What is Driving Licence

For learning how to drive, a learner's licence is issued. The individual must take the test in front of an RTO authority within a month after receiving their learner's permit.  After a thorough examination, the RTO authority will determine if the individual passed the exam or not.

What is Driving Licence in India?

In order to ride or drive a vehicle legally on the public roads, an Indian driving licence is mandatory. However, a permanent driving licence cannot be received right away. There is a separate process for it.

An individual who wants to drive any type of motor vehicle in India has to get his/her learner's license first. A learner's license is issued for learning.

A month after the issuance of the learner's license, the person has to appear for the test in front of an RTO authority, who upon proper examination, will declare if he/she has passed the exam or not.

Why Do You need a Driving Licence in India?

Apart from the fact that a person must hold a driving licence to legally drive a motor vehicle in India, a driving licence is used for the following reasons:

Important Document of Personal Identification

  • Often, in high-security places, you are asked to display an ID. You can use your driving licence as an ID card, as it is a widely accepted personal identification card.

Compulsory Legal Requirement

  • If you wish to drive, in India or even abroad, you are required to hold a valid driving licence to do so. A driving licence is an important document indicating your ability to operate or drive a motorised vehicle.

Key Features of a Driving Licence

There are certain features in a driving licence that you can look out for to find out if a driving licence is genuine or fake. The main features that help differentiate a fake licence from a genuine one is listed below:

  • The photograph of the licence-holder, which also makes the driving licence an eligible photo ID proof.
  • The licence should have a unique registration number which is assigned by the issuing authority.
  • The name of the office wherein the licence was generated and issued from.
  • The rubber stamp and signature of the issuing officer of the issuing RTO.

Types of Driving Licence in India

There are four different types of licences issued in India:

  1. Learner's Licence
  2. Permanent Driving Licence
  3. Commercial Driving Licence
  4. International Driving Permit

Learner's Licence

  • The Road Transport Authority (RTA) issues a learner's licence to the applicant before giving a permanent driving licence. It is valid for up to 6 months.
  • To get this licence, the applicant needs to submit valid documents at the RTO and pass a small test.
  • During the period of six months, the applicant is expected to polish his driving skills.
  • If the applicant still does not feel confident about driving, he can extend his learning licence.

Permanent Driving License

  • The RTA issues a permanent driving licence post the completion learner's licence period if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
  • As per the criteria, the applicant should be 18 years of age and should clear the driving test.
  • In case he fails the driving test, he can reappear for it after seven days of time.

Commercial Driving Licence

  • This commercial driving licence is specifically issued to heavy vehicle drivers such as trucks and delivery vans.
  • The criteria for this are that the applicant should be 18 years of age or above (some states also keep 20 years as the minimum age), should be trained either in a government training centre or a government-affiliated centre, and should have completed education till 8th grade, has valid documents and already possess a learner's licence.

International Driving Permit

  • Individuals who want to drive in foreign countries can obtain this permit, which confirms that they hold a valid driver's license and are authorized to drive abroad. The permit is printed in multiple languages to assist authorities in determining the individual's eligibility.  
  • To obtain this permit, one must have a valid permanent driver's license and submit an application at the local RTO. It is valid for one year, after which reapplication is required, as it cannot be renewed. 

Vehicle Types

Depending on the type of vehicle a person uses, he or she can get a licence for it. However, the eligibility requirements for every vehicle type will vary. The list of vehicle types for which the driving licence can be classified is as follows:

Vehicle TypeLicence class
Commercial purpose vehicles having All India Permit to carry passengers.HPMV
Heavy vehicles used to carry goods.HGMV
With and without gear motorcycles.MCWG
With gear vehicles having engine capacity 50cc or more.MC EX50cc
Without gear vehicles like mopeds and scooters.FGV
Vehicles having engine capacity 50cc or less.MC 50cc
Non-transport class vehicles like cars.LMV-NT

Eligibility Criteria for Driving Licence in India

The eligibility for driving licence in India depends on the class of vehicle and the type of driving licence. The criteria for different licence types are given below:

Types of Vehicles allowedCriteria
Vehicles without gears with engine capacity up to 50cc16 years of age and parental consent.
Vehicles with gears18 years of age.Must be aware of the traffic rules and regulations.
Commercial vehicles20 years of age (18 years of age in some states)Should have completed formal education till 8th grade.Should be trained from government or government- affiliated training centre.

