Types of Driving Licence in India & How to Apply It

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Your driving licence, which in short is DL, is proof that you can drive a vehicle on the road. It is also one of your identity proofs issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of the state where you live. 

Types of Driving Licence in India

Do you need a different driving licence to drive different vehicles that ply on Indian roads? Below we have disclosed all types of driving licences provided by the Regional Transport Authority to an expert and amateurs. 

1. Learner’s Driving Licence

learner licence

A learner driving licence is for learners who need time to brush up on their driving skills. When you see a sign L on a vehicle, it indicates that the driver is in the phase of understanding the traffic signs, symbols, and jargon.

This type of driving licence is a way to make people aware of rules and regulations prior to issuing a permanent driving licence. You can use your learner driving licence only six months from the date of issue. Once you become fully aware of traffic rules and regulations and pro in driving, you can apply for a permanent driving licence. 

Note – Learner driving licence is mandatory for all to take before applying for any other type of driving licence.

2. Permanent Driving Licence

permanent licence

After using your learner licence for six months, you can apply for a permanent driving licence. You get it when you pass the written and practical driving test arranged by the RTO. 

Having a permanent driving licence confirms that you are pro in driving a light motor vehicle on the road and well aware of traffic signs and symbols. A permanent driving licence has 20 years of validity. 

Someone who drives a light motor vehicle to provide ferrying services to passengers can apply for a permanent driving licence. 

3. Commercial Driving Licence

commercial licence

A commercial driving licence is for someone who can drive and handle Heavy Motor Vehicles, Medium Motor Vehicles, and Light Goods Transport Motor Vehicles. 

This type of driving licence is only available for business purposes like transporting passengers or goods. Besides learner and permanent driving licence, this one is different as it has a validity of three years and is only eligible for someone who drives heavy vehicles like a pro. 

4. International Driving Permit

international licence

This type of driving licence in India fulfils the need of an individual wish to drive in foreign countries. It certifies that the individual is aware of all the traffic rules and regulations to drive in foreign lands. 

It is a permit normally printed in different languages to assure the authorities that the permit holder is eligible for handling a vehicle abroad. This permit comes with a validity of one year. You are eligible to apply for an international driving permit only if you have a valid permanent driving licence. 

Read More: Document Attestation

Why is a Driving Licence Important?

Your driving licence confirms to the government and transport police that you are eligible to drive a vehicle. It is a confirmation that you know all the rules and regulations of driving a motorcycle, car or heavy vehicle on the road. 

As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, driving or riding a motor vehicle without a driving licence is illegal in India. A driving licence is also used as an identity proof.

How to Apply for a Driving Licence?

There are two ways available to apply for a driving licence in India.

  • Online Mode
  • Offline Mode

How to Apply for DL Online

  • Step 1

Visit the website Parivahan Sewa.

  • Step 2

Go to the online services menu and click on the “Driving Licence Related Services” option.

ministry of road site screenshot
  • Step 3

Choose the State where you stay, and you want a driving licence. 

ministry of road site screenshot
  • Step 4

Then click on the “Apply for Driving Licence” option.

ministry of road site screenshot
  • Step 5

Complete the applicant details, such as if you hold any driving licence before or not. 

  • Step 6

Upload all the necessary documents and scan copies. 

  • Step 7

Complete the payment process.

  • Step 8

Book your slot for a driving licence test.

How to Apply for DL Offline

  • Step 1

Visit the state transport official website and get your form 4 downloaded to apply for your driving licence. Besides this, visit the nearest RTO to obtain your Form 4.

  • Step 2

Fill out the details asked in the application form 4 and submit it at the nearest RTO with your legal documents like age proof and address proof. 

  • Step 3

Complete the payment procedure.

  • Step 4

Book a driving test slot according to your time. 

  • Step 5

Your driving licence test will be accomplished at the RTO Office.

  • Step 6

You will only get your driving licence if you pass the test.

Eligibility Criteria to Apply For a Driving Licence

You are eligible to apply for a driving licence in India if you fit into the following criteria. 

  • You are above 16 years old to apply for a learner licence to drive a two-wheeler with an engine smaller than 50cc.
  • You must be 18 years old or above to legally drive a two or four-wheeler. 
  • Only 20 years old or above is legally eligible to drive a commercial vehicle.
  • You must be aware of all the traffic rules. 
  • Having a learner’s driving licence is a must for any other type of driving licence in India. 

What is the Test Procedure to Get a Driving Licence?

A written test is designed for the applicant who needs a learner licence. After getting a learner’s licence and using it for six months, you need to pass a practical test for your permanent driving licence or any other one. 

When you reach your test destination, a Motor Vehicle Inspector will be at the spot to examine the following tests as per the vehicle.  

  • Forward 8-shaped track test
  • Parallel Parking test
  • Reverse S Test
  • Drive backward on an S-shaped track

Two Wheeler Tester Criteria

  • Your feet do not touch the ground

For a Car Test Criteria

  • Use of rear-view mirrors
  • Use proper hand signal
  • Shift gears smoothly

On passing the test, you will receive a receipt that will be your driving licence until you receive your original driving licence by speed post.

Documents Required for Obtaining Driving Licence in India

Here is the list of necessary documents you need to submit with your application form for a driving licence;

  1. Submit any of the following permanent address proof
  • House agreement
  • LIC policy bond
  • Voters ID card
  • Ration card
  • Electricity bill issued in applicant name
  • Aadhar Card
  • Passport

2. Submit any temporary address proof

  • Registered Rental agreement 
  • LPG bill/electricity bill

3. Submit any Age Proof

  • Birth certificate
  • Pan card
  • Passport
  • SSC certificate

4. 3 passport size photographs 

5. Fees Receipt 

6. Duly filled application form

7. Medical certificate for applicant above 40 years

Disadvantages of not Having a Driving Licence in India

Here are the four consequences of driving a vehicle without a driving licence.

  • Penalty / Fine
  • Imprisonment
  • No eligible for a claim under the insurance 
  • Seizure of vehicle

Read More: Important Documents in India

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MCWG?

The full form of MCWG is a motorcycle with gear. If you have a driving licence that includes MCWoG means you are only eligible to drive two-wheelers without gear. 

On the other hand, if your driving licence stands for MCWG means you have a permit to drive both types of two-wheelers with gear and without gear. 

What is E-rickshaw Meaning in the Driving Licence?

E-rickshaw means electronic rickshaw. The owner of an E-rickshaw needs a permanent E-Rickshaw driving licence from the concerned state transport department in the name of owner for driving an e-rickshaw.