Mind on the drive. Hands on the wheel. Eyes on the road - Anonymous
Driving classes can offer many benefits including getting you help with obtaining a driving license. In India, any individual wanting to drive one or more types of motor vehicles, has to have a learner's license first. This makes you eligible to learn to drive - whether under the guidance of a driving school or independently. Basically, it is a permit for you to learn driving. Hence, a very important first step.
Once you have dedicated the required time for training using a learner's license, you have to appear for a test in the presence of an RTO (Regional Transport Office) representative, authorized to give the test. This is the final test to acquire a formal driving license. Upon proper examination, the authority will declare whether you have passed the test or not. Depending on the outcome of this test, you will be issued a driving license or be asked to appear for another round of test. In this light, the role of driving lessons and driving instructors become very critical.
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What is A Driving License?
A driving license is an official document issued by the Transport Department, Government of India. It works as a permit for individuals to drive a motorized vehicle - car, bus, truck, two-wheeler, three-wheeler, etc. - on a public road, without needing supervision from an instructor or trainer.
The license is also a reflection of you being a trained and professional driver, one who has completed the required driving courses to pass the final test.
In India, the concerned department for issuing the driving license is called the RTO (Regional Transport Office) or RTA (Regional Transport Authority).
According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, you are not allowed to drive any type of motor vehicle on a public road without this piece of document. The RTA usually issues licenses through one or more driving schools, spread across different areas of the country.
Types of Driving License in India
There can be more than one type of driving license or DL in India. This primarily depends on the type of vehicle you are going to drive using this permit. Subsequently, the eligibility criteria will also vary to pass the DL test. The following is a list of vehicle categories for which you can apply for a driving license:
- Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50 CC or less.
- Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50 CC or more.
- Motorcycles with gear.
- Motorcycles of any engine capacity, but without gear - mopeds, scooters, scooty.
- Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including small cars.
- Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) for non-transport purposes.
- Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) for commercial purposes.
- Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) with All India Driving Permits - trucks, open licensed cars, etc.
- Heavy Goods Motor Vehicles
- Heavy Trailer License (only for drivers with a valid HMV license).
While searching for driving classes near me, make sure you check the type of driving license support they can provide.
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Eligibility & Documents Required for A Driving License in India
Depending on the type of vehicle, the eligibility criteria for that particular type of driving license will also vary.
Types of DL and their Eligibility Criteria
Motorcycles Without Gear (Engine Capacity of Up To 50 CC)
You have to be at least 16 years old and have to have a written consent from a parent or guardian if you are below 18.
Motorcycles With Gear
You have to be at least 18 years old to apply for this type of DL.
Commercial Heavy Vehicles & Transport Vehicles
You have to have completed your education up to the 8th standard and should be 18 years and above. Some Indian states in the north and west have put this age limit to 20 years and above.
You have to have formal training through a driving school or course. You should be well-versed with the standard driving manual. In addition, you should be able to furnish a valid age proof and address proof.
Important Documents Required for A Driving License
The list of documents that you need to submit in order to obtain a proper driving license is quite exhaustive:
- Age proof - birth certificate/PAN card/class 10 mark sheet/passport/transfer certificate from any school.
- Address proof - passport/Aadhar card/house agreement (own)/electricity bill/LIC bond/Voter ID card/ration card/rental agreement/LPG bill.
- Miscellaneous documents - duly-filled application form, 6 passport sized photos (for learner's license), 1 passport sized photo (for DL), application fees, Form 1 & 1A (medical certificate to be issued by a certified Government doctor).
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How to Obtain A Driving License in India?
Focus on your goal. Don't look in any direction but ahead - Anonymous
Nowadays, you can apply for a driving license in India both online and offline. An online application is quite simple and less time-consuming than actually going to the RTO office, stand in the queue and then finally getting your turn.
Step-by-Step Guide to Filling in the Driving License Application Form Online
Here is a simple process to complete your application online-
- Visit the sarathi.com website to download the driving license application form.
- Fill the form as per the instructions laid out at each step and click "Submit".
- If you are filling in for a minor, then you will have to print the form and provide additional details in Part D; this has to be signed by a parent or a guardian and submitted at the nearest RTO.
- Once the application form is ready, upload the required documents enlisted above on the same portal.
- After the fourth step, a unique web application number will be generated; keep this handy to track the application status.
- Finally, you will get an SMS notification to intimate of the process completion.
So you see, it's literally like a walk in the park!
Applying for A Driving License Offline
When you are looking for a driving instructor near me, look for someone who can help you with the DL application at the nearest RTO office. Here is what you have to do to apply offline -
- Obtain the Form 4 (application form) either from the sarathi website or from your nearest RTO.
- Fill in the details on the printed form and submit it with other documents like age and address proofs.
- Schedule your driving license test on the same day while submitting the form and pay the requisite fees.
- Appear for the test on the scheduled date and time.
- Once you have passed the test, you driving license will be sent to your registered address.
- If it's a driving school who has applied for the license on your behalf, you can collect it from there as well.
What is the Driving License Test Procedure?
To test your driving skills and knowledge about road safety, rules and regulations, you must take the driving license test and pass it. Only than can you actually get the license or the permit to drive any vehicle.
Things to Remember
- You can apply for a formal driving license only after 30 days from the date of issue of your learner's license.
- This application must be filled within 180 days from the date of issue of the learner's license.
- Remember to submit all important documents online or at the driving school to book your test slot.
- Pay the requisite fees on time to avoid penalties and delays.
- You must be present in person to take the test and cannot send a representative like your driving instructor to take it on your behalf.
- There are specified areas or tracks where you can take the test and these are assigned beforehand; you do not have the liberty to choose.
- Different states have designed their own tracks and procedures for the test - typically for two-wheeler, you will be asked to drive on a track shaped like the number 8.
- Don't forget to use your skills that you have picked during your driving classes - hand signals, checking the mirrors, shifting gears on time, etc.
If you pass the test, you should receive your driving license within a month.
Other Important Information About Your Driving License
Now that you know the basic processes and rules behind a driving license, it's useful to have some more relevant information about this important piece of document.
What to Do If You Lose Your Driving License?
In the unfortunate event of you losing your driving license, you don't have to stress. There are certain measures that you can take to ensure that things don't escalate. Three things that you must do immediately following a loss -
- Visit the nearest police station immediately following theft or loss of driving license.
- File an FIR (First Information Report).
- Visit the Notary to get an affidavit on a stamped paper that may act as proof that your DL is lost.
International Driving Permit
Any Indian who holds a valid DL may also apply for an international driving license. This will allow you to drive a motor vehicle in another foreign country. The International Driving Permit (IDP) acts almost like a passport but for driving. You can find out more about the IDP from your nearest RTO.
Issue of Duplicate Driving License
In case of theft or loss of driving license, you can apply for a duplicate from an RTO, provided you have valid documents and proof. There is a separate application process for this as well and you can find more information at your nearest RTO.
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