Document Required for Driving Licence

To ensure that there is no delay in the application process, the documents that are to be submitted have to be valid and correct. The list of documents required for driving licence are as follows:

  1. Age Proof (any one of the below given documents)Birth CertificatePAN CardPassport10th Class mark sheetTransfer certificate from any school for any class with date of birth printed on it.
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. PAN Card
  4. Passport
  5. 10th Class mark sheet
  6. Transfer certificate from any school for any class with date of birth printed on it.
  7. Proof of Address required for DL: Permanent Proof of address (any one of the following):PassportAadhaar CardSelf-owned house agreementElectricity bill (issued in applicants name)LIC bondVoters ID CardRation Card
  8. Passport
  9. Aadhaar Card
  10. Self-owned house agreement
  11. Electricity bill (issued in applicants name)
  12. LIC bond
  13. Voters ID Card
  14. Ration Card

Other Requirements for Driving Licence:

  • Duly filled application form (to get the application form for driving licence, visit the nearest RTO or download it from the online portal for your state)
  • 6 passport sized photographs (when applying for Learners Licence)
  • 1 passport sized photograph (when applying for Driving Licence)
  • Application Fees.
  • If you are staying in other cities, as current address proof, you can present the rental agreement with one recent utility bill copy which can be a gas bill or electric bill.
  • Medical Certificate - Form 1A and 1 which is to be issued by a certified Government doctor.
  • For all applicants over the age of 40 years, a medical certificate is mandatory.

Fees for DL and LL

You can pay the fee either through SBI challan or online. The DL fees for the different categories of licence are given below:

Licence IssuedFee
Address ChangeRs.200
Learner’s License (LL) IssueRs.150
LL Test FeeRs.50
Driving Licence IssueRs.200
International Driving Permit IssueRs.1,000
Driving Licence RenewalRs.200
Driving School Licence Issue and RenewalRs.10,000
Fee for Appeal against RTORs.500
Issuing Driving Schools with Duplicate LicenceRs.5,000
Adding another Class to the DLRs.500
Authorisation for Vehicles to Carry Hazardous GoodsRs.1,000
Driving License Renewal after Grace PeriodRs.200

How to Apply for a Driving Licence (DL)

Online Procedure

To apply for a driving licence online, the below-mentioned procedure must be followed:

Step 1: Visit https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan//en.

Step 2: Click on ‘Driving Licence Related Services’. The option can be found under ‘Online Services’.

Step 3: Select the state.

Step 4: Click on ‘Apply for Driving Licence’.

Step 5: Click on ‘Continue’.

Step 6: Next, you will need to fill in the application, upload the documents, book a slot to take the test, and pay the fee.

Step 7: Visit the RTO on the date and time you have selected.

Step 8: Once you have passed the test, the licence will be sent to the registered address.

Offline Procedure

The method listed below will make it easier for you to understand how to apply for a driving licence offline -

  • Obtain the application form, which is the Indian driving licence form (Form 1 for Learner License and Form 4 for Permanent License). The form is available online at the state transportation website or at the nearby RTO office. 
  • Fill out the form and deliver it to the RTO office in your area along with evidence of age and address. Request a date for your driving licence exam from the RTO officials, and pay the associated costs.
  • Arrive at the driving licence testing location by the scheduled time and date. Your driving licence will be sent to your registered address if you pass the exam.

Alternatively, the staff at the driving school where you are taking lessons can assist you in getting your licence.

How to Check the Driving Licence Status?

To check the driving licence status online, follow the process mentioned below: 

Step 1: Visit https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan//en.

