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Driving Licence

Driving Licence is mandatory to drive two-wheeler or four-wheeler legally on Indian roads. However, a permanent driving licence cannot be obtained right away. People need to follow the procedure to obtain a Permanent Driving Licence.

An individual who aspires to drive any vehicle in India is required to get his/her learner's licence first. Learner’s licence is allotted for people who are learning how to drive. After a month of the issuance of learner’s licence, the person has to give the driving test for the RTO authority, who after proper review, will decide if he/she has passed the test.

Brief on Driving Licence India


A driving licence is an official document distributed by the Government of India, which permits individuals to use a vehicle on the public road without any supervision. In India, driving licence is issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) or Regional Transport Authority (RTA)  of that particular state. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 states that no individual without the Driving licence is allowed to drive a vehicle in a public area.

So, if you wish to drive a vehicle on the roads, then you must first hold a legitimate driving licence in India. If you are practicing to drive a vehicle, you must first obtain a Learner's permit which would act as a temporary licence and then must take a test to qualify for acquiring a Driving licence. With the arrival of online facilities which allow the users to apply for a Driving licence from their homes, obtaining a driving licence has become quite easy.

Types of Driving Licence in India

Depending on the kind of vehicle that a person uses, he/she can get a licence for it. However, the eligibility requirement for each vehicle type varies. The categories for which the driving licence can be applied for are as follows:

Vehicle Type

Motorcycles with engine capacity of 50cc or less than 50cc

Motorcycles with gear, motorcycles with a capacity of 50cc or more, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars

All Motorcycles types including Motorcycle with gear

Motorcycles of any cc but with no gears - including scooters and mopeds

Light Motor Vehicle for non-transport purposes

Light Motor Vehicle intended for commercial purposes

Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicle (also referred to as All India driving permit for trucks and cars or open licence)


Eligibility for the Driving Licence in India

The eligibility for acquiring a driving licence in India depends on the class of vehicle and the driving licence that the user wishes to obtain. The eligibility criteria for various permanent Driving licence types in India are provided below:

Type of Permanent Driving licence

Eligibility Criteria

Motorcycles without gear (with a capacity of up to 50cc)

The applicant must be at least 16 years old and must have the consent of a parent or guardian if he is less than 18 years old.

Motorcycles with gear

The applicant should be at least 18 years old.

Commercial Heavy Vehicles and Transport Vehicles

The applicant should have completed 8th standard. The applicant must be at least 18 years old (in some states, the minimum age limit is 20 years).

General Requirement

The applicant must be conversant with traffic regulations and rules. The applicant must have valid age proof and address proof documents.


Documents Required for Driving Licence:

To make sure that there's no lag in the application process, the documents that are required to be submitted must be valid. The list of documents which are required for acquiring a driving licence are:

Age Proof 

You can provide any of the below-mentioned documents:

  • PAN Card

  • Passport

  • Birth Certificate

  • 10th Class mark sheet

  • Transfer certificate from any school (date of birth must be printed on the certificate)

Address Proof

You can provide any of the below-mentioned documents:

  • Passport

  • House agreement

  • Aadhar Card

  • Electricity Bill

  • LIC Bond

  • Voter ID card

  • Ration Card

  • Current Address Proof

  • Rental Agreement and Electricity Bill

  • Rent Agreement and LPG Bill

Other Specifications for Applying for Driving Licence

  • Correctly filled application form (to obtain the application form for a driving licence, hit the nearest RTO or you can also download it from the online portal for your state)

  • Six passport-sized photos (when applying for Learners Licence)

  • A passport-sized photo (while applying for a driving licence)

  • Application Expenses

  • If you stay in a different city, you can present your rental agreement along with a copy of any utility bill as the current address proof

  • Medical Certificate

A medical certificate must be issued by a certified government doctor. The Form 1A and Form 1 must be filled by the applicant and signed by a certified medical practitioner.

  • The medical certificate is optional for applicants below 40 years. However, it is mandatory for applicants above 40 years.

How to Apply for Driving Licence Online?

