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Driving License in India

A driving license is required to drive a vehicle in India. An examination is conducted for the same. The process of getting a driving license is mentioned below.

To drive a vehicle legally on the roads, an Indian driving license is mandatory. However, to obtain a driving license there is a separate process to it and the license is not received right away.

An individual wanting to drive any type of motor vehicle in India has to get their learning license first. A learner’s license is required for learning. A person has to appear for a test before an RTO authority, who after proper examination, will declare if the person has passed the examination or not. Such an examination is held after a month’s time after the issue of a learning license.

Features of a Genuine Driving License

There are certain features in a driving license that you could look out for to find out if a license is genuine or fake. The main feature that could help differentiate the same are:

  • The photograph of the license holder, also makes it an eligible identity proof.
  • A unique registration number is issued by the assigned issuing authority.
  • The name of the office of the authority generating and issuing it.
  • The rubber stamp and name of the issuing officer of the RTO.

Types of Driving License in India

1. Learner’s license.

2. Permanent license.

3. Commercial driving License.

Learner’s License

  • A Learner's License is issued by the Road Transport Authority (RTO) before giving a permanent driving license. This license is generally valid for 6 months
  • To obtain this license an applicant is required to submit valid documents to the RTO and also clear a small test.
  • During this period, an applicant is expected to practice his driving skills.

Permanent License

  • A permanent license is issued by the RTO post the completion of the learner’s license period and on meeting the eligibility criteria.
  • As per the said criteria, an applicant should be 18 years of age and pass the qualifying test in order to be eligible for a permanent license.
  • There is also an option of retaking the test after 7 days.

Commercial Driving License

  • This type of license is specifically issued to heavy vehicle drivers such as trucks and delivery vans.
  • The criteria for obtaining the license are that the applicant should be 18 years of age (although some states also have 20 years as the minimum age) and should be trained in a government training centre or a government-affiliated centre and also should have completed education till the 8th grade and has valid documents.

Documents Required for Driving License

For ensuring no delays in the application process, the documents submitted are required to be valid and correct. The list of documents required for obtaining a driving license is as follows:

1. Age proof (Any of the following)

2. Address proof

3. Current Address Proof:

  • Rental Agreement and Electricity Bill
  • Rental Agreement with LPG Bill

Other Requirements for a Driving License

  • A Duly filled Application Form ( To be downloaded from the online portal or obtained from RTO office)
  • Passport size photographs as specified when applying for a Learner’s license.
  • 1 Passport size photograph when applying for a Driver’s License.
  • Application fees
  • A copy of a utility bill and a Rental Agreement.
  • A Medical Certificate- Form 1A , certified by a certified Government doctor.
  • A medical certificate for all applicants over 40 years of age.

How to Apply for a Driving License?

You can apply for a Driving License either through the official Government website or by visiting the nearest RTO office. It is also worth noting that a learner’s license is not a prerequisite for applying for a driver’s license. The only condition for eligibility is that the applicant is 18 years of age and above that, and he has knowledge of traffic rules and regulations required for the issue of a license.

How to Check Driving License Status Online?

To check the status of your Driving License online follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Click on the ‘Online Services’ tab on the main page of the website.
  • Step 2: From the drop-down menu, click on the ‘Driving Related Services ‘ tab
  • Step 3: Select the state in which you applied for a license from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 4: Click on the ‘Application Status’ tab on the top right.
  • Step 5: Enter the details required such as ‘Application Number’ , ‘Date of Birth’.
  • Step 6: Lastly, enter the Captcha as shown on the screen and click Submit.

How to Download Driving License Soft Copy

  • Visit the Parivahan official website at
  • Navigate to ‘Online Services and click on ‘Driving License Related Services’.
  • You will be redirected to a page which will prompt you to select your state.
  • Under the ‘Driving License’ section, click on ‘Print Driving License’.
  • Enter your application number and also select your date of birth from the drop-down menu
  • Click on ‘Submit’

Your Driving License is displayed on the screen after this step. You can either take a printout or save it as a PDF.

Download using DigiLocker:

Step 1: Visit the official website of DigiLocker at

Step 2: Log into your account by entering your Aadhar number, username or mobile number

Step 3: An OTP is generated and sent to your mobile number.

Step 4: Enter the 6-digit security pin registered at the time of profile creation.

Step 5: Click on the ‘Submit’ button.

Step 6: Select the ‘Driving License’ option from the ‘Issued Documents’ menu.

Step 7: Enter your Driving License number to download it in PDF format.

What is the Test Procedure for a Permanent License?

  • For Two wheelers: Usually, for a two-wheeler’s learning license test, the applicant is required to drive in the shape of the number 8. This requires the testing of indicators and signals by the applicant. Also, the applicant is required to complete the ride without touching his feet on the ground and within the stipulated time

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  • For Four wheelers: The applicant is required to drive in the shape of a number 8. In this test, the applicant’s ability to maneuver forward and backwards, parallel parking, use mirrors, gears and brakes and also track judgment is tested.

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What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a legal document issued to Indians traveling abroad, which facilitates them to drive in any foreign country where the document is considered valid. However, it is advisable to carry the original license along with the passport and the IDP when on foreign roads to avoid any inconvenience. The IDP is similar to a passport and often gets issued in multiple languages as per the destination country's requirement. It is valid for one year. If you need it beyond this duration, it needs to be reissued.

Duplicate Driving License in India

Driving License is an important document in India as it gives citizens the right to drive and also acts as valid identity proof. If anyone loses their driving license, they can apply for a Duplicate Driving License from the RTO by filling out an application form and submitting it with the required documents.

FAQs on Driving License

1. Can I reapply for a license if I fail the Driving test?

Yes, you may reapply for a driving license in case you fail the driving test after 7 days.

2. What documents are required to be submitted to apply for a driving license?

  • Form 1, 1A, 2, 3
  • Address proof
  • Age proof

3. What is the validity of a Driving License?

It depends on the type of vehicle. For a private vehicle, it is valid for 20 years. However, for commercial vehicles, it is generally valid for 3 years.

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