Someone who is not an Indian citizen may obtain an Indian driving license by following certain procedures offered by the government. A person driving a vehicle on Indian roads must follow certain rules and must be conversant with the Indian traffic regulations and traffic signs before setting forth on the road behind the steering wheel. Moreover, traffic violations are always met with heavy fines levied by the central and state transportation departments. Hence, one must cautiously clear all formalities before starting to drive on Indian roads.
Driving License in India as a Foreigner - Application Procedure
A foreigner cannot use the driving license issued by a different country to drive a motor vehicle in India as the Indian Government does not allow for the operation of foreign licenses in India.
A foreigner may apply for an international driving license in India, in case he or she plans on living in India for less than one year. In case the plan is to reside in India for over a year, then the foreigner must apply for an Indian driving license.
In order to apply for an Indian Driving License, it is mandatory to submit a proof of residence in India. A foreigner can get a residence permit from the commissioner of police of the concerned city. The local address will be mentioned in the document.
Next, the applicant must apply for a learner's license (LLR) online with the RTO of the local residence jurisdiction. After this, the applicant has to approach the RTO with copies of his/her passport, the resident permit, and Indian visa along with original documents for verification. Upon successful verification of the same, the applicant will have to pay the required fee and then he/she will be allotted a time slot for a basic test. This test is mostly on Indian traffic rules and regulations, driver's duties and road signs. It is advisable for a foreigner to acquaint himself/herself with these topics as they might not be completely familiar with the concepts in the Indian context. The computerized test has a set of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and the applicant must answer 60% correctly to qualify for a learner's license.
An LLR is valid for 6 months and each state has different norms of allowing an LLR holder to apply for a permanent license. Hence, the next step for the applicant would be to apply for a permanent driving license. Once again, a test slot has to be booked and a basic test to check the applicant's forward and reverse driving skills is conducted to review the applicant's capability. Upon passing the test, the officials approve the application and the Driving License is sent to the applicant's residential address through post.