For many driving on roads is more of a passion rather than a necessity and for some, it is one of the best ways that make your travel easy and happy. Being able to drive in a vehicle on any roads in India gives you the liberty to go wherever you want to, but you will not be in a position to enjoy till you have a valid driving license. In India, if you want to drive or ride on roads, obtaining a driving license is compulsory. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 forbids all of us from driving a vehicle without a driving licence. The act visibly states that no one will be allowed to ride or drive on roads without a valid driving licence.
Let us first see what a driving license is and why it is very important.
What is a driving license?
A driving licence is a legal and certified document that authorizes the holder to run all categories of motor vehicles on Indian roads as well as highways. Driving licence is a certification to drive a definite class of the vehicle on the road, like a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler or maybe a commercial vehicle, within national limitations.
Who issues a driving license?
The entire transport process is looked after by the RTA(Regional Transport Authority) or RTO (Regional Transport Office) which are the Regional Transport Offices in the respective state. Driving without the same is treated as a legal offence which is subject to severe consequences.
The Government has allowed the facility of online services that will help you to make an application for a Driving licence and get a driving licence effortlessly and without any botheration.
Why is the driving license necessary?
You need a driving license to drive a vehicle in India. Besides this primary reason, a driving license helps you avoid legal complications when you are caught driving without a license. Moreover, the license also serves as a proof of identity, address and date of birth in different types of transactions. Thus, a driving license is a necessary requirement if you wish to drive.
Types of Driving License
Let us now see the types of driving license. There are four types of Driving licence in India. Let’s understand what these types are so that you know which license you need to avail for your requirement.The following are common types of driving licenses:
Different classes of Driving license
The driving license also depends on the type of vehicle which would be driven using the license. There are different classes of driving licenses based on the different types of vehicles plying in India. These classes of driving licenses and the vehicle types that they cover are as follows –
Format of a driving license
The driving license contains a unique identification number of the applicant which is mentioned in the format AA – 12 – 1234 – 1234567. The format can be explained as below –
So, if you avail a driving license in Pune in 2020, the format would be MH – 12 – 2020 – 1234567 where 1234567 would be the code issued by the RTO.
Eligibility criteria for getting different types of driving licenses in India
To avail a driving license you have to fulfil some basic eligibility criteria. The eligibility for driving licence in India is dependent on the category of the vehicle and the kind of driving licence.
The eligibility criteria for many permanent Driving licence types in India are explained below:
Type of Vehicle
For Motorcycles with gear
You should be minimum of 18 years of age and should be aware of traffic rules with a valid age and address proof.
For Motorcycles without gear (capacity of up to 50CC)
You should be a minimum of 16 years and should have the consent of your guardian or parents. You should be familiar with traffic rules with an effective age and address proof.
For Commercial Heavy Vehicles and Transport Vehicles
You as an aspirant should pass 8th standard and must be above 18 years (In a few states the lowest age for this category is 20 years).
You need to be trained from a government training institute or any place which is associated with the state government.
How to Apply for a Driving License in India?
You must know the process of applying for an online driving licence for all types of Driving licence in India which is an easy and a hassle-free process with just a few steps so that you do not have to waste your time energy and end up doing duplicate work. You will have to visit the official Sarathi website named https://sarathi.parivahan.gov.in/ of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry. From the column “Sarathi Services,” you will have to carefully choose the “New Driving Licence” option. After this, you will be taken to a new web page, which will show all the essential details. The form can be downloaded and filled correctly.
The detailed process for filling out an online application for a Driving Licence online is as follows:
You can also go physically to the RTO and apply for a driving license. Below are the steps are given below as to how to apply for a Driving licence in RTO –
You need to be present as per the stated date and time for the test. After passing, the driving licence will be given or will be delivered to your registered address.
Documents necessary for availing a driving license
To avail a driving license, there are different types of documents which you need to submit to the RTO. The license would be issued only if all the documents are submitted and verified. The list of documents which are needed to apply for a driving license includes the following –
How to clear the driving test to get the driving license?
You would have to take a learning test and a driving test and pass it before the driving license is issued. The date and time of the test would have to be selected when you apply for the driving license. The test is conducted after you have applied for a driving license and have submitted your documents along with the required fee.
For the learning test, different multiple-choice questions are asked on the test and you have to choose the correct answer. Once you clear the test, you get a learner’s license. The driving test is then scheduled one month after the learner’s license is issued.
For the driving test, you would have to physically go and appear for the test at a designated area. The process of taking the test is as follows –
The validity of the Driving License in India
Now that you know the various aspects of applying for a driving license, you also must know the validity and the renewal process. In India, driving licences are valid and effective for 20 years from the issuance date or till the license holder reaches 50 years, either of which comes earlier. For commercial vehicles, the driving licence is valid until 3 years. A driving license can be renewed before the expiry date.
What is the renewal process of all types of Driving licence in India?
Suitably filled renewal application form other mandatory documents need to be submitted to the Assistant in the respective RTO. The license will be renewed for another 5 years if the renewal is for a Non-Transport Vehicle and for 3 years if the renewal is for a transport vehicle. The person can obtain the renewed licence on the same day if the licence is obtained in the same office, else it will take 20 days. Form 9 which is the application for the renewal of the Driving Licence is a document which has few questions on different information. And needless to say, that the main part of the mentioned form consists of the details of the current driving license of the candidate.
Issuance of duplicate driving license
If you lose your driving license, you would have to apply for a duplicate driving license because driving without a valid driving license is illegal. For a duplicate license, you would have to first, file a report of your missing license. File an FIR with the police notifying that the license has been lost. Avail a copy of the FIR. Go to a notary and avail an affidavit on a stamped paper declaring the loss of license. Then, apply for a duplicate license with the RTO. The application would have to be made in LLD form available with RTO. Fill up the form stating all your details and submit the form to the RTO along with the copies of the police FIR and the affidavit. A duplicate license would then be issued by the RTO.
A driving license is an essential requirement for driving a vehicle legally. Driving will be hassle-free if all the rules are followed properly from the time you are applying for the driving license, buying the vehicle and finally driving the same on the road with a valid driving license. Hence, avail a driving license if you want to drive a vehicle on Indian roads.
Yes, you can have a smart card driving license in India by paying the requisite charge and submitting documents for age and address proof, application form, passport size photo and the learning license.
Not at all! You cannot use anyone else’s driving license for driving a motor vehicle in India. If caught, the penalty can be imprisonment up to 6 months or fined or both might occur.
Driving a vehicle without a driving license can be penalized up to INR 5000 or imprisonment up to 3 months or both.
You can track your online driving license status through https://sarathi.nic.in:8443/nrportal or directly at the respective RTO office.