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All About Commercial Driving Permit

In India it is mandatory for everyone as per the law to have a valid driving license in order to drive a motor vehicle on the road. Driving license is given to a person after conducting appropriate theory and practical driving test. Driving license also comes in different categories, private and commercial. If a person is using a vehicle for private use then private use license is required. If a person is using a vehicle for commercial use then commercial driving license is required.

What is a Commercial Driving license?

A commercial driving license is a government document issued by the R.T.O (Regional Transport Office). The license legally allows a person to drive a vehicle for commercial or business use. Commercial driving license is made for transport industry where different types of transport vehicle exists like heavy transport vehicle, light transport vehicle, taxis, cabs etc.

When Do You Need To Have a Commercial Driving License in India?

A valid commercial license certifies the driver to legally operate commercial vehicle meant for transport of people and goods in India. The commercial driving license is a proof that the driver has taken required training and is skilled to operate the type of vehicle mentioned in the license.

List of Vehicles in India for which you require Commercial Vehicle

For Commercial Use


License Class

Vehicle Type


Person with heavy vehicle driving license


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

Eligibility Criteria to Get Commercial Driving License/Transport Driving License?

The eligibility criteria for a person to get a driving license in India is based on the type  of the motor vehicle:

Commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a compulsory government procedure that requires submission of authorised documents of those people who are interested in becoming drivers. In India, the license is categorized under three sections – Motorcycle license, Light Motor vehicle license (LMV) and Heavy Motor vehicle (HMV) license.

In case you are preparing to become a commercial driver you need to go through certain eligibility test to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) as mentioned below:

Private driving license: Before applying for commercial driving license the applicant needs to have a private driving license (non transport) for at least a year.

Education qualification requirement: Minimum educational requirement is secondary school 8th standard pass. It is also compulsory for the individual to possess appropriate intelligence level and memory to understand traffic signs, rules and regulations of different states in India.

Age Requirment: The age of the applicant applying for Commercial driving permit needs to be at least 18 years. In some states of India the minimum age requirement is as high as 22 years.

Training School for CDL: It is important for the candidate to be trained from a Government recognised Motor School.

Learner’s License (LL): Learner’s License is issued by the RTO after the applicant clears the written test. A learner’s license is compulsory for any commercial driver who wants to apply for the full commercial license. Learner’s License permits the applicant to drive a commercial vehicle to train for the main driving test and the validity of the same is 6 months.

Documents Required to Avail Commercial Driving License in India?

For Age Proof: Aadhaar card, Passport, Pan Card, birth certificate or your 10th grade mark sheet with your photograph.

Address Proof for DL: Phone bill or electricity bill

Other requirements for Driving License: Need to hold non-transport private driving license for at least a year before applying for commercial driving license.

How to Apply for Commercial Driving Permit in India?

Commercial Driving Permit can be applied in India through online and offline channel. Although it requires the applicant to do a written theory test and practical driving test for which the applicant has to be present at the RTO.

Apply Online for Commercial Driving License (CDL) in India

• Now it is easy and convenient to apply for commercial driving license in India as it can be done online.

• Log in to the Sarathi website ( and then download application form no. 4.

• You will need to fill in the required details as mentioned in the form

• You will need to attach your photographs and required documents i.e. the age and address proof, medical certificate, form 5 to state the training was done from the government recognised training school.

• You will need to upload all the documents online for submission.

• Once the documents are submitted the applicant will receive notification on the registered mobile number.

• Then following this on the date of the test you will need to go the RTO Centre.

Apply Offline for Commercial License in India

• You need to collect form no.2 from your local RTO office.

• You will need to fill in the required details as mentioned in the form

• You will need to attach your photographs and required documents i.e. the age and address proof, medical certificate, form 5 to state the training was done from the government recognised training school.

• Once this is done then you can submit all the documents and supporting documents at the RTO.

• Post submission a notification will be sent to the registered mobile number of the applicant.

• On the date of the test you will need to go the RTO Centre.

You Don’t Need Commercial Driving Permit to Drive Taxi (Commercial LMV)

Yes, the Supreme Court of India passed an order in July 2017 that no separate license was required apart from private license to legally drive cabs, autorickshaws, e-rickshaws, and commercial two-wheelers (Pizza or fast food delivery two-wheelers)


Most frequent questions and answers about Driving License

What is the difference between the commercial and personal driving license?

Commercial driving license is required for carrying out a business to transport goods and people. Whereas, personal driving license (non-transport) is strictly for personal use only.

How do you get your commercial license?

Commercial driving license can be obtained from local RTO or from online website of Ministry of road transport and highway

What classifies as a commercial vehicle?

Vehicle which is used for business purposes to generate income is classified as commercial vehicle.

Is There Any Test to Avail Commercial Driving Permit?

Yes, the driver has to do a written test and practical driving test and pass them in order to avail commercial driving permit.

How to Get Duplicate Commercial Driving License in India?

To get a duplicate commercial license, first you will need to register an FIR with the policy for the lost license and then apply for duplicate one.