Driving Licence in India

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Driving licence is a legal document that every individual who wishes to drive must possess. This document is issued by the government of India and it is an official permission given to an individual to drive on the roads of the country. The driving licence is a certificate that signifies that an individual can drive motorised vehicles like car, bike, scooter, truck, and other light as well as heavy vehicles without any supervision. You have to go through a set of tests and training for obtaining the driving licence. These tests are to ensure that you are well aware of all the traffic rules and are also competent enough to drive on the road.

After going through all the necessary tests and passing them, a driving licence is issued to you by the Regional Transport Authority or the RTO Office. The document includes a driving licence number and a passport size photo. You can also check your driving licence number online.

Why Do You Need a Driving Licence?

While getting your own vehicle and driving the same gives a sense of independence and is a passion for many However, driving responsibly is very necessary to ensure your safety. There are a number of rules and regulations that have been laid down by the Ministry of Roads and Transport in order to ensure road safety and less accidents as well as a disciplined road traffic. One of the important rules among these is to have a valid driver’s licence. In India, it is mandatory for any individual who wishes to drive to have a valid driver’s licence according to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 that prohibits anyone without an authentic driving licence to drive on the road. A driving licence check is often carried out to ensure if a person is eligible to drive.

What are the Features of an Authentic Driving Licence? 

Since the driving licence is also used as an important document for identity verification, it is important to make sure that you have been issued an authentic document. Some of the features of a real driving license in India include:

  1. The document will have its own unique registration number, and it will also have the signature of the assigning authority.
  2. The document will have the name of the RTO from where it was issued.
  3. The document will have the rubber stamp and seal of the issuing officer from the RTO.
  4. The document will have the owner’s photograph and signature.

What are the Types of Driver’s Licences That You Can Get in India?

In India, there are a few different types of driving licences that can be issued. These are:

  1. Learner’s licence: This is generally valid for up to 6 months and is given to a new driver before the permanent licence is given. It is issued after the applicant passes a test at the RTO, and can also be extended in case you don’t feel confident about your driving skills.
  2. Permanent Licence: A permanent licence is issued after the learning period is over. In order to get the licence, you have to meet the eligibility criteria discussed in the section below.

What are the Different Driving Licence Categories in India?

There are different categories of driving licence in India that are based on the type of your vehicle. Following are the different categories that you commonly see in the country based on the licence class and vehicle type.

Category of Use

Licence Class 

Vehicle Type

Personal MC 50 CCMotorcycles with engine capacity of 50 cc or less
 MCWOG/FVGMotorcycles with any engine capacity but without gears. This includes scooters and mopeds
 LMV-NTLight motor vehicles used for non-transport purposes
 MC EX50CCMotorcycles with a capacity of 50 cc or more, motor cycles with gear, and light motor vehicles including cars
 MC with gear or M/CYCL WGAll motorcycles with or without gear
Commercial useMGVFor medium goods vehicles
 LMVLight motor vehicles including motorcars, jeeps, taxis, and delivery vans
 HMVHeavy motor vehicles
 HGMVHeavy goods motor vehicle
 HPMV/HTVHeavy passenger motor vehicle / heavy transport vehicle
 TrailerAny person that holds a licence for heavy vehicle driving can apply for heavy trailer licence

What is the Application Process for Driving Licence in India?

There are two ways in which you can apply for a driving licence in India—online and offline. 

Online Driving licence application process

To apply for a driving licence online, you have to visit the Sarathi website. You must have often heard the terms sarathi driving licence or parivahan driving licence; Sarathi parivahan is a website where you can fill the driving licence online form and make an online driving licence application. After the application is made, you can schedule your learner’s licence exam and will be required to carry all the necessary documents at the time of the appointment. 

2. Offline driving licence application process

If you want to go the offline way then you can visit your nearest RTO and get a driving licence form that is form 1 for learner’s licence and form 4 for permanent licence and submit the filled form with age proof, address proof and other necessary documents. After paying the applicable fees, you get the scheduled date and time for your DL test.

Eligibility Criteria for Driving Licence in India

If you want to get a driving licence in India, there is a certain eligibility criteria that you need to fit. This criteria is divided based on the type of the vehicle you desire to drive. Let us go through the eligibility criteria in brief. 

Eligibility criteria for motorcycles with gear

You need to be 18 years of age or older with a thorough knowledge of traffic rules and regulations. You need to produce a valid age and address proof. 

Eligibility criteria for motorcycles without gear (capacity of up to 50 cc) 

The minimum age for these types of vehicles is 16 years and the applicant should have a consent of their parents or guardians. The applicant should also be aware of all the rules and regulations and should submit a valid age proof and address proof.

