Driving Licence

Understand the process of applying for a driving licence (DL). Check how to know the status of driving licence and how you can download it.
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Obtaining a driving licence (DL) is a crucial step for individuals aspiring to drive legally on Indian roads. This comprehensive guide provides detailed insights into the process of acquiring a DL in India, including eligibility criteria, required documents, types of licences available, and steps to apply. Whether you're a new applicant or seeking to renew or check the status of your DL, this article covers everything you need to know about driving licences in India.

Driving Licence in India

A driving licence (DL) is an essential document issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) or Transport Department of the respective state or union territory in India. It authorizes individuals to drive motor vehicles on public roads as per the specified categories and conditions. DLs are classified into different categories based on the types of vehicles and the stage of driving proficiency.

Why do you need a Driving Licence (DL)?

Driving licence is an important document for vehicle owners in India due to the following reasons:

  • Legal requirement: Driving without a valid DL is considered a punishable offence under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, and individuals caught driving without a DL may face legal penalties.
  • Safety: DL ensures that drivers have undergone the necessary training and possess the skills required to operate vehicles safely on roads, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.
  • Identification: DL serves as a valid form of identification recognized by authorities and institutions across the country, providing proof of identity and address.

Key features of a driving licence

These are some of the key features of a driving licence issued in India.

  • Validity period: DLs are typically valid for a specific period, after which they need to be renewed to remain legally valid.
  • Vehicle categories: DLs are issued for different vehicle categories such as two-wheelers, four-wheelers, commercial vehicles, etc., based on the applicant's eligibility and requirements.
  • Personal details: DLs contain essential personal information of the holder, including name, address, date of birth, blood group, photograph, and signature, ensuring proper identification.
  • Unique registration number: A driving licence bears a unique registration number assigned by the issuing authority

Types of Driving Licence (DL) in India

Driving licences in India are categorized based on the types of vehicles and the stage of driving proficiency:

  • Learner's licence: Issued for learning purposes, allowing individuals to practice driving under supervision for a specified period before obtaining a permanent DL.
  • Permanent driving licence: Issued after successfully passing the driving test and fulfilling other requirements, allowing individuals to drive vehicles independently.
  • Commercial driving licence: Issued for driving vehicles for commercial purposes, such as transporting goods or passengers. A commercial driving licence is mandatory for driving vehicles with a seating capacity of 8 or more people,
  • International driving permit: It is a legal document that allows the holder to drive in foreign countries. To get this permit, you need to submit an application at the local RTO and must have a valid permanent driver's licence.

Driving licence categories and vehicle classes in India

The table below specifies the different licence categories and the class of vehicles those licence holders are eligible to drive.

Category of Driving Licence

33 Licence Class

Type of Vehicle

Learner’s Licence/Permanent Driving Licence 

MC 50CC (Motorcycle 50cc)

Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50 cc or less

MCWOG (Motorcycle Without Gear)

Motorcycles with any engine capacity, but without gears, including mopeds and scooters

LMV (Light Motor Vehicle)

LMV-TR (Light Motor Vehicle - Transport)

Light motor vehicles that are used for non-transport/transport purposes

MC EX50CC (Motorcycles with a capacity of 50CC or more) 

Motorcycles with gear, Motorcycles with a capacity of 50CC or more

MC With Gear or M/CYCL.WG (Motorcycle with Gear)

All motorcycles with gear

Commercial Driving Licence


For medium goods vehicle


For light goods vehicle


For heavy motor vehicles


For heavy goods motor vehicle


Heavy passenger motor vehicle/Heavy transport vehicle


A heavy vehicle driving licence holder can apply for a heavy trailer licence

Eligibility criteria for driving licence in India

To be eligible for a driving licence in India, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Vehicle Type

Eligibility Criteria

Cars and Motorcycles with Gear

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Should be aware of traffic rules and regulations.
  • Must have valid age proof and address proof documents.

Motorcycles without Gear (engine capacity up to 50cc)

  • Minimum 16 years old.
  • Should have the consent of his guardian or parents.
  • Must be aware of traffic rules and regulations.
  • Must have valid age proof and address proof documents.

Heavy Commercial Vehicles

  • Should have cleared the 8th standard
  • Should be above the age of 18 (20 years in some states)
  • Should be trained from any government/state-affiliated training school.

Documents required for driving licence

Applicants need to submit certain documents for driving licence as proof of identity, address, and age, including:

  • Proof of identity: Aadhaar card, passport, voter’s ID card, PAN card, etc.
  • Proof of address: Aadhaar card, passport, utility bills, rent agreement, voter’s ID card, etc.
  • Proof of age: Birth certificate, school leaving certificate, PAN card, passport, etc.

Additional requirements for Driving Licence

  • Complete and submit the application form, available at the nearest Regional Transport Office (RTO) or download it from your state's online portal.
  • Provide 6 passport-sized photographs for Learner's Licence application and 1 passport-sized photograph for Driving Licence application.
  • Pay the applicable application fees.
  • If residing in a different city, submit a rental agreement along with a recent utility bill (gas or electric) as proof of current address.
  • Obtain a Medical Certificate (Form 1A and Form 1) from a certified Government doctor.
  • Applicants aged 40 years and above must provide a mandatory medical certificate.

Read more: Duplicate Driving Licence in India

Fees for DL and LL

The fees for obtaining a driving licence (DL) and learner's licence (LL) vary based on the category of vehicles and the state or union territory. The fee structure is determined by the respective Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) and may include application fees, test fees, and other charges.

Service Type

Fee (in Rs.)

