The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 requires all individuals who operate motor vehicles to carry a valid driving licence with them while riding or driving the vehicle. The driving licence is an official document that is issued to an individual by a Regional Transport Office or RTO certifying that the concerned individual is qualified to ride or drive anywhere in the country.
A driving licence authorises an individual to ride or drive motorised vehicles such as bike, scooters, cars, etc. in public places. To obtain a driving licence, one will first have to apply for a learner’s licence (LL). Once you have obtained the learner’s licence, you will need to appear for a test at the RTO. Upon successfully clearing this test, you will be given the permanent driving licence.
Thus, individuals operating motor vehicles are legally required to carry their driving licence with them while riding or driving a vehicle. One might be asked to produce the driving licence at any time by a police officer or any other individual authorised by the government. You will have to remember that not carrying your driving licence with you is a punishable offence in India.
The various types of driving licences that are issued by RTOs in India are as follows:
The various classes of vehicles in India are as follows:
The eligibility criteria to obtain a driving licence in India vary based on the type of driving licence and the class of the vehicle. In general, all individuals applying for a driving licence should be aware of the various traffic regulations and rules and should also possess a valid address proof and age proof.
|Type of Driving Licence||Eligibility Criteria|
|Gearless motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50cc or lesser||The applicant will have to be 16 years of age. Further, the individual should have the consent of their parents or legal guardian and will have to furnish a declaration for the same|
|Motorcycles with gear and light motor vehicles||Applicant should be a minimum of 18 years|
|Heavy motor vehicles||The applicant should be over the age of 18 years/20 years (as applicable in one’s state of residence)|
To obtain a permanent driving licence, you will be required to submit the following documents:
*Note: Any other documents that are required by the RTO in your state will have to be submitted.
Individuals who wish to obtain a driving lic ence can apply for the same online instead of visiting an RTO. This can save one a considerable amount of time, in addition to being more cost-effective. The steps that you will need to follow to submit the application online are as follows:
Individuals who wish to apply for a driving licence can apply for the same at an RTO. The steps to do so are as follows:
All driving licences issued in India have a specific format. The various components that make up one’s driving licence number are as follows:
In order to get a driving licence, you will first have to get a learner’s licence. To get the learner’s licence, you will need to answer a few multiple choice questions. You can apply for a driving licence 30 days after receiving the learner’s licence. To obtain a driving licence, you will have to do as follows:
You can apply for your driving licence 30 days after your learner’s licence has been issued. You will receive your driving licence after you have cleared the test at the RTO. The timelines for issuing the driving licence, however, may vary from state to state.
If you have lost your driving licence, you should apply for a duplicate driving licence at the earliest. You should, ideally, not ride your vehicle without a valid driving licence since it is a punishable offence. If you have lost your driving licence, you will need to do as follows:
Make sure to not ride or drive your vehicle until you have received the duplicate driving licence from the RTO. Once you have received your duplicate driving licence, it is advisable to laminate the card to keep it from deteriorating with time. It is also recommended to make an online copy of your driving licence to create a backup.
Any resident of India with a valid Indian licence can apply for an international driving licence. Individuals who wish to apply for an international driving licence will have to make an application in Form IDP or submit a letter to the RTO specifying the names of the countries that he/she wishes to visit and the duration of stay at each of these countries. The applicant may also be required to submit copies of their passport, air ticket, and visa for verification. Further, the required fee will also have to be paid for the same.
The international driving licence, once issued, will be valid for a period of one year or up to the expiry date of your driving licence, based on whichever of the two happens first.
If you wish to ride a two-wheeler or drive a four-wheeler in India, you are required to have a driving licence. To apply for a driving licence, the applicant has to be at least 16 years of age for two-wheelers under 50cc and 18 years of age for all other types of motor vehicles. A few reasons why you should apply for a driving licence are as follows:
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is mandatory for all individuals who ride/drive motor vehicles to have a driving licence. In India, it is a punishable offence to ride/drive your vehicle without a driving licence.
While it is mandatory to have a driving licence if you wish to operate a two-wheeler, it is important to know that your driving licence can also serve as a proof of identity.
If you would like to ride a two-wheeler or drive a car when you travel abroad, you should apply for an international driving permit before you leave India. However, to be eligible to apply for an international driving permit, you should have a valid Indian driving licence.
Yes, you should carry your driving licence with you when riding/driving your vehicle. You might be asked to produce your driving licence at any time by a police officer.
Your driving licence will be valid for a period of 20 years or until you attain the age of 50 years, based on whichever occurs first. Post this, you will need to renew the licence.
No, you can use your Indian driving licence only when riding or driving a motor vehicle in India. If you wish to drive while you are abroad, you will need to apply for an international driving permit. The validity of an international driving permit is one year and it is only issued to individuals who have an Indian driving licence.
To obtain a permanent driving licence, you will need to be at least 18 years of age. However, if you are applying for a driving licence to ride a two-wheeler with an engine capacity of 50cc or lesser, you will have to be at least 16 years.
Yes, you will need to bring your vehicle for the test. Further, you will also have to carry certain documents pertaining to the vehicle such as its insurance certificate, PUC certificate, vehicle registration certificate, etc., with you.
If you lose your driving licence, you should immediately register an FIR and apply for a duplicate driving licence. Make sure to not ride/drive your vehicle before your driving licence is reissued by the RTO.
Yes, you can retake the test if you fail it after a period of 7 days.
A learner’s licence is valid for a maximum period of 6 months. You will need to apply for a permanent driving licence within this period.
No, a driving licence issued by an RTO in the country is valid in all Indian states until its date of expiry.
If you are under the age of 50 years and are applying for a driving licence for a non-transport vehicle, you are not required to submit a medical certificate. However, if the applicant is over the age of 50 years, he/she will be required to produce a medical certificate. Also, individuals who would like to drive transport vehicles are required to submit a driving licence.
The Union Transport Ministry of India has asked state governments to facilitate accepting documents like registration certificate, driving license, etc., in electronic formats. There are many mobile apps like Digilocker and mParivahan that allow individuals to use this facility. The Ministry issued this notification in its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for states.
If the documents are provided in electronic formats, enforcement agencies can easily access the data online for verification. This method is recommended mainly to do away with the current format of handing over physical documents to law enforcement agencies for verification. This would also prevent individuals from getting harassed for the collection of documents even after paying challans.
This allows law enforcement bodies to easily verify the details of vehicle owners during their verification activities. If this is adopted, various documents like registration certificate, driving license, insurance certificate, vehicle permit, pollution under control certificate, etc., can be stored in mobile apps and provided for verification.
20 December 2018