If you wish to drive a vehicle, you should first know how to drive it. When you apply for a driving license, you will be given the time required to learn the art of driving. You have an option to either enroll yourself at a motor training school or learn it from someone you know.

Types of Driving Licenses in India - Acko

In India, a driving license can be of various types. These types depend upon the class of vehicles that you want to drive. We have listed the types of driving license issued by the regional transport office (RTO) below, let’s take a look:

Learning License

As the name suggests, a Learning License is issued to those who wish to learn how to drive a vehicle. This license is valid for a period of 30 days after which, the learning license holder can apply for a permanent driving license. The prerequisite for applying for a permanent driving license is that the applicant should pass an online test conducted at the RTO office.

Filling the Driving License online form is more convenient than personally visiting the RTO office.  Even after you have successfully passed the test for learning license, you cannot drive a vehicle alone. A person holding a learning license should always be accompanied by a permanent driving license holder.

Permanent Driving License (Private Vehicles)

A driving license is an official authorization that facilitates a person to drive a vehicle in India. A driving license is issued by the RTO office after the applicant successfully clears a driving license exam. The eligibility for applying for a permanent driving license is – being a learning license holder and of at least 18 years of age. You can apply for a permanent license by filling the driving license online form.

The license is issued in the form of a smart card which carries the holder’s information like a photograph, signature, address, etc. A chip placed on this smart card holds the biometric information, for example – fingerprints. The class of vehicles that the holder is authorized to operate is also mentioned on the card.

Commercial Driving License

The process of obtaining a commercial driving license is similar to that of obtaining a driving license for private vehicles. However, the health status of the applicant is thoroughly checked while issuing this license. Also, the applicant is required to pass at least 8th standard examination from an authorized school. The minimum age limit of the applicant varies according to the rules and regulations of different Indian states. This license authorizes a person to drive heavy vehicles which helps in the transportation of goods or passengers.

International Driving Permit

An international driving permit, allows a person to rent and drive a vehicle in foreign lands. It is a multi-language translation of your Indian driving license. This permit is supposed to be used in conjunction with a permanent driving license. The validity of an IDP is one year, post which the holder needs to re-apply for the document.

Also, read: Foreign Countries That Accept Indian Driving Licence

Which Are The Various Classes of Vehicles?

  • MC 50cc: Vehicles with an engine capacity of 50cc or less than 50cc come under this class.
  • LMV–NT: Vehicle like motorcars, jeeps, etc. come under the Light Motor Vehicle-Non Transport class
  • FVG: Vehicles, especially two-wheelers without gears come under the FVG class. For example – Scooters and Mopeds
  • MC EX50CC: Vehicles with an engine capacity of 50cc or more come under this class. Motorcycles with gear and Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) i.e. cars are included.
  • MCWG or M/CYCL.WG: This class is for all types of Motorcycles including Motorcycle with gear
  • HGMV: It includes Heavy Goods Motor Vehicles like trailers, larger trucks, etc. which carry goods.
  • HPMV: It includes Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicles which have an All India Permit for the transport of passengers on a commercial basis.

Carrying a valid driving license is a must if you wish to drive on Indian roads. A driving license is also one of the ID proofs issued by the authorities. If you drive a vehicle without carrying your Driving License, you will be penalized as per rules stated in The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.


News Related to Driving Licenses in India:

Motor Insurance Validity Not Extended Unlike Driving Licence

– September 1, 2020

Through a clarification, the General Insurance Council has said that the notification by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways extending the validity of vehicle documents such as registration certificate, fitness certificate, driving licence and other related documents until the end of 2020, will not be applicable to motor insurance policies. The council added that all policyholders are to be noted that the directive issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is not applicable to vehicle insurance policies. The insurance policy should be renewed by the due date for the continued validity of the insurance policy. On 24 August 2020, the Ministry issued a notification stating that the validity of driver and vehicle-related documents will be valid until 31 December 2020. The directive comes amid people finding it difficult to renew their documents due to constraints of Lockdown.

MoRTH Extends Validity of Vehicle-related Documents till End of 2020

– August 25, 2020

As per the latest developments shared by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), vehicle-related documents such as permits, licenses, registration, etc. that have expired since 1 February 2020 or will expire till 31 December 2020 will stay valid till 31 December 2020. The enforcement authorities have been advised to consider such documents as valid. MoRTH had earlier prolonged the validity of vehicle-related documents till 30 September 2020. As per this extension, documents that expired since 1 February 2020 were to be considered valid till the end of September 2020. This was done to help people amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country was in a lockdown and people were practising Social Distancing, it would have been difficult for people to renew such documents. Considering the ongoing pandemic, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has once again extended this validity until the end of 2020.

Kerala Plans for Online Learner’s License Test

– July 2, 2020

Those who are above 18 years of age and are interested in securing a Learner’s License will soon be able to do so online. The test for a Learner’s License requires the applicant to answer questions posed by the Motor Vehicles Department. These questions are usually related to road signs, and rules and regulations concerning road safety. In the offline process, the applicants are required to visit the Motor Vehicle Department for the test, which is a concern because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the online process, the questions can be answered from a mobile phone/computer and the results can be known instantly. One can apply for an Online Learning License by visiting the Sarathi website. The applicant needs to upload documents such as age and address proof and pay the fees online. The application will be verified by the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI). Upon successful verification, the inspector will share the username and password with the applicant for the online test. The online test process is set to begin next week.

