A driving license is an officially valid document that permits you to operate several types of motor vehicles like a car, motorbike, bus, truck, etc on public roads and highways. In various Indian states, they are managed and directed by the Regional Transport Authorities or Offices as RTA or RTO. A driving license is mandatory in India by any individual driving a vehicle on a public road or any highway as well-defined in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and no individual is authorized to drive a motor vehicle in a public place without a valid Driving license.
In simple language, if you wish to drive a motor vehicle like a four-wheeler or a two-wheeler on roads, you must primarily hold a valid driving license in India. Also, if you are learning and practising to drive a vehicle, it’s important to get a Learners license which will be treated as a provisional license and after that, a driving test is conducted for you to be eligible to get a Driving license. In this digital era, online services are available that will help you to get your Driving license with just a few clicks and get an online driving license easily and without any hassle.
Types of Driving License in India
You need to understand some common types of driving licenses available. Let us see them as below
As we know by now that driving license is issued to you as per the type of the vehicle. Now here is given below a comprehensive list of categories for which you can apply for the driving license in India:
Features of An Authentic Driving License:
Nowadays there are quite a few frauds that are happening in terms of false documents etc, hence you need to know some of the main features of driving license so that you are aware of the structure of a proper driving license to understand whether the same is authentic or not.
Following are the important characteristics of a valid license which can help you differentiate it from a false one:
An interesting point to note there that there are many other features that we as common people cannot see by the naked eye on the license. This feature helps Indian authorities to easily distinguish an authentic license from a duplicate one.
Eligibility criteria for getting different types of driving licenses in India
Now, we will take you through the eligibility for driving license in India which is again dependent on the type of vehicle and the type of driving license. The eligibility criteria for various permanent Driving license types in India are as below:
Type of Vehicle
Motorcycles with gear
You should be at least 18 years old and should be aware of traffic regulations together with your valid age proof and proof of your address
Motorcycles without gear (capacity of up to 50CC)
You should be of a minimum of 16 years old and must have the permission of his guardian or parents. You must be aware of traffic regulations together with your valid age proof and proof of your address
Commercial Heavy Vehicles and Transport Vehicles
You should pass the 8th standard and should be above 18 years (In some states, the minimum age this vehicle type is 20 years).
A learner’s license is mandatory before a Permanent License
It is important for you to understand that the first step to procuring the driving license in India is receiving a Learner’s License. A Learner’s License is a temporary license issued by the respective state Regional Transport Office (RTO) and Regional Transport Authority (RTO) and treated as a temporary & constrained License. You need to be conversant with road sense and traffic rules, of course, to get a Learner’s License. In India, Learner’s License will be allotted to you after you pass a written or online exam that will assess your knowledge on the rules of the road. After getting a Learner’s License, you will be allowed to practice driving on public roads. However, you as a learner have to be escorted by a permanent driving license holder.
In India, every region and state has its own RTO or RTA office in all major cities from where one can get the Learner’s License. Now, many state RTOs have their online portal where an online driving license can be applied without any hassle. The necessary online driving license forms are readily available together with mock Learner’s License tests, there is not much hassle in getting a Learner’s License.
Why is it essential a Learner’s License in India?
You must be wondering on the point as to why there is so much focus on the Learner’s License. Some of the reasons as to why you require a Learner’s License in India are as below:
Process of applying for an Online Driving License in India
Now let us see how you can apply for a driving license in India. In India, many state RTO websites provide online facilities for Learner’s License applications. The general process of how an application is made to get a Learner’s License online is as below:
A step-by-step process for applying for Online Driving Licence
For your ease, we are giving below the main steps for applying for an online driving license which is a very easy and a simple process and comprises of few steps. You can go to the authorized website named Sarathi –https://sarathi.parivahan.gov.in/ of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry.
5 easy steps to be followed for applying for online driving license
The detailed procedure for filling out an online application for a Learner’s Licence or a Driving Licence online is as follows:
Process for applying for your Driving license in RTO or Offline in India
Other than the above online method, you can also go physically to the RTO office and put an application for applying for your Driving license in India, which is user-friendly and simple. Below are the steps are given below for your understanding.
A step-by-step process for applying for a Learner’s License in RTO or Offline in India
The process for applying for a Learner’s License is the same as applying for a permanent driver’s license with basic few differences. You can easily apply for a Learner’s License directly at the RTO office. Below are the steps for you to understand the application process for a Learner’s License at the RTO.
Online Application V/S Offline Application of a Driving License: Reason for applying Online Driving Licence
In this age of fast life, applying for an online driving license is definitely more appropriate and easier for you as it takes less time rather than going and doing the entire thing physically. There is no need for you to stand in the queue to collect the form and you can download the required form from the official website, fill all the details and submit the same to the RTO and get ready for the test.
