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Smart Card Driving Licence 

Traditionally, driving licences were issued like booklets which contained all the pertinent information. However, with wear and tear over the year, those licences often tend to fall apart, leaving the driver in a bit of trouble while they wait for the duplicate to be issued.

In recent years, with digitalisation taking over the public imagination, driving licences are now being issued as smart cards. These cards are easier to handle and are more portable and offer increased convenience to users.

The smart card driving licence comes fitted with a microchip processor of 64kb which contains all the relevant information electronically. The details of the person including their biometrics is all stored within the smart card driving licence.

The Regional Transport Department is authorised to issue the smart card driving licence. Besides, since the smart card driving licence isn’t available in all the states, it is necessary to check with your State Transport Department or nearest RTO before making an application.

How to Apply for a Smart Card Driving Licence?

Those applying for a new driver’s licence in India are most likely to receive it in the smart card format. People with the traditional driving licence format can upgrade it at the concerned RTO. However, ask your RTO whether they issue the smart card driving licence as there are a few exceptions in certain states.

You can obtain the SCDL online as well as offline. Read on to understand both the processes in detail.

Smart Card Driving Licence Online Application

As stated earlier, you can apply for a driving licence online and receive it in the smart card format. Follow the steps below to get a new smart card driving licence online in India.

  1. Visit the Parivahan website https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/.
  2. In the ‘Online Services’ menu, select the option ‘Driving Licence Related Services’.
  3. Choose your state and the concerned RTO.
  4. Then select the option ‘New Driving Licence’ from the ‘Apply Online’ menu. Here, it is assumed that you already have a learning licence. If not, then proceed to apply for a learning licence before applying for a permanent driving licence.
  5. Submit the requested details and upload the supporting documents.
  6. Proceed to book a driver’s licence test slot (if applicable) and pay the fees.
  7. Visit the RTO on the select date and time to give your driving test.
  8. Once you pass the practical test, a smart card driving licence will be issued shortly.

Note: This application process is for obtaining a new driving licence in India.

Smart Card Driving Licence Offline Application

Here’s what you need to do when applying for a smart card driving licence offline.

  1. Visit the nearest RTO and request a new SCDL application form along with a physical fitness declaration form and medical certificate form.
  2. Fill these forms with accurate details and attach necessary documents before submission.
  3. At the time of submitting the forms, pay the relevant fees (based on your type of vehicle) and collect the acknowledgement.
  4. Select a time slot to give your driving test.
  5. Appear for the test.
  6. Once you pass it, you will be directed to the biometric collection centre.
  7. After this, the SCDL will be sent via post at your provided address.

Benefits of Having a Smart Card Driving Licence

A smart card can prove more beneficial than a traditional driving licence in several ways. Read on to learn the same.

1. Highly Secure Security

All the information regarding the driving licence owner is stored securely on the 64kb microprocessor chip. The chip includes the driver’s biometrics details such as blood group, fingerprints, retina scan, etc. These details can be read via special handheld devices that the traffic police possess to verify the data.

2. Details in the SCDL cannot be tampered

The details stored on the smart card driving licence can only be modified. This ensures a permanent trail of updated information regarding the licence owner. Besides, the SCDL ensures that there is no occurrence of fraud or false duplication of the information.

3. Highly Durable and Easy to Carry

The new smart card driving licence can always be carried with you. It can no longer be mutilated or worn out due to usage and is more durable. It can be used anywhere, anytime under any condition owing to this extreme durability.

Eligibility Criteria for Smart Card Driving Licence

The smart card driving licence does not change much in terms of usage over the traditional driving licence. Thus, the eligibility criteria for owning a smart card driving license remains the same as that for a traditional licence. Read on to learn the eligibility criteria in place for obtaining a driving licence in any form.

  • The applicant needs to be at least 18 years old if seeking a licence for driving a motorcycle with gear and an engine capacity of 50cc or more
  • Applicants seeking a driving licence for motorcycles with gear and engine capacity of up to 50cc need to be at least 16 years old
  • If the applicant is below the prescribed age limit, they require a letter of consent from a parent or guardian to apply for a driving licence

Documents Required for Smart Card Driving Licence

Like all licences, applying for a smart card driving license also requires submission of certain documents. Even for a smart card driving licence online application, certain crucial documents need to be submitted to the concerned authorities by the applicant.

The following table gives an overview of the necessary documents for obtaining the SCDL.


Type of Documents

Proof of Address

●     Aadhaar Card

●     Ration Card

●     Passport

●     House/Rent Agreement

●     Latest Utility Bills

Proof of Age

●     SSC Certificate

●     School Transfer Certificate with Date of Birth

●     PAN Card

●     Birth Certificate

●     Passport

Other Documents

●     Passport-sized Photos

●     Form 4: For permanent DL

●     Form 1: For physical fitness declaration

●     Form 1A: For a medical certificate

●     Smart Card DL Form

All of these forms can be availed online through the appropriate government website or from the nearest RTO.

