A Driving Licence (DL) is a legal document that permits you to drive a motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, etc) on the public roads of India. It is issued in form of a card by your State Government. A Driver Licence is thus, a legal requirement as per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. This Act states that no person can drive on public roads without a valid DL issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) or Regional Transport Authority (RTA).
The document works as a personal identity proof. It contains your name, driving licence number, and other details. You can apply for a Driving Licence online or offline, and obtain a permanent DL after passing a practical driving test. Before obtaining a DL, you need to get a Learner’s Licence (LL), and know about road safety and traffic rules.
In this post, we will discuss about purpose of a DL, its features, eligibility criteria, types, difference between DL and LL, procedure to get a driving licence and test, fees for application and documents required, process for LL test, how to get a permanent driving licence, and FAQs.
Here is why you will require a DL if you are to drive in India:
Here are some of the features of a Driver’s Licence
Here are the eligibility criteria for Driving Licence:
Here are the four types of Driver’s Licences in India by the RTO:
To get a permanent driving licence, you must firstly possess a Learning Licence (LL) in India. This document has a validity of 6 months. The LL entails that you have to enhance your knowledge to drive on roads for the first 6 months, after which, you can apply for a permanent Driving Licence, after passing a driving test and theory.
After passing the theory exam and driving test, you will receive a permanent and valid DL from the RTO. If you are over 18 years of age, you can apply for a Driving Licence online. This document is valid for operating private vehicles such as bikes and cars.
People who drive heavy vehicles will need a Commercial Driving Licence (CDL). The vessel could be a goods carrying vehicle or passenger vehicle. Here, the applicant for the document must have cleared his/her 8th standard to obtain the licence.
The non-citizens of India, must have an International Driving Permit to drive on the domestic roads. The validity of such a document is only for a year. The licence holder has to apply for a new one again after the original expires.
Here are pointers to distinguish between an LL and DL:
To apply for a valid driving licence, you need to firstly get a Learner’s Licence. The application process for the same is available both offline and online. You can apply on the official website (Sarathi) by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry.
An invigilator will be appointed by the RTO. This person in authority will take your driving test and judge if you have passed or failed the test. Your test result will be based on your performance and how well you have completed the provided test. At the time of the test, you have to get your own vehicle. If you do not have a vehicle of your own, then you can use the one from your motor driving school. This vehicle has to be of the same class as mentioned in the application for DL. In case you fail the test, you can retake it after 7 days from the original test.
There is a specially designed track, on which you have to drive when taking the test. You should make sure to not come in contact with the pillars when driving on the track. If your performance is satisfactory, the invigilator will ask you to drive on the road. After looking at your overall performance, it will be decided if you have passed the test or not.
The track for this test is an imaginary patter of the figure ‘8’. You are expected to ride within this border without touching the feet on the ground. If the invigilator finds your performance on par, he/she will ask you to ride on the road. After judging your overall performance and control on the vehicle, a decision will be taken as to if you have cleared the test or not.
Here is the free structure for DL and other vehicle related services:
To drop a Driving Licence application, you will need the following documents:
When you book the test at RTO, you need to go to the centre with the photocopy of the documents, as well as the originals.
You can apply for the permanent DL after 30 days of possessing an LL. But you have to apply for it within 6 months of LL’s issue. You can apply for a permanent Driver Licence soon after 30 days of LL issue. For this, you have to go through a practical driving test. The examiner will also ask a few questions related to the vehicle, along with practical driving with instructions.
Here are the Driver Licence FAQs:
You can obtain a DL from the nearest Road Transport Office (RTO). Every state and city have designated RTOs. Find out the one closest to your place of stay, and drop your application. It is important to get the licence from a legal provider such as from the Sarathi website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Here are tips to clear test for Driving Licence:
If your licence is stolen or lost you have to firstly file an FIR (First Information Report) at the nearest police station.
To get a duplicate licence for driving, submit the details of the original licence, the FIR copy, photocopy of the original DL, proof of age, proof of address, and your passport-sized photograph. You have to submit these documents to the RTO where the application is then processed to release a duplicate DL.
An international driving permit or licence allows you to legally drive on roads of different countries. This document carries the name of the country where the licence was first issued. It also contains details sauch as the VISA number of the card holder. This document is valid for a year.
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