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  • Driving License in Tamilnadu

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    It is a known fact that Indian roads are always busy. Several vehicles get registered each day and the number keeps increasing by the day. It is therefore important for every bike rider and car driver on the road to be well aware of the rules and be trained sufficiently to ride/drive well as well as ensure no third-party people or property are harmed. The Indian government has made it compulsory for anyone who wants to use a vehicle to get a driving licence, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The driving licences are separate for different classes of vehicles. A driving test is conducted for the class of vehicle for which the driving licence application has been made.

    Importance of driving licence in Tamil Nadu

    The state of Tamil Nadu believes in full enforcement of the rules and regulations under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The transport department has therefore set up an enforcement wing to implement the rules.

    Possessing and carrying one’s driving licence is of utmost importance in Tamil Nadu, here’s why:

    • Provides legal permission to drive: The driving licence is a document of proof that the transport department has conducted the necessary tests to provide the person with permission to drive on roads.
    • Can be used as an ID: The driving licence has one’s name, photograph, date of birth, and address. Therefore, it can be used as an ID for certain KYC procedures.
    • Can be used as an international driving permit: The Indian driving licence can be used as an international driving permit in select countries such as the USA, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, etc., for a period of 6 months.

    Eligibility for driving licence in Tamil Nadu

    To apply for a learning licence or a driving licence, the person is expected to visit the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in person. To apply for a licence, however, there are minimum age requirements as mentioned below:

    • Motorcycle without gear: For a motorcycle that has no gear and that has an engine capacity less than 50cc, the individual has to be at least 16 years old to apply for the licence.
    • Motorcycle with gear and Light Motor Vehicle (LMV): A person should have completed 18 years of age to apply for a licence in this category.
    • Transport vehicle: For transport vehicles, applicants are required to be minimum 20 years old.

    How to apply for driving licence in Tamil Nadu

    To apply for a driving licence, one has to first get a learning licence. The licencing authority will first issue a learning licence once it ascertains that the person is conversant with road signs, traffic regulations, traffic signals, etc., through a preliminary test. The learning licence is issued for a period of 6 months. Since individuals have to present a valid learning licence while applying for a driving licence, the person has to apply for the licence a month after the learning licence was issued but before the licence expires. The procedures to apply for the learning licence and permanent driving licence are given below:

    How to apply for a learning licence

    • You will require Form 1, Form 2, and Form 3. Those who apply through a driving school will need Form 14. The forms are available at any nearby RTO. Form 1 and Form 2 are also available on the official website of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Authority.
    • Along with the application form, you will have to submit the following documents:
      • Proof of address: One’s ration card, electoral roll, LIC policy, birth certificate, etc., can be submitted.
      • Proof of age: The individual can submit the school certificate, passport, LIC policy, etc.
      • Three passport-sized photographs
    • The fee payable for the learning licence is Rs.30.
    • The application should be made to the licencing authority or the Motor Vehicle Inspector.
    • Once you get through the preliminary test, the learning licence will be issued to you.

    How to apply for driving licence

    • You will require Form 4 to apply for a permanent driving licence. The form will be available at the RTO or on the official State Transport Authority website of Tamil Nadu. If you’re applying through a driving school, you will need Form 5.
    • The documents that need to be produced to apply for a permanent driving licence are:
      • Learning licence
      • All necessary vehicle documents in which the test is going to be taken
      • In case the applicant is not going to use his/her own vehicle, he/she will have to submit a consent letter from the owner of the vehicle
      • Recent passport-sized photographs – 3 in case you want a DL book and 1 in case you want a laminated card
    • The fee payable for the laminated driving licence card is Rs.250.
    • The request for the driving licence should be made to the licencing authority or the Motor Vehicle Inspector.
    • You will have to undergo a driving test to obtain the permanent driving licence.

    FAQs on driving licence in Tamil Nadu

    How long will it take to issue the learning licence?

    The learning licence is usually issued the same day by the licencing authority.

    What is the consequence of driving without a driving licence?

    If the traffic police finds a person driving without a driving licence, he/she will be asked to pay a penalty. The penalty for not carrying the licence is Rs.100 the first time and Rs.300 the subsequent time. In case the person has not obtained a driving licence at all, the penalty will be a fine equal to Rs.500 or imprisonment for a maximum period of 3 months.

    How long is the permanent driving licence valid for?

    The permanent driving licence is valid until the individual turns 50 years old or for 20 years from the date of issue, whichever is earlier.

    What if I don’t clear the learning licence test or the driving test?

    If you don’t pass any of the licence tests, you can always retake it.

    Can I apply for the driving licence after completion of the 6-month period of the learning licence?

    No, the learner’s licence is one of the documents that needs to be submitted while applying for a permanent driving licence. It is necessary to apply for the driving licence before the learning licence expires.

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