How To Get a Commercial Driving Licence in India

How To Get a Commercial Driving Licence in India?

On India’s bustling roads, commercial vehicles like trucks and buses stand as giants among regular vehicles. Because they’re so large and heavy, accidents involving these vehicles can be more serious, causing more damage. That’s why commercial vehicle drivers require a unique set of driving skills. 

Additionally, the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 classifies vehicles into different categories, and having a “Commercial Driving License (CDL)” is mandatory for operating commercial vehicles. Thus, the CDL is not just a legal document but a key factor in promoting road safety, responsible driving, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Whether you wish to drive a big truck, carry passengers in a bus, or transport goods, this guide is here to help you understand the rules and process of obtaining a commercial driving license in India. So, buckle up, and let’s start the journey to get the license to boost your commercial driving career!

What You Can Do With A Commercial Driving License In India?

Having a Commercial Driving License in India means you can do a lot of different jobs involving driving big vehicles. Depending on what your license allows, here are some things you can do:

  • Carry Passengers: CDL holders can drive buses for public transportation. This helps people get around safely, whether it’s in the city or between cities.
  • Transport Goods: CDL holders often drive trucks to move goods from one place to another. This is important for delivering products and raw materials to businesses and keeping them supplied.
  • Operate Construction Vehicles: They can also handle construction vehicles, such as excavators, bulldozers, loaders, dump trucks, cement mixers, and more. These are crucial for building infrastructure like roads and buildings.
  • Drive Taxis & Autorickshaws: CDL holders can also drive taxis and autorickshaws, providing local transportation services.
  • Operate Emergency Vehicles: Some CDL holders (after the right training), may drive emergency vehicles like ambulances or fire trucks. They play a crucial role in responding to emergencies and helping people in need.
  • Apply For Government Jobs: A Commercial Driving License (CDL) can open career opportunities in the Indian government sector, particularly in roles that involve operating commercial vehicles, such as government bus drivers, municipal services drivers, military drivers, etc.

Application Process For CDL


  1. Pay a visit to the official website of Parivahan Sewa, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India.
  1. Now select ‘Online Services’ on the homepage and then click ‘License-Related Services’. You can also choose to apply for a license through a section that is alternatively present on the home page if you scroll down.
  1. The next step is to select the state from which you wish to take license-related services.
  1. The next page will display a list of license-related services. Select ‘Apply for Driving License’.
  1. Now enter your details, upload documents, and then schedule a slot for an online test.
  1. Pay the prescribed fee for the Commercial Driving License in Indiaonline through the provided payment options.
  1. Now take the driving test. This may include both theoretical and practical components.
  1. Your documents and information will be verified by the RTO authorities. Upon successful verification, your CDL will be sent to your registered address.


The procedure to acquire a CDL in India can vary slightly from state to state. Nevertheless, the fundamental steps for offline application remain as follows:

  1. Visit the nearby RTO (Regional Transport Office) to collect the CDL application form.
  1. Fill out the form with accurate details and attach the necessary documents.
  1. Now obtain a medical certificate from a certified doctor.
  1. Book a slot for the driving test.
  1. Attend and pass the theoretical and practical driving tests.
  1. Pay the prescribed fee at the designated counter.
  1. The RTO authorities will verify your documents and information. After successful verification, your Commercial Driving License (CDL) will be dispatched to your registered address.

Documents Required For CDL Application

Here are some of the major documents required for obtaining CDL in India:

  • Identity proof, such as PAN card, Adhaar card, Voter ID card, etc.
  • Residence proof, such as an Aadhaar card, Voter ID card, etc.
  • Applicable forms (duly filled and signed)
  • passport size photographs

Additional Tips For Obtaining CDL In India

Consider the following tips and tricks when acquiring a Commercial Driving License in India:

  • Choose A Reputable Driving School: Enrolling in a reputable and government-approved driving school can greatly benefit your CDL journey. Such schools provide effective training programs that include both practical driving skills and theoretical knowledge.
  • Check Out Eligibility Requirements: It’s crucial to thoroughly understand the eligibility requirements set by the RTO in your state before applying for a CDL. Ensure that you meet the age, educational qualifications, and health criteria specified.
  • Gather All Required Documentations: Collect all the necessary documents, such as age proof, address proof, and so on, in advance. Always make sure that your documentation is complete and accurate before submitting your application to avoid any delays or rejections.
  • Familiarize Yourself With Traffic Rules: To pass the written exam, it’s highly essential to have a strong understanding of traffic rules and regulations. Study the official CDL handbook provided by the RTO. Learn about road signs and other traffic rules. Knowledge of these rules helps prevent accidents and reduces the risk of injuries and fatalities.
  • Stay Updated: Stay informed about any updates or changes in the CDL application process and requirements in your area. Regularly check with the local RTO or transport department to ensure you have the most up-to-date information and avoid any surprises during the application process.
  • Prepare Smartly For Theoretical & Practical Exam: Dedicate time to study and practice commercial driving. Engage in driving practice in both heavy and light traffic, including nighttime driving. Don’t forget to practice parallel parking, because it is a skill frequently tested. Also, take mock driving tests to simulate exam conditions and ease nerves.

Frequently Asked Questions

In case you lose your Commercial Driving License in India, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  1. File an FIR at the nearest police station.
  2. Visit the zonal regional transport authority to start the renewal process.
  3. Submit a written notification about the loss.
  4. Obtain a stamped affidavit confirming the loss of your commercial license.

No. You usually need to have at least one year of driving experience with a light motor vehicle to be eligible for a commercial driving license.

To renew your commercial driving license, go to the RTO office, complete the renewal application, submit the necessary documents, pay the fee, and undergo any required tests or medical examinations. You can also renew your CDL online through the official website of ‘Parivahan Sewa’.

No. A private driving license doesn’t authorize you to drive a commercial vehicle. You must obtain a specific commercial driving license for such vehicles.

Driving without a valid Commercial Driving License in India may lead to fines, license suspension, and legal consequences according to the Motor Vehicles Act and state regulations.

Yes. The CDL applicants must submit their medical certificates. This is to ensure that the applicant is in good health and meets the necessary physical fitness standards to operate commercial vehicles safely.

The Regional Transport Office (RTO) is the authority responsible for issuing Commercial Driving Licenses in India. They conduct comprehensive practical and theoretical examinations to assess the applicant’s driving skills, knowledge of traffic rules, and ability to handle commercial vehicles safely.

Yes. A driving license (be it private or commercial) issued by one state in India is generally valid and recognized across the entire country.

Yes. In case you misplace or lose your commercial driving license, you need to follow some necessary procedures and submit documentation as required by the RTO to apply for a duplicate license.

If an applicant fails the driving test for a CDL, the presiding officer conducting the test will provide the necessary guidance and information on the next steps to be taken. This may include recommendations for additional training, further studies, and more.

There is generally a waiting period of 6 months before you can reappear for the test. During this time, it is advisable to practice and improve your skills to increase your chances of success in the subsequent attempt.

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