, steps to be taken at the time of an accident, and so on. The online test will be administered by the RTO. Only after the applicant passes the preliminary examination will the RTO issue the learner’s licence.
The learner’s licence is typically valid for 6 months. During this period, the individual can practice to ride/drive a vehicle with the help of another person. The person can also enrol himself/herself into a driving school where he/she can not only learn how to drive but also receive help with the complete driving licence application process. Once the person feels confident that he/she can drive, he/she can start the driving licence application process.
A learner’s licence holder can apply for a permanent driving licence only after completion of at least one month from the day the learner’s licence was issued. Similar to the learner’s licence application process, the individual can apply for the permanent driving licence on the Sarathi website too. The applicant will have to submit the necessary documents and pick a slot for the practical driving test.
The practical test will test the individual’s driving skills and if he/she has thoroughly understood the working of the vehicle. The test is usually administered by the concerned RTO authority who will issue the driving licence. Once the person passes the practical test, the driving licence will be issued to him/her.
Therefore, the driving licence application procedure is simple and is not much of a hassle. While one can always visit the nearest RTO to apply for the licence offline, the online method is easier and quicker. Once the applicant receives the driving licence, he/she should ensure he/she carries the driving licence at all times while driving. If the person does not carry the driving licence and he/she is caught by the traffic police, he/she will have to pay a fine.
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