Driving License is a statutory document, which is issued by the state RTO which entitles the applicant to operate a specific class of vehicles, depending on the applicant's skills. This document is issued to the individuals if they pass all the tests that are taken by the RTO of the respective state. In these tests, the driver is tested on his/her ability to ride the vehicle that he/she has applied for and the knowledge of basic traffic rules and guidelines.
After it has been issued, the license holder is needed to have the original copy of his/her Driving License or Learner's Licence at all times. The DL also acts as an identification and address proof.
In Kerala, the responsibility of dispensing a DL is entrusted to the Motor Vehicles Department of the state which operates under the State Government of Kerala.
Kerala Motor Vehicles Department
The Transport Commissioner heads this department and it consists of multiple offices and staff members in different districts of the state. The primary functions of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Department are as follows:
- Motor Vehicle Registration
- Enforcing provisions of Motor Vehicles Act
- Collecting taxes and fees
- Providing the miscellaneous services such as issuing Driving License, permits, etc.
There are 18 RTOs in Kerala which is headed by the RT officer in each of the offices. Additionally, there are 55 sub-regional transport offices which have been headed by the Joint Regional Transport Officers.
The DL is issued under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, which empowers the bearer to drive a vehicle in any part of the country. To acquire a driving license, the applicant receives the Learner's License first.
- Applicants between the age of 16-18 must get written consent from their parents/guardians to apply for a license. Applicants falling in the age group of 16-18 can only apply for the license for a vehicle under 50cc.
- Applicants who are aged 18-20 years old can only apply for a license for non-transport vehicles.
- An applicant is eligible to drive a transport vehicle only when he/she has a minimum experience of one year and is above 20 years old.
- New applicants are obliged to take a computer-based test to test their knowledge of traffic rules and guidelines. The test will be testing the applicant’s knowledge on the aspects like road safety, signals, signs, rules, and regulations, etc.
After passing this test, the applicant will be granted a learner's license, which is valid for six months from the issue date. If the applicant doesn't clear the test, he/she can reappear for the test, a week later by paying a nominal fee of 30 rupees. After owning the LL for a month, the applicant can take the driving test to be eligible to apply for a permanent DL. The test consists of two phases. In the first phase, the ability of the applicant to control a vehicle will be checked and in the second phase the applicant's driving skills will be checked
Documents required for DL in Kerala
Form 1 contains the self-declaration of the applicant's physical condition. It is valid for all non-transport vehicles.
This form is valid for applicants who are above 50 years, people who apply for this category need a certificate signed by an authorized medical practitioner along with the duly filled form.
In addition to the list above, the applicant also must provide address proof, age proof and Eye Test Certificate from an ophthalmologist.
Fees and Charges
Driving test (each class)
Driving License Renewal Procedure
If an individual's DL is about to expire, it is necessary for the license holder to apply for license renewal 30 days before the expiry date is reached. Renewal for licenses one month after the expiry can attract a fine of 250 rupees.
Procedure for International Driving License
The Kerala RTO also issues IDP (International Driving Permit) to the applicants who have a valid DL that is issued in India and who plan on going abroad for work/studying. To acquire an International Driving Permit, an IDP form should be filled, where information like the purpose of visit, duration of stay and other details of the countries should be furnished at the RTO.