You can easily apply for a driving licence online by following a simple process which involves a few simple steps:

  • Visit the official Sarathi website of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry.

  • Navigate to the column named as “Sarathi Services,” and select “New Driving Licence.”

  • You will be redirected to a fresh web page, which will be having all the details about it.

  • Read the instructions carefully.

  • Download the form and fill in all the necessary information.

Procedure to Fill the Driving Licence Application Form Online

The procedure for filling out an online application for a Learner’s Licence or Driving Licence is as follows:

  • Visit the Sarathi website.

  • Download the driving licence application form.

  • Fill up the form after carefully reading the instructions provided on the screen and click on ‘Submit.’

  • Minor applicants must take a print out of the form and fill up Part D of the form which must be signed by the parent/guardian at the nearest RTO.

  • After the document has been signed, you must upload the necessary documents along with the application form. The documents which are required to be submitted are described above.

  • An application number is generated which can be used to track the application status.

  • If the application has been processed, the applicant is notified through SMS.

How to Apply for a Driving Licence in RTO Offline in India?

The method for applying for a Driving licence in India is straightforward. You can follow the steps described below to understand how to apply for a Driving license offline.

  • The applicant has to acquire Form 4, which is the application form for driving licence in India. This Form can be downloaded from the official state transport website. Alternatively, the applicant may also visit the nearest RTO to obtain the form.

  • Fill the application form and then submit it along with other documents such as address and age proof at RTO which comes under the jurisdiction of the area where you live. Furthermore, you can schedule a slot for the Driving licence test at RTO and pay the applicable fee for taking the test.

  • Also, you must be present at your Driving licence test center on the stipulated time and date. After you have cleared the test, your driving licence will be granted on the spot, or it will be sent to your registered address.

  • Besides, if you are taking a driving lesson from any Driving school, the school could help you in applying for a driving licence.

The Format of Driving Licence in India

The driving licence of every country has a format. You can understand this distinct format through this relevant example:

  • Let us assume that you reside in Bangalore and the vehicle that you own has the licence plate number, KA-01-2011-0008976.

  • The first two characters of your vehicle, here, KA indicate the state where the vehicle was registered. KA is code for Karnataka.

  • The city code is given by 01.

  • 2011 is the year in which the licence was printed and granted to the user.

  • The remaining digits are considered to be a unique identification number for the user.

The Procedure of Test for Driving Licence in India

You must undergo a driving licence test which would test your driving skills and awareness of rules of the road & signals and you must pass the test to obtain your driving licence. Below listed are some of the essential points concerning the process of driving license test in India.

  • You must apply for a Permanent Driving licence a month after the issuance of Learners Licence.

  • Application for permanent Driving Licence is needed to be filed within 180 days from the issue date of the Learners Licence.

  • You must submit all the relevant documents and pay the necessary fees for undergoing the Driving licence test suggested in the designated counter. Obtain the receipt and visit the designated track cabin to take the driving test.

  •  Your physical presence is mandatory for the Driving Licence test. You must be present in the designated spot at least an hour before the assigned time. You'll be required to take the test before or during the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) in the allotted track.

  • The track and procedure for a driving licence test vary from state to state. Usually, for two-wheelers, the applicant is needed to drive a two-wheeler in a path designed in shape of number 8. Additionally, the Motor Vehicle Inspector(MVI) will be checking whether you're using the signs and relevant hand-signals while driving. You will be required to trace the shape of 8 in your vehicle without using your legs.

  • For a four-wheeler Driving Licence, the Motor Vehicle Inspector will be asking you to drive the car in a track and will perceive your skills. You will be required to show proper hand signals, use the indicator properly and use the brakes wherever it is required. Additionally, you must shift the gear smoothly and use the side & rear-view mirrors while driving the vehicle.

After Passing the Driving Licence Test, How Long Does It Take to Get a Licence?

To obtain a driving licence test after passing the test, you must follow this procedure:

  • After passing the written test, you will receive a receipt.

  • You could use the receipt to collect your learning licence.

