In India, any individual who wishes to drive a motor vehicle is required to first possess a driving licence. This licence certifies that the individual is adept at abiding by road safety guidelines and traffic norms. Besides, a driving licence is one of the mandatory documents under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Failing to present the permit when asked by the traffic police officer can lead to a hefty fine. Moreover, when involved in an accident, driving without a valid driver’s licence can lead to motor insurance claim rejection.
When it comes to obtaining a driving licence in India, you first need to apply for a learner’s permit. Post obtaining a learner’s licence, you can apply for a permanent driver’s licence. Instead of going to the RTO, you can now apply for a driver’s licence online in India.
Increased digitisation has enabled applicants to apply for a driver’s licence anywhere, anytime. Your state’s transport department takes essential steps to make the process of obtaining a driving licence easy. However, you need to be eligible to apply for a driving licence. The eligibility criteria for the same is as follows –
Before applying for a permanent driving licence, you (the applicant) needs to have a learner’s licence. A learning licence is issued for a temporary period (six months) during which you need to finesse your driving skills. Without a valid learning licence, you will not be eligible to apply for a permanent driver’s licence in India.
You (the applicant) should be 16 years old or more when applying for a two-wheeler (with or without gear) licence. Besides, you should be 18 years old or above when you apply for a four-wheeler licence.
You need to be an Indian citizen.
You should be 20 years old and above to apply for a commercial driving licence. Additionally, commercial DL needs the applicant to have qualified at least 8th class schooling.
Here are a few benefits of applying for a driving licence online in India.
Extremely convenient for applicants; they can apply right from the comfort of their own home
Saves on time; applicants can handily download a form, fill it in and submit the same online within a matter of a few minutes.
Within a single online application, a learner’s licence for more than one type of vehicle can be applied for.
Applicants can easily schedule their driving test online.
Now that you know the benefits of driving licence online application, and if you are eligible to obtain one, learn how you can obtain a driver’s licence online in India.
Online application of driving licence is a quick and simple process. You can visit the official Sarathi website of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry to get your driving licence online form. A step-by-step process is provided below:
On the homepage, you will come across a ‘apply online’ section.
Here, choose ‘New Driving licence’
Instructions for filling in the form will appear. Ensure you go through them thoroughly before attempting to fill in the form. After carefully reading the steps, click ‘continue’
You will then be prompted to fill in the type of licence you already hold, for eg: a learner’s licence, a foreign driver’s licence or a defense licence. Depending on the answer you provide, you will then be asked to fill in the respective licence number.
You would also need to fill in your date of birth.
Next, add your personal details and vehicle info. Click ‘submit’.
Next, upload the documents mentioned above, your passport photographs, signature, verify them, and click ‘submit’
On completion, you can book a time slot for your Driving licence exam.
After making the payment, print your application form and payment slip and carry it with you during the driving exam.
Once the application has been processed, a notification will be sent on your registered mobile number via SMS.
There are two types of driving licence available in India –
If you are learning to drive/ride a motor vehicle, you will need a learner’s licence. You must appear for a small questionnaire at the RTO, submit the relevant documents, and get a learning licence. However, the permit is valid for six months. If you still need additional time to finesse your driving skills before you appear for the permanent driving licence test, you will have to reapply for the learning licence.
You can apply for a permanent driving licence after one month of obtaining the learner’s licence. Here, you will have to appear for a practical examination at the RTO, where your driving skills will be put to test. Based on how you perform, the examiner will pass/fail you. If you pass the test, proceed to submit the necessary documents and pay a nominal fee. The permanent driving licence will be issued to you shortly. However, if you fail the driving exam, you can reappear for it after seven days.
Moreover, based on the type of vehicle you drive or wish to drive, the authorities will issue the following licence type:
Two-wheeler with gears
Two-wheeler without gear
Four-wheeler (gear and automatic)
In addition, you should also be aware of the fees charged by the RTO when applying for driving licence in India. Here’s an overview of the same.
RTO Licence-Related Facility
Rs.151 + Rs.50 for the test
Permanent Driving Licence
Renewal of Driving Licence
Issuance of Duplicate Driving Licence
International Driving Licence Permit
Authorisation to Drive Public Service Vehicle
Applicants can pay the fee online or via e challan (SBI) as well.
You need to submit your driving licence application online with the following documents.
PAN Card copy
Fitness certificate copy
If the applicant is a minor, a copy of the parent’s or guardian’s written consent (dated and signed)
A valid learning licence permit
Permanent driving licence payment receipt
While you procure the documents for your driving licence application, let us understand how to download the application form and the contents of it.
You can collect the driving licence application form from the nearest RTO in your area. However, the same be available online on the RTO’s website or Sarathi website. You can download the following forms from the Sarathi website:
Form 4: New Driving Licence Application Form
Form 8: Addition of New Class of Vehicle to the Driving Licence
Form 9: Renewal of Driving Licence
Once you’ve downloaded the form you need, submit it to the concerned RTO with the necessary documents.
To apply online, the registration form is divided into the following parts:
Part A includes the personal details of the applicant such as name, date of birth, address, and gender, among others. It will also state the education level, blood group, and type of licence one wishes to apply for.
Part B contains information pertaining to the kind of vehicle one wishes to operate. One can enlist a maximum of 19 types of vehicles. It is also required that you provide a vivid description of the vehicles you wish to operate.
This part comprises a list of the supplemental documentation being uploaded along with the application form. This includes your proof of age, proof of address, learner’s licence etc.
This is the declaration by the applicant stating submission of all the required materials. It may also include information such as a licence of documents and medical fitness certificate.
This part pertains to applicants falling in the age group of 16-18 years. This section is required to be signed by the parents or guardians as a consent for application of licence.
By now, you must be well versed with the driving licence online application process. Further, we’ve discussed how to apply for a driving licence offline.
Follow the steps below to apply for a driving licence offline.
Go to the nearest RTO and get a driving licence application form.
You can download the form online and submit the printed copy.
Fill in the requested details:
Name & Father’s Name
Date & Place of Birth
Submit the application form with the necessary documents and passport-sized photos.
Secure an appointment for the preliminary licence test.
Upon passing the first round of the test, a learning licence will be issued that is valid for six months. During this time, you should enhance your driving skills and appear for the final driving test. You can apply for a permanent driving licence after a month of obtaining a learner’s permit.
Upon passing the final test, a permanent driving licence is issued.
It has long since been asserted that many Indians drive without a proper driving licence, thus leading to regular instances of accidents or other fatalities. Reports from New Delhi states that only 12% of the applicants pass their driving test, with 88% agreeing to not have given any driving test at all! In order to protect you and your vehicle from such liabilities, it has been made mandatory to possess an adequate motor insurance policy.
While applying for your driver’s licence, you can consider purchasing the Motor Insurance policy available on Finserv MARKETS to help insure your two-wheeler effectively. It offers cashless claims without involvement of any third parties, swift claim settlement processes, access to a wide network of 4000+ garages throughout India. You can also take advantage of online renewal of your bike insurance anytime!
If your licence is stolen or lost, you can apply for a duplicate driving licence with the concerned RTO.
The process of obtaining a duplicate driving licence is simple. However, you need to file an FIR at the police station to inform them about the loss of your driving licence. Submit the FIR copy along with the application form and necessary documents to acquire a duplicate driving licence.
Once you pass the preliminary test, the learning licence is issued to you on the same day.
Yes. Both learning licence and permanent licence are valid across the country.
Ideally, you can take a driving test for obtaining a permanent driving licence after a month of acquiring a learning licence.