Eligibility criteria for heavy commercial vehicles

The applicant needs to be 18 years of age or older to apply for a heavy commercial vehicle licence. They should have completed education at least till the 8th standard. Depending on the vehicle type, the minimum age limit is sometimes 20 years. The applicant should have taken proper training from a government school or a school that is affiliated with the state government.

What are the Documents Required for a Driving Licence?

When applying for a driving licence, you need to submit the following documents at the RTO:

  1. Proof of your age, through any of the following:
  • Birth Certificate
  • 10th Class mark sheet
  • Passport
  • PAN Card

Transfer certificate from any school for any class with date of birth printed on it.

         2. Proof of Address, through any of the following documents:

  • Self-owned house agreement
  • Passport
  • Electricity bill (issued in applicants name)
  • Aadhaar Card
  • Ration Card
  • LIC bond
  • Voters ID Card

        3. Other Documents:

  • Duly filled application form
  • 6 passport size photographs (if you are applying for a Learner’s Licence)
  • 1 passport size photograph (if you are applying for Driving Licence)
  • Application Fees
  • If you are over the age of 40, then you must also submit a Medical Certificate (Form 1A and 1) from a Government doctor.

What are the Fees You Must Pay for a DL or LL? 

The following are the fees that you must pay for a new DL or LL:

Licence Issued

Old Fee

New Fee

Applying for a new driving licenceINR40INR200
Driving licence testINR50INR300
Renewing a driving licenceINR50INR200
Applying for a new learner’s licenceINR30INR200
Renewing a learner’s licenceINR40INR200
Applying for an International driving licenceINR500INR1,000
Driving school licence issue and renewalINR2,000INR10,000
Issuing a renewed driving licenceINR50INR200
Fee for appeal against RTOINR100INR500
Issuing driving schools with duplicate licenceINR2,000INR5,000

How Can You Check the Status of Your Driving Licence Online?

  1. Visit the RTO website
  2. Click the Online services tab
  3. Select the Driving Licence Related Services option from the drop-down menu
  4. Click the Application status tab
  5. Enter the required details in the form
  6. Click Submit

The relevant information will be displayed.

What is the Test Procedure When Applying for a DL?

Whether you are applying for a two-wheeler DL or a four-wheeler one, the principal of the test is the same. You need to drive the vehicle in the 'shape of an 8' in the case of Two-wheelers, 'straight T' & ‘U Turn’ in case of Four Wheelers and correctly use the indicators and mirrors while doing so.

Does Your Vehicle Insurance Claim Get Rejected Without a Valid Driving Licence (DL)?

If you have been in an accident, it is imperative to file an insurance claim on time. One of the documents that are required for filing an insurance claim is your driving licence. In fact, this is one of the most essential documents that you must submit, and without a valid licence, your claim will be rejected.

It is also important to note that it is illegal to drive in India without a valid licence. Thus, apart from getting your claim rejected, you can also end up facing a lot of legal troubles, and even jail time, depending on the severity of the accident.

FAQs on How to Get a Driving Licence in India

  • 1. What are the documents required for a driving licence?

    The driving licence documents required when applying for a new driving licence are address proof in the form of electricity bills, house agreement documents, voter’s ID,etc., age proof in the form of birth certificate, Adhaar card or other documents, and some other important documents like passport size photograph, application fees, and driving licence application form.

  • 2. How do you check your driving licence status?

    You can check your driving licence application status online or from your nearest RTO. 

  • 3. Can you get a duplicate driving licence?

    Yes. You can get a duplicate driving licence by making an application to the same RTO office that you got your original DL from.

  • 4. Is the Driving licence renewable?

    Yes, the driving licence is renewable before its date of expiry. You can renew the licence by paying off the required driving licence renewal fees. You can check the driving licence renewal status online.

  • 5. How can you change the address on your driving licence?

    You can change address on driving licence online or offline by producing the valid address proof documents.

  • 6. How to download a soft copy of the driving licence?

    The soft copy of driving licence download can be done from the parivahan.gov.in/parivahan website by clicking on the driving licence download pdf tab. 

  • 7. How to renew my driving licence?

    You can renew your driving licence by producing your existent driving licence, other essential documents, and paying the driving licence fees for renewal.

  • 8. Is online slot booking for driving licence tests possible?

    Yes. It is possible to book an online slot for driving test by checking the facility at the RTO or through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Website parivahan.gov.in/parivahan. Through this website you can make an online driving licence application and book a slot for the driving test.

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