Everything you wanted to know about driving license and its types in India!

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It is of common knowledge that if you want to drive a vehicle in India, you WILL need to possess an Indian driving license. The license is a mandatory document issued by the Government of India, which will allow you to drive without supervision.

When can you get yours?

If you are 18 years of age, well, congratulations, you are now eligible to undertake the driving test and get your license issued!

But, what type of license will you need?

Before delving into the nitty-gritty of the types of driving licenses available in the country, let us look at the importance of getting one.

Why Should you Apply for a Driving License?

Well, according to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, no one without a valid driving license is authorised to drive a motor vehicle (be it car, motorbike, bus, truck, etc.) in a public place.

Thus, to drive a motor vehicle, you will need to have a valid license in your possession or attract the perils of penalisation. Further, if you are learning to drive a vehicle, you will have to acquire a learners’ license, which will, for the time being, act as a provisional document.

Next, to upgrade to a driving license, you will have to sit for a test and clear it.

Where to Apply for the License?

In India, driving licenses are issued by a state’s  Regional Transport Office (RTO) or the Regional Transport Authority (RTA).

You can apply for the license either online or offline. You can opt to acquire Form 4 from your local RTO, fill it up and submit it with the required documents. Along with this, you will also have to schedule your driving test with the RTO and pay the adjacent fee.

OR,

If you want to go for the online (and frankly, much easier) method, you simply need to visit the official website under Road Transport and Highways Ministry and follow the stipulated process mentioned above.

If you clear the test, you will become eligible for the license, which will be sent to you via post!

Now, What Are the Different Types of Driving Licenses in India?

The type of your driving license will depend on the kind of vehicle you are driving. Following are the categories of vehicles for which you need to acquire a different driving license in India –

  • Motorcycles with engine capacity of less than 50cc or 50cc.
  • Motorcycles with the capacity of 50cc/more than 50cc, motorcycles with gear, Light Motor Vehicles (including cars).
  • All types of motorcycles (including the ones with gears).
  • Motorcycles of any engine capacity but without any gears (these include mopeds and scooters).
  • Light Motor Vehicles, which are used for non-transport purposes.
  • Light Motor Vehicles, which are utilised for commercial purposes.
  • Heavy Goods Motor Vehicles.
  • Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicles or an open license. This license is also known as the All India driving permit for trucks/cars.
  • Those with a heavy vehicle license can also apply for a heavy trailer license.

Apart from these domestic driving licenses, you can also avail an International Driving Permit or International Driving License, authorised by the United Nations, which will allow you to drive abroad.

This license is primarily a translation of your domestic driving license and will allow you to drive a private vehicle in any country that recognises the document. If you would like to know more, checkout this guide about  How to get International Driving License in India.

But hold on!

Before you apply for the license, you will also need to satisfy a few eligibility criteria.

These criteria are illustrated in the table below –

Types of License Eligibility Criteria
Motorcycles without gear and with a capacity of up to 50cc You must be at least 18 years of age/ have the consent of your guardian if you are 16 years.
Motorcycles with gear You should be at least 18 years of age.
Transport vehicles/commercial vehicles You must have at least cleared your 8th standard exams. Further, you must also be 18 years (in some cases 20 years) of age.
General requirement You must be well-versed with all traffic rules and regulations. You must also be able to provide a valid age and address proof.

Documents Required for Issuing Driving License

Finally, to avail the license without hassle, you will also have to submit the documents mentioned below –

  • Age and address proof – this can include your PAN card, birth certificate, Aadhaar card, voters ID, electricity bill, etc.
  • 6 passport size photographs.
  • Your current address proof, if you are living in a different city.
  • Medical certificate (Form 1 and 1A) issued by a government – certified doctor.

With the submission of these documents, along with Form 4, your driving license application will be complete!