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How to Get A Driving License?

By Vikas Chandra Das
21 July 2022, 11:46 AM

One thing we know for certain is that to legally drive a car, it is necessary to have a valid driving license. With the traffic laws getting stricter day by day, it has become incredibly important to have a driving license or DL (as it is commonly called) with you. It is not just a document that saves you from challan but it is also the document that legalises you to drive a certain type of vehicle.

So, how are you supposed to get one? This is exactly what we have covered in this article, right from the types of driving licences to the application procedures!

Eligibility Criteria for a Driving License

  • You must be at least18 years of age.
  • You must have a clear understanding of all the basic traffic rules if you are to clear the test.
  • You must have a valid learner’s license to be eligible to apply for a permanent license.
  • You can apply for the permanent license after 30 days of you having been issued a learner’s licence. However, make sure that you apply it before 180 days from the issued date because a learner’s license is only valid till then.

Types of Driving Licenses Issued

  • DL for two-wheelers without gears: Scooters and Mopeds are included in this
  • DL for two-wheelers with gears: Bikes and scooters with gears are included in this
  • DL for light motor vehicles: Regular cars like hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and luxury cars are included in this
  • DL for transport vehicles:  Trucks, vans and buses are included in this
  • DL for motor vehicles of a specified description: Specific categories are formed for which the license is issued, for example, a professional sports car or a bike.

Documents Required

  • Driving License Application Form-4 that you can either fill online or offline
  • 6 passport size photographs
  • A copy of passport, ration card, voter’s id or LIC policy as residence proof. Note that it should be at least 6 months old.
  • A birth certificate, educational certificate, or 10th class mark sheet as age proof
  • Copy of valid learner’s licence
  • Copy of PAN card
  • Receipt of the payment fees of INR 400 paid for DL

Application Procedure

Good news! The application forms are no longer just available offline but online as well, thanks to the advent of technology. The whole process can be divided into two stages –first, getting the learner’s license and second, getting the permanent license. We have explained the procedure involved in both stages below.

The Process to Get a Learner’s License

  • If you are filling the form online, then you just need to visit the website of the transport department and fill in the forms and submit them.
  • If you are filling the form offline, then you have to visit an RTO office and fill Form-4 and submit it along with other necessary documents mentioned above.
  • Post submission of your application, you will be given an application number, which you will have to use during your preliminary test. You will be given a slot by the authority in which you have to go and attend the test.
  • If you pass the test, a learner’s licence will be issued to you, which stands valid for 6 months.

The Process to Get a Permanent License

  • Once you have received your learner’s license, you need to pick a date for your driving test and check with the authority if there is a slot available for you. Otherwise, you will have to go on a date issued by them.
  • The test will be conducted under the supervision of a Motor Vehicle Inspector.
  • If the MVI is satisfied with your performance in the test, you will be sent to biometrics to take your details for the license.
  • You will then receive your permanent driving license via post.

How to Apply for a Duplicate DL?

In case your DL gets lost or stolen, these are the steps you need to follow to apply for a duplicate DL:

  • Fill the application form and submit it.
  • Submit a copy of your FIR and an affidavit that states your DL has been lost/stolen.
  • You need to submit the challan certificate from the RTO office along with Form 1.
  • You then need to submit a self-attested copy of residence proof, a fitness certificate form and the fee of INR 400 for duplicate DL.

Once all the verification is completed, you will be issued a duplicate DL. Note that you must file the application within 6 months of losing your original DL.

How to Apply for the Renewal of a DL?

A DL is usually valid for 20 years or if the applicant turns 50 (whichever comes first), after which you have to renew it. If it is for commercial purposes, then you have to renew it every 3 years. So this is how it can be done:

  • You can simply start by visiting the RTO website going to the tab of requesting renewals.
  • Apply for the renewal, post which, you need to pay INR 200 as the fee to get a smart card DL issued in your name.
  • Submit all the required documents and wait for verification. The documents required are Form 9, a copy of the expired DL, two passport-size photographs, a medical certificate and Form 1A if the applicant is 40 years or older and a self-attested copy of age proof.
  • Once the verification is done, you will be issued your new DL.

How to Apply for an International Driving License?

You can apply for an international driving licence (IDL) if you are going to drive a car in the country where you are going to visit as a PR or a tourist. Note that the Indian IDL is not valid in every country so make sure if it is valid in the country you are visiting. Here is the procedure to get an IDL.

  • You need to visit an RTO or their official website to fill Form 4.
  • You then need to submit documents like a copy of your valid DL, identity and residence proofs, medical certificate, 5 passport-sized photos, copies of passport and visa and the air ticket preferably. Note that the passport and visa should be valid for a year from the date of submitting your application for IDL.
  • You then have to submit the fee of INR 1,000 and wait for the verification to take place.
  • Once all the documents are verified, you will be issued an IDL shortly.


So, now you know all about getting a DL in India, be it a new one, a duplicate one or an international one. One thing to remember is that you apply for the permanent license within the valid period of 6 months of having been issued a learner’s license. Get your DL now, drive safe, and don’t forget to buy car insurance policy.

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