The important point to note here is that you cannot apply online for a learning license for getting a commercial driving license. You can only apply for a learning license for getting the license for private use. You are allowed to put an application for Learner’s License for multiple classes of vehicles. The initial test is the same for all categories of vehicles regardless of the type of vehicle.
You will have to fulfil the below criteria for applying for a Learning license:
List of Documents Required to Be Submitted for Driving Licence
Knowing the documents involved in obtaining a license both permanent as well as learning license is important as it will help you avoid wastage of time, will reduce unnecessary travelling to the transport offices due to lack of some conditions and other vital things.
You will need the below documents which you have to upload. You need to upload the learner license application form number 2:
Test Process to obtain the Driving License in India
Any final degree or accreditation has to go through a test process and so is in the case of driving license as well. You will need to give a test to measure your driving expertise and knowledge of the traffic rulebooks.
What is the process to obtain a Learner’s Licence in India?
Well, now that you know the normal test process of getting a driver’s license, let us see the same for getting a learner’s license. You as a Learner’s License applicant will have to give an online test if the online driving license application is made or a written test that will check your knowledge about the road rules and safety signs. Important points for you to note here as below:
Process of Issuance of a Duplicate Driving License:
There might be incidents when you may lose the driving license like stolen, getting robbed, dropping the document by mistake, etc. What will you do in such scenarios? Well, you need not panic, its just that you must know the process of getting a duplicate driving license as an Indian resident and follow the same with patience.
The steps are as follows:
A step-by-step procedure to get a Duplicate Driving License
In continuation with the above point, you need to note that you can get a duplicate DL if the original one is misplaced, torn or has been stolen as mentioned above. In all these situations, you must submit the following documents which are essential to get a duplicate.
After furnishing the above documents to the respective officer in charge at the Road Transport Office, the officer will follow the required procedures and issue a duplicate driving license.
Online Process to apply for a Duplicate Driving License:
The Indian Government, with the help of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has made it easy and possible for you if you want to get a duplicate DL by applying online. Some basic steps are as follows:
How To Get An International Driving License in India?
Foreign nationals living in India, or Indian citizens who live in other foreign countries can also utilize their international driving license to drive in India. An international driving license contains the name of the country for which or where it is issued and the visa number of the license holder. As an Indian national, you must know that the country’s license can be used in other countries as well.
Also, if you are travelling to the countries like Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Mauritius, Canada, Spain, Finland and Norway you need not apply for the international driving license at least for the first six months. However, after the expiry of the six months, you will not be allowed on the road with the Indian driving license. In this situation, you will be required to put the application again for an international license.
The process to get an international license.
After the above, you will have to pay the application fee for the license as mentioned. The same will be posted to your address as recorded with the RTO or you can visit the RTO office and collect it physically as well.
Hope the above has given a good idea about various aspects of driving license in India. It is very important to adhere to the required legal norms of the process to ensure that you are safe and you do not get into any trouble unnecessarily. Hence, now you can easily apply for any type of driving license as per your requirement, follow the process, submit the required documents and get your driving license to drive safely.
In India, driving licenses are valid for 20 years from the issue date or till the holder attains 50 years of age, whichever is earlier. Driving Licence for commercial vehicles is valid for up to 3 years.
Yes, you can obtain a smart card driving license in India by paying the required application charge and submitting a few documents of your identity proof, application form, passport size photographs, and learning license.
No, you are not allowed to use someone else’s driving license to drive a vehicle on the Indian roads. If you are caught in the act, there is imprisonment for up to 6 months or fine or both.
You can track your online driving license status through https://sarathi.nic.in:8443/nrportal or directly at the respective RTO office.
If you are driving your vehicle without a valid driving license, you can be fined up to INR 5000 or can be imprisoned for up to 3 months or both.
Yes, there are. However, all state departments have not yet applied the process of linking Aadhaar card with Driving License. However, few states like Andhra Pradesh have started the same for its people. You need to follow the below steps to complete the procedure:
There are no limits on appearing for a driving test to pass the same.
No, you cannot change the address in your driving license online. However, you can make an application to change the same online and visit the respective RTO with the original document for verification purposes.
The cost of getting an international driving license(IDP) in most of the states in India is INR 1000. However, the same may vary depending on the RTO where you are applying for the IDP.
You will be issued the International Driving License within 2 to 7 working days from the time of completing the application.
An International Driving License (IDL) is valid for 1 year from the issue date. You can apply for another International Driving License if the validity expires.
The benefit of having an International Driving License is that you can rent a vehicle in a foreign country instead of hiring a chauffeur and can drive yourself. An International Driving License can be used together with a car license issued in your home country.