Mild to Medium Colour Blindness Individuals Can Apply for Driving Licence

– June 29, 2020

The Transport Ministry has notified that citizens of India with mild or medium vision can apply for a Driving Licence (DL). The ministry has amended Forms 1 and 1A to enable Indian citizens with mild to medium vision impairment to apply for DL. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said that it has been taking several measures to enable individuals with vision impairment (mild to medium) to avail transport services such as the DL. Representatives of the colour blind citizens have approached the ministry stating they are unable to obtain transport services such as the Driving Licence because of the need to produce medical and physical fitness certificates. Medical experts’ recommendations were sought by the Ministry to resolve the issue. And, after it received the recommendations, it has been decided that people with colourblindness (mild to medium) can be allowed to drive a vehicle. That said, people with severe colour blindness cannot obtain DL from the transport authorities.

Jammu RTO To Re-Start LL and DL Test

– June 23, 2020

Jammu Regional Transport Office (RTO) announced that it will restart the test for individuals applying for the Learner’s Licence and the Driving Licence from today onwards. As per the government order, LL tests and DL skill tests will commence from 23 June 2020 in limited slots due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants who missed out on the tests or slots will have to re-book and those selected candidates will be allowed to appear for the tests. RTOs across the country as well as in Jammu have stopped several services due to the lockdown, which was announced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. With the lifting of the lockdown, RTOs have slowly begun several services along with guidelines prescribed by the authorities to curb the spread of the virus.

Bihar Government Announces Validity Extension of Vehicle-related Documents

– June 22, 2020

The Bihar Government has once again extended the validity period of vehicle-related documents this year. The first instance was during February 2020. These validity extensions have been made to provide relief to vehicle owners whose important documents like the driving license, vehicle registration, permits, etc., have expired after 1 February 2020. The state government has now extended the validity of such documents till 30 September 2020. The previous extension was till 30 June 2020. Such a decision has been taken because of the inconvenience caused and the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Be it the renewal of a vehicle’s fitness certificate or a vehicle-related permit, people who meet the above-mentioned criteria do not need to rush to the respective government offices for validity extension of vehicle-related documents amidst the ongoing pandemic. Such validity extension has been issued as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Validity Extension for Driving License and Other Transport-Related Documents

– June 11, 2020

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has announced a second validity extension for Driving License and other transport-related documents in India amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to this extension, you do not need to worry about the validity of crucial documents like the Driving License, Vehicle’s Fitness Certificate, Registration Documents, etc. till 30 September 2020. Note that such an extension is provided keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic and it is applicable to those whose documents have expired after 1 February 2020. The concerned documents for applicable document holders shall be considered valid till 30 September 2020 for enforcement purposes. There will be no validity-related penalties for carrying concerned documents that have expired after 1 February 2020. The validity extension advisory has been issued by the MoRTH to all Indian states and union territories. A similar validity-extension advisory was issued by MoRTH on 30 March 2020 as well due to the pandemic and the lockdown.

Government Extends Validity of Lapsed Driving Licence Again

– June 10, 2020

The Central Government has extended the validity of the lapsed Driving Licence (DL) and other vehicle-related documents till the 30th of September 2020 amid the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 infections in the country. Driving Licence, vehicle registration documents, fitness certificates and other related documents that may have expired after 1 February 2020 come under the extension of the validity. Previously the government had extended the validity of these documents till 30 June, which has now been further extended to 30 September 2020. The Centre took into consideration the pandemic which has gripped the country and led to lockdowns and issued the directive to extend the validity of such documents. Hence, these documents which have expired from 1 February to 30 September 2020 are valid till 30 September 2020.

COVID-19: Expired Driving License Validity Extended Until 31 July 2020

– May 26, 2020

For those driving licences which expired after 1 February 2020 onwards, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to increase the deadline for the validity of the documents. With the ongoing lockdown in the country to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19, it has made it challenging for citizens to renew their DL to process payments for registration of the vehicle. With several road users probably using an expired DL can continue to use it until 31 July 2020 without having to worry about paying fines or paying additional charges while renewing an expired licence. Other documents include vehicle registration certificates, fitness certificates, etc.

Deadline to Renew DL and Vehicle Fitness Certificate Extended Until 30 June

– May 6, 2020

The central government announced that the deadline to renew driving licence and fitness certificates for vehicles has been extended until 30 June 2020. The decision was taken amidst the ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, this has led to the common man unable to renew their DL or get a vehicle fitness certificate. The announcement is applicable for all documents related to Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 and Motor Vehicles Act 1988. All documents which have expired from 1 February 2020 and may expire by 30 June 2020 will be treated as valid until 30 June 2020. With government offices closed due to the lockdown, the decision was made by the Centre to offer respite to the common man.

Invalid Fitness Certificate, Driving Licence From 1 February To Be Accepted Till 30 June

– March 31, 2020

Documents such as driving licence, fitness certificate for vehicles which have expired post 1 February and 30 June 2020 will be considered as valid until 30 June 2020. The announcement came from the transport ministry in the wake of the countrywide lockdown due to the deadly Coronavirus infections. Since people will not be able to renew these documents due to the lockdown announced by the government, the transport department issued the advisory. The advisory covers all sorts of permits, fitness certificates, driving licences, registration certificates, etc. All states and Union Territories are requested to follow the advisory in letter and spirit so that it does not inconvenience the public.

Delhi Government Adds More Services to Doorstep Delivery Scheme

– December 16, 2019

Delhi Chief Minister on Friday announces additional services under the government’s doorstep delivery scheme. The government announced that 30 more services including renewal of driving licence and permit will be offered under this scheme. Other services include registration of construction workers, issuance of concessional bus passes for students, disabled persons and senior citizens, issuance of conductor licence, surrender and renewal of licence have been added to the scheme. The initiative was introduced in September 2019 by the Delhi government and it now covers 100 services. He added that of the 2.89 lakh calls for availing these government services, more than 2.64 lakh have been closed in 15 months with a success rate of more than 90%.



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