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.
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.
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.
Note: This application process is for obtaining a new driving licence in India.
Here’s what you need to do when applying for a smart card driving licence offline.
A smart card can prove more beneficial than a traditional driving licence in several ways. Read on to learn the same.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
● House/Rent Agreement
● Latest Utility Bills
Proof of Age
● SSC Certificate
● School Transfer Certificate with Date of Birth
● PAN Card
● Birth Certificate
● 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.
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.
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:
It has basic information such as the applicant’s name, residential address, Date of Birth, type of vehicle, vehicle class, and signature.
This section has information like the driving licence chip serial number, DL issuing date, issuing authority details, validity details, etc.
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.
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.
The steps to be taken for switching from your old book DL to the new SCDL are as follows:
Along with your smart card driving licence application, you need to submit relevant documents. These include:
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.
The fees for availing a smart card driving licence need to be paid at the time of application. The fees are only Rs. 200.
Visit your state transport department’s website to verify if your state is offering smart card driving licences
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:
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.
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.
Yes. Reach out to the concerned RTO and make the necessary changes to the errors on your SCDL.
The SCDL is available in most states across the country.
The SCDL is valid for 20 years from the date of issuance or until the licence owner turns 50 years old (whichever is earlier).