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4 Types of Driving Licenses in India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 12/10/2021

For everything you do or happens to you, there is always an official document that is associated with the process. Think about how you have a birth certificate to certify your birth, a passport for international travel, your home’s property papers to signify ownership, etc. Similarly, your driving license is yet another official document that enables you to drive legally on the roads.

And speaking about legal driving, you also need to buy a car insurance policy that will help you abide by the law and protect your car from harm. So, your driving license and your car insurance are supposed to stay with you whenever you use your car.

The Importance of Having a Driving License

A driving license in India is an official and legal document and functions as a permit that allows you to drive a particular type of vehicle on the roads. There are driving licenses for four-wheelers, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles such as a truck, bus, etc. A driving license also demarcates the territory within which you can drive your four-wheeler. Being an official document, the driving license is issued by the government and authorises that you're eligible and capable to drive your vehicle on the roads. Hence, a driving license is issued only after you have cleared officially documented driving tests.

This means you are aware of the traffic laws, rules and regulations, especially those related to your car and your driving license and understand certain violations which can lead to your license being revoked or suspended.

To have an Indian driving license and drive a car on the road, it is important for you to be at least 18 years of age. Underage driving is a serious offence, and if you are not of the legal age but are found driving a four-wheeler, your parents will have to face the implications of this violation.

Now that you know why your driving license is so important – in fact, just as important as having a motor insurance policy – it’s time to know what the different types of licenses are.

Types of Driving Licenses Issued in India

  • Learner’s Driving Licence

When you just start driving your four-wheeler, you cannot have a permanent license just yet. This is when you are issued a learner’s license by the Road Transport Authority.

This type of license has a validity of 6 months which means that this is the amount of time you have to ace driving properly and carefully. It is necessary that you are accompanied by a more experienced driver during these 6 months of driving. They should be present with you in the car so that they can help you drive cautiously, guide you through heavy traffic and, in general, provide some moral support when you feel overwhelmed by undesirable situations.

  • Permanent Driving Licence

Soon after your learning phase of 6 months, the Regional Transport Office will issue a permanent driving license. The prerogative is that you should be at least 18 years of age and should have cleared the driving test conducted by the RTO. In India, if you fail your driving test, you can appear for it once again after 7 days.

These days, applying for a permanent license has become very quick and convenient as the whole process is carried out online. A permanent license can be issued for private cars and bikes and signifies that the RTO is satisfied with your capacity as an able driver.

It is around this time that you probably will start using your car more frequently. Though it is advisable to have motor insurance as soon as you purchase your car, this is also a good time to buy a car insurance policy and ensure that it is safe from damage.

  • Commercial Driving licence

A commercial driving license will be issued to you if you are the owner-driver of a heavy vehicle such as a truck or transport vehicle that carries passengers or goods. However, as a driver of a commercial vehicle who applies for a commercial driving license, it is important that you should have cleared your 8th-grade examinations as this is the minimum eligibility criteria.

Another crucial point to be noted is that a commercial vehicle owner is responsible for the safety of their passengers, goods, other drivers, and pedestrians, in addition to their own safety.

  • International Driving Permit (IDP)

An international driving permit allows you to rent and drive a car in another country. But to have this license, you should already own a permanent license. This means you cannot apply for an international driving permit with a learner’s license. Moreover, this type of license is valid only for a year, after which you will have to make a fresh application.

In India, you can get an IDP in 4-5 business days by filling out Form 4 from your Regional Transport Office or downloading it online. There is also a separate driving test which you need to clear and a fee to be paid before you get the IDP.

The Process to Apply for a Driving License

You can either apply for a learner’s license or a permanent license online. In India, the application process may differ a little from state to state; however, largely, the process remains the same. Also, be sure to carry the necessary documents for the driving license such as proof of age, proof of address, passport size photographs, the driving school certificate in case of a transport vehicle license and any other document for the car being used during the test.

How to Apply for a Learner’s License?

Online process:

  • Register online for a learner’s license
  • Visit the Motor Vehicle Department official website and go to the learner’s license page.
  • Here, you will receive a web application number.
  • You will then be directed to another page for selecting an appointment.
  • Make the fee payment of ₹151 plus ₹50 for the test.

Offline process:

  • Visit the RTO and request them for Form 4.
  • After you fill out this form, you will receive an application number.
  • The officials will then provide you with a slot for the initial learner’s license test.
  • If you clear this test, immediately book a slot for the driving test too.
  • In case you do not clear the test, you will have to re-apply and retake the test.

How to Apply for a Permanent Driving License?

  • A Motor Vehicle Inspector will be present at the driving test that is to be taken before you get the permanent driving licence.
  • Only 30 days after getting the learner’s licence can you visit the RTO office on the date of the test.
  • Be sure that you have your car and your learner’s licence with you.
  • The Motor Vehicle Inspector will assess your skills, and if they are found to be satisfactory, you can go for the biometrics.
  • To get a permanent driving licence, you will have to pay a fee of ₹716/- and then you will get your permanent driving licence.

If you have applied online for a driving license, you can check the status of the same on the official transport department website. This will differ from state to state; for example, in Maharashtra, you can visit the Sarathi website and go to https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/

Conclusion

Since getting your driving license is now an online process as well, you can keep track of your license whenever you want. You can also contact your RTO if you cannot locate the status of your license online or happen to misplace it and need a duplicate license. However, do remember that this is an important official document, so as far as possible, keep it safe!

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