Learner’s licence test fee


Learner’s licence issuance


Repeat test (for each class of vehicle)


Permanent driving licence issuance


International driving permit issuance


Driving licence renewal


Address change to the DL


Renewal of a driving licence for which application is made after the grace period


Driving school licence issue and renewal


Adding another class to the DL


Endorsement/renewal of authorization for vehicles to carry hazardous goods


How to apply for a Driving Licence (DL)

The application process for a driving licence involves either visiting the nearest RTO or applying online through Parivahan Sewa website. Applicants need to fill out the application form, submit required documents, schedule a driving test, and pass the examination.

Online process

  • Visit the Parivahan website to apply for your driving licence online: https://sarathi.parivahan.gov.in/sarathiservice/stateSelection.do
  • Select your state of residence.
  • Choose the option ‘Apply for Driving Licence’.
  • Fill out the applicant details.
  • Upload the required documents.
  • Upload a photo and signature if required (applicable for only some states).
  • Book your driving licence test slot (applicable for only some states).
  • Pay the required fee.
  • Carry the original documents and the receipt of the fee payment when you visit the RTO for your driving test.
  • Pass the driving test to obtain a driving licence.

Offline process

  • Visit the nearest RTO (Regional Transport Office).
  • Fill out the application form and submit it along with the required documents.
  • Your application is verified and processed.
  • Once verified, schedule a slot for the driving test.
  • Pass the driving test to obtain a driving licence.

How to check Driving Licence (DL) status online?

Checking the status of your driving licence (DL) application online is a simple and convenient process. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the official Parivahan website (https://parivahan.gov.in/) or your state's transport department website.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Online Services’ menu and select 'Driving Licence Related Services'.
  3. Select the state where the licence is registered.
  4. Select the ‘Application Status’ option at the top of the page.
  5. Enter your application number, date of birth, and captcha code and click on ‘Submit’.
  6. The website will display the status of your DL application, indicating whether it is under processing, approved, dispatched, or pending verification.

How to download a driving licence soft copy

To download the soft copy of your driving licence (DL), follow these steps:

  1. Visit Parivahan Portal: Go to the official Parivahan website or your state's transport department website.
  2. Go to ‘Driving Licence Related Services’: Navigate to ‘Online Services’ and click on ‘Driving Licence Related Services’.
  3. Select your state: Select your state and under ‘Driving Licence’ section, click on ‘Print Driving Licence’.
  4. Enter details: Enter your date of birth, application number, and captcha code. Click on ‘Submit’.
  5. Download the soft copy: The driving licence will be displayed on the screen. Save it as a PDF and take a printout if required.

Driving licence and motor insurance – essential requirements for vehicle owners

Your driving licence and motor insurance are closely interlinked. While your licence shows you're legally allowed to drive, your car or two-wheeler insurance covers you financially in case of unforeseen damages on the road. So, similar to driving licence, you could face penalties or legal implications while driving without a valid motor insurance, since it is a mandatory requirement for all vehicle owners in India.

Bajaj Finance Insurance Mall offers a convenient platform for you to buy or renew car insurance plans online. Compare plans and premiums offered by leading insurance partners and buy your preferred motor insurance policy in just a few clicks.

Who issues driving licences in India?

Driving licences are issued by Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) situated across the country, each serving a specific geographical area.

Applicants must apply for a driving licence at the RTO under whose jurisdiction they reside. Possessing a valid driving licence issued by an authorized RTO is mandatory to operate a vehicle on public roads.

Permanent driving licence

A Permanent Driving Licence (DL) is the final step in the process of obtaining authorization to drive a motor vehicle independently on Indian roads. Unlike a Learner's Licence, which is temporary and issued for learning purposes, a Permanent DL grants individuals full driving privileges within the specified vehicle category.

Learner's licence

A Learner's Licence (LL) is a temporary licence issued to individuals who are learning to drive. It allows them to practice driving under the supervision of a licensed driver and gain driving experience before applying for a permanent DL.

Commercial driving licence

A Commercial Driving Licence (CDL) is required for individuals driving commercial vehicles for hire or reward. It involves additional tests and qualifications compared to a regular DL and is issued for specific categories of commercial vehicles.

International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP) allows Indian citizens to drive vehicles in foreign countries. It serves as a translation of the Indian DL and is valid in countries that are signatories to the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic.

Frequently asked questions

What are the rules for driving licence in India?

The rules for obtaining a driving licence in India include meeting age requirements, passing the requisite tests, and submitting the necessary documents as per the guidelines provided by the respective state or union territory.

Is driving license valid all over India?

Yes, a driving licence issued in any state or union territory in India is valid for driving vehicles throughout the country, subject to certain conditions and restrictions as per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

How do I check my DL backlog?

To check the backlog of your driving licence (DL) application, visit the official Parivahan website or your state's transport department website and inquire about the status of your DL application using your application number and other relevant details.

How many times can a learner’s licence be renewed in India?

In India, the learner's licence can typically be renewed multiple times until the applicant is ready to appear for the driving test and obtain a permanent driving licence.

Can we take driving licence anywhere in India?

Yes, individuals can apply for and obtain a driving licence from any Regional Transport Office (RTO) or Transport Department office in India, irrespective of their place of residence, provided they fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit the required documents.

How do you get a driver's license in India?

Obtain a Learner's Licence by passing a written test. Practice driving under supervision, then take a driving test at the RTO. Submit required documents and pay fees to receive your permanent Driving Licence.

How much does it cost for a driving license in India?

Fees vary by state and licence type, typically ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 1,000, plus additional charges for the driving test.

What is the qualification for a driving licence in India?

Minimum age requirements apply (16 for two-wheelers, 18 for others). Pass a written test for Learner's Licence and a driving test for the permanent licence.

What are the conditions for a driving licence in India?

Meet age criteria, hold a Learner's Licence, practice driving, pass the driving test, submit required documents including medical fitness certificate, and abide by traffic rules.

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