  • After a month from the date of issuance of your learning licence, you'll be required to take an appointment for the driving test. Through this test, the questions which will be asked will be linked to the vehicle for which you are getting the license ( whether you have applied for a two wheeler/four wheeler license). After passing the test, you'll be getting a receipt. This receipt will work as your driving license until you receive the permanent license through speed post.

What Can You Do If Your Driving Licence Is Lost?

If you're driving a vehicle in India, then it is mandatory for you to have a driver's licence. You're not allowed to drive a vehicle in this country without having a driving licence. If you have lost your driving license, then you must apply for a duplicate driving licence to drive.

Things to do if you've lost your driving licence:

  • Visit the police station which has jurisdiction over the area where you lost your licence.

  • Lodge a complaint and make sure that you obtain a copy of the FIR.

  • Visit the Notary Office in your registered area to get an affidavit on a stamped paper. This affidavit will act as proof that your driving licence is lost.

  • You'll be required to pay a fee to the notary for the service and stamped paper.

How Does the International Driving Permit work in India?

International Driving Licence is issued to Resident Indians only when they hold an Indian driving licence. The international driving permit (IDP) allows any Indian citizen to drive a vehicle in a foreign country. The international driving permit (IDP) is translated into multiple languages and it looks similar to the passport. However, the process for acquiring an IDP differs from state to state, the generic procedure in each state is mentioned below:

The application method for an international driving licence (IDL) alters from state to state. You must get in touch with the RTO in your area or your State Transport Department to comprehend the complete application process and the list of documents that are required to obtain the licence.

Why Do You Require a Driving Licence in India?

Aside from the fact that an individual should hold a driving licence to drive a vehicle in India legitimately, the advantages of a driving licence are more than one. Below mentioned are a few reasons why you must acquire a driving licence in India:

It Acts as an Essential Document of Identification

Usually, while traveling or visiting an age-restricted area, you are needed to present an ID.  Driving Licence comes handy in such cases. This shows that driving licence not only allows you to drive any vehicle on the Indian Roads but also acts as a valid identification proof. Among the other documents like PAN Cards, Voter ID Cards, passports, Aadhar Cards, driving licence, too, acts as a widely accepted form of personal identification.

It Makes Commuting Throughout the Country Much Easier

Commuting in the country these days is a notably stressful activity. Using public transport may not be everyone's cup of tea. Additionally, having a vehicle equips you with the freedom of mobility whenever you wish to move whenever you need. Keeping that in mind, if you want to buy a car or motorbike to travel, you must acquire the driving licence.

Driving Licence Is a  Compulsory and Legal Requirement

If you want to drive in India or even abroad, it is necessary to own a valid driving licence. Driving License is a mandatory document which indicates your capacity to manage or drive a vehicle.

Driving Licence Valid As ID Proof For Replacing Old Notes

When demonetization hit the nation, PM declared a ban on Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes; people started rushing to exchange their old notes in the banks. When you visit the bank to exchange an old 500 or 1000 rupees note, you can present your Driving Licence as a  valid identity proof. Kindly note that the original driving licence (and not a photocopy) must be shown at the counter while exchanging the notes.

FAQs on Driving Licence

How can I start the application process for driving licence?

Firstly, you should hold a valid Learners licence to apply for a permanent driving licence. To apply for a driving license, you could get in touch with the Regional Transport Office in your area. Alternatively, you can visit the online portal for the Transport Department of your city/state to acquire more information on the application process for driving license application.

If I get a driving licence in Bangalore, will it be valid throughout India?

Yes, Driving licence acquired in any RTO located in India is valid throughout the country.

What is the validity period for a Driving licence in this country?

A driving licence obtained in India is generally valid for 20 years of the issue until the licence owner attains 50 years. Driving Licence for a commercial vehicle is valid for three years.

Should I present a medical certificate to apply for a driving licence in this country?

If you are under fifty years of age and are applying for a non-transport licence, then you don't require a medical certificate. However, applicants above 50 years old must present the medical certificate to apply for a driving licence.

What can I do to acquire a driving licence if I fail the driving licence test?

If you fail the driving licence test, you can apply for re-test after seven days.

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