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All About Driving Licence (Sarathi) in India
For some people, driving on roads is like a therapy for their stress whereas it a means of easy and comfortable travel for others. Driving your own car offers you the liberty to move around anywhere, anytime, however, in India, it is mandatory to hold a valid driving license if you wish to drive or ride on roads. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is strictly prohibited for any individuals to drive without a valid driving licence.
What is Driving Licence?
Driving Licence (Sarathi) is an official document which is issued by the Government of India and offers permit to an individual to drive a vehicle on Indian roads. The driving licence certifies that the individual is eligible to drive or ride motorized vehicles on public roads without any supervision.
The driving licence is issued by Regional Transport Office (RTO) or Regional Transport Authority (RTA) of the state wherein the individual resides. The licence specifies that the individual has gone through the required training process and has a good knowledge of traffic rules and regulations.
The driving licence comes with a registration number along with the passport size photo of the vehicle owner. The licence must have a rubber stamp on it in addition to the signature of the officer-in-charge along with the office mentioned (from where it was issued). If you are in the learning stage of driving then you should first get a learners license and then get a permanent one.
Different Types of Driving Licence in India
In India, Driving licence is issued depending on the class of your motor vehicle. However, the eligibility criteria are subject to change based on the class of the vehicle.
For Personal Use:
Light motor vehicles (used for non-transport purposes)
MC with Gear or M/CYCL.WG
All motorcycles along with the one with gear
Motorcycles with any engine capacity provided without gears, includes scooters and mopeds
MC 50CC (Motorcycle 50cc)
Motorcycles which comes with an engine capacity of 50cc or less
Motorcycles with gear, capacity of 50CC or more, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars
For Commercial Use:
Person with heavy vehicle driving licence
Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle
Light Motor Vehicle which includes jeeps, taxis, delivery vans and motorcars
Heavy Motor Vehicles
Medium Goods Vehicle
Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicle or Heavy Transport Vehicle
What are the Eligibility Criteria to Avail Driving Licence in India?
The eligibility criteria for a person to avail driving licence in India vary based on the type of the vehicle:
For the one who has motorcycles with gear – The applicant must be at least 18 years of age. He or she should have good knowledge of traffic rules and regulations. Moreover, the applicant must have a valid age proof and address proof.
For the one who has motorcycles without gear and with a capacity of up to 50CC – An applicant with minimum 16 years of age is eligible for this license and should have the consent of his guardian or parents. He or she should have considerable amount of knowledge of the various traffic rules and regulations and should possess a valid age proof and address document.
For Heavy commercial vehicles – In this case, the applicant should be at least 8th Std pass and must be above 18 years of age (In some states, the minimum age for this vehicle type is 20 years). He or she must have been trained from a government training school or one that is affiliated with the state government.
How to Apply for Driving Licence in India?
In India, an individual can apply for driving licence through both online and offline mode. As you scroll down, you can find the steps involved in each of the processes.
Apply for Driving Licence Online
One can apply for Driving Licence online by following the below-mentioned steps:
One must visit the official Sarathi Website (sarathi.nic.in).
Then, click on the ‘Sarathi Services’ and then select ‘New Driving Licence’.
Skim through the details and download the form.
As per the instructions mentioned, fill the form and submit it. Also, ensure that you note the form application number before submitting the form.
You would receive an SMS showing the status of your driving licence application after the submission.
Now, click on ‘Application for LL Test’(under the online transaction with Sarathi section) and schedule your Learner’s Licence test.
Now your time and date of the test would be scheduled.
Carry the required documents (i.e. residence and age proof) along with you at the time of the test.
Apply for Driving Licence Offline
For the ones who want to apply for Driving Licence offline must follow below-mentioned steps:
Get the application form (Form 1 for Learner License and Form 4 for Permanent Licence) i.e. form of a motor vehicle driving licence in India. You can get this form from the nearest RTO office or download it online from the State Transport Website.
You need to then fill the form with the required details and submit it along with your address and age proof at the RTO office near your area. Also, schedule a slot for your test and pay the fees.
One must ensure that you reach the test centre on the given date and time. Once you clear the test, your driving licence will be sent to your registered address.
In case you are taking driving lessons from a driving school, then the school’s officials can assist you in procuring your license.