Step 2: Click on 'Driving Licence Related Services’' The option can be found under ‘Online Services’.

Step 3: Select the state.

Step 4: Click on ‘Application Status’.

Step 5: Enter the application number, date of birth, and captcha.

Step 6: Click on ‘Submit’, The status of the application will be displayed.

How to Download Driving Licence Soft Copy

There are two ways to obtain a soft copy of your driving licence online. The first is the Parivahan website, while the second is DigiLocker.

Download driving licence soft copy through Parivahan website:

Step 1: Visit the official Parivahan website at https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/.

Step 2: Go to 'Online Services' and click on 'Driving Licence Related Services.'

Step 3: You will be redirected to a new page where you have to select your state.

Step 4: Under the 'Driving Licence' section, click on 'Print Driving Licence.'

Step 5: Enter your date of birth, application number, and captcha.

Step 6: Click on 'Submit.'

Your driving licence will be displayed on the screen. You can either save it as a PDF or get a print out.

Download driving licence soft copy through DigiLocker:

Step 1: Visit the official website of DigiLocker at https://www.digilocker.gov.in/.

Step 2: Log into your account by entering your Aadhaar number, username, or mobile number.

Step 3: An OTP will be sent to your mobile number. Enter it and log in.

Step 4: Enter the 6-digit security PIN.

Step 5: Click the 'Submit' button.

Step 6: Choose the 'Driving Licence' option from the 'Issued Documents' menu.

Step 7: Enter your driving licence number.

Step 8: You will be able to download your driving license in PDF format.

Test Procedure for a Learner's Licence

The Learner's Licence test is conducted to check the applicant's knowledge about traffic rules and regulations along with basic driving skills. All the applicants are required to take the written exam for a learner's licence at the RTO Office.

Test Procedure for a Permanent Driving Licence

For two-wheelers:

For the two-wheelers learner's license test, the candidate is typically required to operate a bicycle shaped like the number 8. This is a test of the applicant's usage of indications and signals. The applicant is required to finish his drive within the allotted time without setting foot on the ground.

For four-wheelers:

The applicant is asked to drive in the shape of a number 8. In this test, the applicant's ability to manoeuvre forward and backwards, parallel parking, use of mirrors, gears and brakes, and judgement of the track are tested.

International Driving Permit in India

The Road Transport Authority (RTA) of India issues an International Driving Permit (IDP) to Indian citizens travelling abroad, allowing them to drive in any foreign country where the document is recognised as valid. When travelling on foreign roads, it is important to have your original driver's licence, passport, and International Driving Permit (IDP) with you.

It resembles a passport in appearance and is frequently issued in several languages depending on the requirements of the destination nation. An IDP is effective for a year. You must get it reissued if you require it for a longer period of time.

Who Issues a Driving Licence in India?

Driving licences are issued by the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) across the country. Every geographical area has a dedicated RTO.

An applicant can apply for a driving licence to the RTO under whose jurisdiction he or she resides. It is important to get a valid driving licence issued by one of the authorised issuing committees as it is mandatory to hold a driving licence to be able to ride or drive a vehicle on public roads.

Learner's Licence

A Learner's Licence is a prerequisite for a driving licence. The applicants of or above 18 years of age having parental consent with basic driving skills are eligible for this type of licence. You can apply for it by visiting the official government website or by visiting the nearest RTO office.

Duplicate Driving Licence in India

In India, a driving licence (DL) is a crucial document because it serves as both a legal identity evidence and a licence to drive. People can quickly obtain a duplicate driving licence from the RTO if they misplace their original (Regional Transport Office). To apply, you must complete the application form and deliver it to the RTO with the necessary supporting documentation.

Traffic Fines: Offences and Penalties in India

In India, it is estimated that 1.5 lakh individuals die in road accidents. In order to curb the number of fatalities, the Indian Government revises Traffic Rules & Regulations and penalties every few years. It is the responsibility of every citizen to adhere to them, failure of which is an offence and can lead to penalties.