How to apply for a Driving License? Step-by-Step Guide

. 6 min read
How to apply for a Driving License? Step-by-Step Guide

If you wish to drive your own vehicles on the roads of India, you are required to possess a driving license. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, mentions that an Indian citizen must have their driving license to operate any vehicles on the public roads and highways of India. Through this driving document, Indian citizens are eligible to operate different types of motors like a motorbike, car, truck, bus, etc. This driving license is managed and controlled by the Regional Transport Authorities or Offices, also known as RTA or RTO.

Initially, applying for a driving license used to be a strenuous process as the applicant has to stand in queues and wait for his turn. Now with a drift in technology, the applicant can easily complete the process online. The form can be easily downloaded and filled at the convenience of the applicant without involving any additional hassles.

The driving license is a must for an applicant to ride any vehicle, but before that, the applicant needs to begin with a learner’s license. The RTA or RTO will only issue a driving license once the applicant clears the driving test successfully. A survey report states that 25% of Indians are having more than one type of driving license. We have got you entirely covered for how to apply for a driving license.

Different types of Driving License in India:

Learner’s License

If an applicant is new to the world of driving vehicles, a learner’s license will be issued at first. This provisional license will be considered valid for a period of around 30 days. After which a driving examination will be conducted at the RTA office. If the applicant is successful in qualifying for the test, then he/she will become eligible to get a permanent driving license.

Driving License

The driving license is mainly the official document that permits the citizens to drive a vehicle on a public road of India. There are two prerequisites for this, the applicant needs to be above the age of 18 years and should have a learner’s license. When any applicant clears the driving test, they are issued a permanent driving license by the RTA or RTO office. The driving license is typically a card with a chip and displays specific details like name, address, photograph, signature, etc.

Commercial Driving License

A commercial driving license is issued to the applicant for driving heavy vehicles on the road. The process is similar to obtaining a driving license for any other private vehicle. Here the requirements differ as the applicant needs to have a minimum qualification of 8th standard, and the minimum age limits are based on the rules of the particular state. The health condition of the applicant is also checked throughout before issuing the driving license.

International Driving License

An applicant who wishes to drive outside India, requires an international driving license. It allows the individual to rent and drive a vehicle in a foreign country. This type of driving license is used in combination with a permanent driving license. The validity to possess this type of driving license is usually one year after which the applicant has to reapply again.

Eligibility for different driving licenses in India:

The eligibility criteria for a driving license in India are mainly dependent on two factors, the type of vehicle and the type of driving license one has. The details of the eligibility criteria are further furnished below.

General eligibility

The applicant needs to have familiarity with the traffic rules of the country. Documents related to age proof and address proof need to be submitted to the authority.

Motorcycle with gear (MCWG)

The applicant needs to be a minimum of 18 years of age and should have sound knowledge regarding the traffic rules.

Motorcycle without gear: The applicant needs to be a minimum of 16 years of age and should have the permission of their parent or the guardian. Awareness about traffic rules is also necessary.

Heavy Commercial and Transport vehicles

The applicant needs to have a minimum qualification of 8th standard. The minimum age limit varies between 18-20 years depending upon the rules of the state.

Documents required for a Driving License:

When the applicant is applying for a driving license, these are the documents which are generally required:

1. Medical Certificate

A declaration by an authorised doctor for Form 1 and 1 A.

2. Photograph

Passport-size photographs.

3. Proof of Address

An applicant can pick between any of these documents like Aadhar Card, Voter ID Card, Ration Card, Electricity bill.

4. Proof of Age

An applicant can consider documents like Voter ID, birth certificate, passport, an affidavit as to the age proof.

Application Process for a Driving License:

To get a driving license in India, an applicant can either apply online or can visit the nearest RTO office. These are the two ways through which one can proceed to get their driving license.

The Online Process:

  • The applicant needs to check the official portal of Sarathi and download Form 4.
  • As per the given instructions, the form needs to be filled up and submitted.
  • The forms need to be printed out, and Part D is to be only filled by the parents or the guardian in case the applicant is a minor.
  • The form needs to be uploaded with all other required documents.
  • A web application number will be generated for reference to track the application status.
  • Once the entire application process is finished, a notification will be sent by SMS.

The Offline Process:

  • The applicant can download Form 4 from the Sarathi portal or collect the form from the nearby RTO Office.
  • Form 4 should be filled up appropriately and should be submitted along with other required documents.
  • The applicant can also schedule a slot in the RTO office for the driving license test.

The applicant needs to attend the driving license test based on the specific date and time allotted to them. After qualifying for the examination, the candidate will receive the driving license on the spot or through a post on their registered address. Despite having such a straightforward process, the percentage of applicants appearing for the driving test is as low as 41%.

Final Words:

A driving license is an essential legal document that gives the permit to a driver to ride lawfully on the roads. It can be easily seen that the Government of India took the initiative to amend the Motors Vehicles Act of 1988. This step led to a 10% fall in the rate of accidents all over the country.

With the public conveyance becoming more stressful to ride on the roads, commuters can quickly get access to a driving license. It grants the freedom to drive the vehicle as per the requirement of the rider. In addition to all the factors, a driving license is a widely accepted form of personal identification proof that can be used in various government offices and agencies.

Also read:

1) How To Open A Bank Account?
2) What Is a PAN Card & Why Do You Need It?
3) What is a Voter's ID? How to apply for a Voter ID?
4) What Is Service Tax In India? Examples and more.


Q. What is the validity period for a driving license in India?

Ans: The validity period for a driving license varies on the type of driving license one is holding. A general driving license comes with a validity of 20 years from the date of issuance or till the person attains 50 years of age, whichever comes earlier. In the case of a commercial driving license, the validity period is for three years.

Q. Is a driving license valid throughout India?

Ans: An applicant has to apply for a driving license from the nearby RTO office of his area. It might happen that the driver has to relocate to some other parts of the country. However, a driving license obtained through any RTO is valid throughout India.

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