Indian Driving Licence Test Procedure
You need to go through a test procedure that helps in testing your driving skills and also helps in examining your knowledge about traffic rules and regulations. Following are some important points regarding the test procedure in India.
One can apply for a permanent driving license after 30 days from the issuance of your learner’s license. However, it is vital that the application needs to be filed within 180 days after the 30-day period of the learner’s license is over.
Ensure that you are present early for the test i.e. at least an hour before the test begins.
You need to submit all the required documents and pay the fees at the counter. In addition to this, if you have booked an appointment online, you will be required to submit the test booking slip.
The test procedures differ from state-to-state, and the test is conducted in the presence of a Motor Vehicle Inspector. Generally, you have to give a ‘Forward 8 shaped track test’, ‘Parallel Parking test’, or ‘Reverse S Test’ or ‘Drive backwards on S-shaped track’.
You should ensure that your feet do not touch the ground in a two-wheeler test. On the other hand for a car test, you should make use of rear-view mirrors, use proper hand signals and shift gears smoothly.
You are required to appear in a written test where you will be asked questions related to traffic rules and regulations.
The written test would be conducted online for the ones who are applying online for the driving licence.
On clearing both the exams, a receipt would be provided to you which will be your driving license for the time being until you don’t receive your driving licence copy by speed post.
What are the Documents Required to avail Driving Licence in India?
In order to ensure that there is no delay in the application process, one must submit the below-mentioned documents while applying for a driving licence:
For Age Proof:
As an age proof, one needs to submit any one of Passport, PAN card, Birth Certificate, 10th class mark sheet or transfer certificate from any school for any class with DOB printed on it.
Address Proof for DL:
Under permanent address proof, one can submit any one of Aadhar Card, Passport, LIC bond, Voters ID card, Ration card, electricity bill (issued in applicant’s name) or self-owned house agreement
Under current address proof, one can submit any one of rental agreement and electricity bill or rental agreement and LPG bill.
Other requirements for Driving Licence:
Apart from the above-mentioned documents, one need to submit 3 passport size photographs (while applying for a learner’s license), 3 passport size photographs (while applying for a permanent driving licence), duly filled application form along with application fees and for applicants above 40 years, a medical certificate is mandatory.
Driving Licence FAQ's
Most frequent questions and answers about Driving Licence
1. How to apply for learning driving license
For a Learner’s Licence, one can fill out the form and submit their application online. The Learner’s Licence online application helps the applicants to fill and submit the form as well as book their driving test appointment by sitting in the couch. Likewise, one can also submit an online appointment for driving licence.
2. From where can I get driving license online form
For states which allow online application, one can simply download the application form from the RTO/RTA website itself. After downloading and filling the form, you can submit it at the RTO along with required documents.
3. What are the documents required for driving license in India?
The following documents are mandatory to ensure there is no delay in the application process:
For Age Proof (any one of the below given documents):
10th Class mark sheet
Transfer certificate from any school (DOB printed on it).
For Address proof:
For permanent proof one can submit any one of the document:
Self-owned house agreement
Electricity bill (issued in applicant’s name)
Voters ID card
For current proof one can submit any one of the document:
Rental agreement and LPG bill
Rental agreement and electricity bill
Duly filled application form
Six passport sized photographs (for Learners Licence) and 1 passport sized photograph (when for driving licence)
If you are staying in other cities, you can present the rental agreement with one recent utility bill copy which can be gas bill or electric bill as your current address proof.
Medical Certificate (Form 1 A and 1) which is to be issued by a certified Government doctor
For applicants above 40 years, a Medical certificate is mandatory.
4. How to check driving license number?
You can get your driving license number online by visiting the Sarathi website or if you are not familiar of the online process, you can visit the RTO office in your town.
5. What is the minimum age for getting driving license in India?
For obtaining a Driving License for a private motor vehicle with 50 CC engine capacity and without any gear, the eligibility is 16 years (provided the applicant’s parents or guardians give their consent). The minimum age to apply for driving a motorcycle with gear is 18 years. For driving a heavy commercial vehicle the applicant should be 8th pass and should be 18+ years of age. In some states, the minimum age is 20 years. Also, one has to be well-versed with the traffic rules and regulations in all the cases.