Is Original Driving License Compulsory on Indian Roads?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 03/10/2023

If you drive a vehicle, you must be aware of the value of a driving licence. It is an essential document you require to drive on Indian roads. Another mandatory document that you must possess for your car is 4-wheeler insurance. You can conveniently get a car policy online without physically visiting the insurer’s office and standing in queues.

As stated above, having a driving licence is mandatory. But is it mandatory to carry original documents while driving? Let’s find out.

Is Original Driving Licence Print Copy Compulsory On Indian Roads?

Wondering if it is necessary to carry an original driving licence? Here is the answer. As per the law, you must produce the original driving licence to the authorities when asked for it. However, you need not present a physical copy of your driving licence.

The digital era has changed how people save and use their documents. For example, you need not carry essential documents like your driving licence. Instead, you can opt for an original driving licence download whenever required.

The latest amendments in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 allow drivers to carry their documents electronically on their phones. The electronic version of your driving licence and other documents are considered equal to their physical version for all official purposes. However, a normal scanned copy of these documents is not considered valid. The documents need to be duly certified.

How to Get Driving Licence Certified

You can get the electronic version of your driving licence certified. A certified e-copy of your driving licence allows you to drive freely and legally without carrying physical documents.

The DigiLocker and the m-Parivahan apps are maintained by government bodies, and you can store your documents electronically in them. The apps are available on the Google Play Store and the App Store. These apps provide you with the following information:

  • Driving licence

  • Registration certificate

  • Fitness validity

  • Vehicle insurance policy

  • Pollution Under Control certificate

How to Use a DigiLocker

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has made the DigiLocker app available for people. The authorities responsible for the issuance of transport documents manage this app, making it most suitable for document verification. You can get your e-documents in a standard format with this app. The app also offers an e-sign facility where you can sign your self-uploaded documents.

How to Add Driving Licence Details on m-Parivahan App

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has made the m-Parivahan app available for people. Enter your driving licence number or the registration number of your vehicle, and you can get all the related information.

Steps to add your driving licence information on the m-Parivahan app:

  • Download the m-Parivahan app from Google Play Store or App Store.

  • Use your mobile number to sign up on the app. Use the OTP number received to enter the app and register.

  • Select the Driving Licence option and enter your licence number.

  • Click on ‘Add to My Dashboard’ to generate an electronic driving licence.

  • Enter your date of birth, and your driving licence details will get added to your dashboard.

  • Click on the virtual driving licence and complete the details to generate a QR code.

  • The authorities can use this QR code to get complete information on your driving licence.

So, is the original driving licence mandatory? Yes! But not physically.

Benefits of Keeping Documents in Electronic Form

Commuters and authorities benefit from keeping driving licences and other vehicle documents in an electronic form.

Benefits for commuters

Security of documents: Physical documents are exposed to wear and tear over time. Moreover, there is a chance of misplacing or losing the physical documents. If you keep the physical documents in your vehicle and the vehicle gets stolen, you will lose your documents too.

Instead, keeping electronic documents saves you from all these hassles. You need not carry around the physical copy and can instantly present the e-copy to the authorities whenever asked.

Instant access: If you keep your physical documents at home for safety, it will take a long time to fetch and present them. On the other hand, e-documents are available at all times, and no time is lost in collecting them.

Benefits for Authorities

Faster delivery: Delivering physical documents is a time-consuming process. It may take up to 15 to 20 days to deliver the documents to the individual, causing delays and inconvenience. The e-documents allow the authorities to deliver these documents within minutes, saving extensively on the delivery time and effort.

Reduced paperwork: Electronic documents require almost zero paperwork. It frees the authorities from handling numerous files and folders manually. Moreover, enforcement authorities can quickly check the e-documents on the apps to verify the authenticity of a driver and take necessary action.

What Happens if You Do Not Have a Licence While Driving

If you are unable to produce the physical or electronic copy of your driving licence and vehicle documents, it may lead to the following**

Fine The most probable repercussion of driving without a licence in India is having to pay a fine. The concerned authority will release a challan in your name, and you need to pay it at the traffic police station or on the transport website.

Imprisonment A driver unable to produce a driving licence and vehicle documents may have to face imprisonment of up to 3 months. In the case of children, parents or guardians of minors found driving on public roads are penalised.

Insurance claim You cannot file for an insurance claim if you are found driving on public roads without a valid driving licence.

Confiscation of the vehicle The authorities can confiscate your vehicle if you fail to produce the concerned physical or electronic documents.

How to Avoid Driving Licence Fine

The tips given below can help you avoid the repercussions of not having a driving licence:

  • Store the electronic copy of your driving licence on the DigiLocker or m-Parivahan app.

  • Do not carry an expired licence. Always renew your licence on time.


It is necessary to possess your driving licence and four-wheeler insurance policy when driving on public roads in India. However, you need not carry these documents physically. Store your driving licence and vehicle documents on the DigiLocker app or the m-Parivahan app to have your e-documents available at all times.

Our Tata AIG comprehensive car insurance policy protects you from the financial burden of third-party liability and own damage to the car or driver in case of an accident, theft, natural calamity, etc.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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