Smart Card Driving Licence Fee

The fee for SCDL is Rs. 200, which you need to pay at the concerned RTO at the time of submitting the application. However, the amount may vary across states in India.

Smart Card Driving Licence Form Sections

Whether you are a new driving licence applicant or looking to switch from the traditional DL to smart card format, the SCDL application form has the following sections:

1. Visual Inspection Zone or Zone 1:

It has basic information such as the applicant’s name, residential address, Date of Birth, type of vehicle, vehicle class, and signature.

2. Machine-Readable Zone or Zone 2:

This section has information like the driving licence chip serial number, DL issuing date, issuing authority details, validity details, etc.

3. Central Motor Vehicle Rules or Zone 3:

Here, you will find details about the applicant’s driving history and fines (if any). It includes details for any existing and settled traffic challans issued to the driver.

Switching from Old Book Driving Licence to New Smart Card Driving Licence

Across India, old book driving licences are being replaced by smart cards, making DLs more convenient and easier to carry solutions. The traditional old book DLs were prone to wear and tear as they were made of paper.

The SCDL is more durable as it is made of plastic. It contains a microprocessor chip that stores the needed information. The RTO and traffic police authorities can access this information with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), keeping it secure against fraudulent activities.

Steps to Transfer Old Book Driving Licence to New Smart Card Driving Licence

The steps to be taken for switching from your old book DL to the new SCDL are as follows:

  1. Visit the concerned RTO facility.
  2. Get the application for SCDL.
  3. Proceed to get your fingerprints scanned, photo taken, and submit your digital signature.
  4. The new SCDL will be fed with this and your existing driving licence information.
  5. Once the process is completed, the SCDL is linked to the RTO database and issued to you shortly.

Documents Needed for Transferring Old Book DL to SCDL

Along with your smart card driving licence application, you need to submit relevant documents. These include:

  • Proof of age
  • Proof of address
  • Original copy of your old book driving licence

View the table above to understand the acceptable documents for age and address proof. Once you submit the documents along with the SCDL application form, the RTO will issue the new smart card on the same day.

Once you have applied for the smart card driving licence, make sure to check the status of your motor insurance as well, which is another mandatory requirement for driving on Indian roads. Buy motor insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, and get access to a range of benefits including protection against both man-made and natural disasters, along with comprehensive coverage for the driver and passengers in the vehicle.

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FAQs on Smart Card Driving licence

  • ✔️What are the fees for obtaining a smart card driving licence?

    The fees for availing a smart card driving licence need to be paid at the time of application. The fees are only Rs. 200.

  • ✔️How can I check if my state offers smart card driving licences?

    Visit your state transport department’s website to verify if your state is offering smart card driving licences

  • ✔️What does a smart card driving licence form contain?

    The smart card driving licence online application or even offline application form contains three sections which must be filled out by the applicant to avail the smart card driving license. These include:

    • Visual Inspection Zone: these include the basic applicant details including their name, address, date of birth, and signature along with details of the vehicle including type and vehicle class
    • Machine-Readable Zone: these include more details regarding the smart card driving licence such as the date the driving licence was issued, the smart card chip’s serial number, details of the issuing authority and the licence validity
    • Central Motor Vehicles Rule: these include the legal details including qualification, fines, endorsements and all other information. If the owner of the driving licence has penalties to their name, this section will also include details of when they were fined and when those fines were settled.

    A smart card driving licence brings in a lot of convenience over traditional driving licences, which typically can get damaged in a multitude of ways. Increased digitalisation in all segments of life has seen convenience increase for a variety of processes.

    While in the process of upgrading to a smart card driving licence, check if your motor insurance is similarly updated. Head to Finserv MARKETS and get comprehensive motor insurance, with benefits including, 24x7 roadside assistance and cashless servicing at more than 4,000 garages across the country with car insurance and more such benefits available for two-wheeler insurance.

  • ✔️Is the old book driving licence still valid in India?

    Yes. The old book driving licence is valid across the country. The validity will be mentioned in the book. You can apply for a transfer to the new SCDL if your state provides it.

  • ✔️Can I change my name on the smart card driving licence?

    Yes. Reach out to the concerned RTO and make the necessary changes to the errors on your SCDL.

  • ✔️Is the smart card driving licence available in all states?

    The SCDL is available in most states across the country.

  • ✔️What is the validity of the smart card driving licence?

    The SCDL is valid for 20 years from the date of issuance or until the licence owner turns 50 years old (whichever is earlier). 

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