Drivers Licence


The age eligibility to receive a drivers license to ride or drive a vehicle in India is 18 years. However, there is a clause allowing minors to ride a non-geared bike at 16 with the consent of their parents or guardians. They also need a learners license with them, and the bike has to be marked with an ‘L’ so others know they are younger and learning.

Here are a few important things to remember:

  • All people, whether minors or majors, men or women, have to possess a valid driver's license to drive or ride vehicles.
  • Drivers licenses are issued by various RTO (Regional Transport Officers)
  • These are handled only after an individual passes their driving test and is of the legal age.
  • There are different categories of drivers licenses in India, and individuals need the right one to drive the right category of vehicles.
    • Non-Geared Motorcycle license.
    • Motorcycle license.
    • Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) license.
    • Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) License.

Individuals need to pass a theory exam encompassing their knowledge of road signs and driving rules before receiving their license to start practising driving.

These rules and regulations have come about through the 'Rules of the Road Regulation' and the ‘Motor Vehicle Act 1988’.

Drivers are compulsorily supposed to keep their original driver's license at hand when behind the steering.

Various driver’s licenses in India.

Driver’s licenses have an expiration date and need to be renewed or reapplied for every couple of years. All people should have valid licenses when driving in a public space. They need to have their own license, with their detail on it. Moreover, vehicle owners should have a license matching their vehicle. For instance, an LMV license (light motor vehicle) holder cannot drive a heavy vehicle. Here are the categories is greater detail.

Learners license.

Drivers need to get their hands on a learners license before they begin practising driving. Learners licenses come by after passing a theory exam on the rules of driving and road signs. They are valid for only six months from their date of issue.

Permanent driver’s license.

Thirty days after receiving a learners license, candidates can apply for their permanent driver's license, however, this should be done before their learner's license expires in 180 days. Although called a permanent license, it has an expiration date depending on the age of the applicant. To appear for a drivers license test, individuals need a complete understanding of the working of a vehicle, the rules of the road, and basic regulations.

Duplicate driver’s license.

On the off chance, there are issues with a driver’s license; it's damaged, lost, stolen, the license holder has to head to the RTO office and apply for a duplicate. The documents to be submitted are:

  • File an FIR referring to the loss of the license.
  • Surrender of the old and damaged one (depending on the circumstance).
  • Challan clearance report which would have to be applied for separately and submitted.
  • This states that the individual didn’t have any outstanding bills or tickets connected to the driver’s license in question.
  • This is only handled in case of commercial vehicle licenses.
  • Application Form LLD.

All the details in these forms will be cross-checked with the information already in their systems since these licenses were previously created. Since all information is gathered through records, the expiration date of the duplicate license will match the original.

All license holders should keep a photocopy of their licenses since there are a couple of details mentioned that might assist in tracking the misplaced one from records. It might also help with the entire application process and filling out the forms as well.

International drivers license.

If you are travelling out of the country but looking to drive there, you need an international drivers license. Its validity is 12 months and needs a permanent driver’s license for the application process. The validity of an international license can be extended in the foreign country during your stay. Other than the basic documentation of address and identity proof, an applicant has to provide their passport and visa details.

Motorcycle or two wheeler license.

Just like the name suggests, a two-wheeler license allows people to ride and operate motorcycles and scooters. The process of applying for one is similar to the other licenses but the test is only handled on a two-wheeler.

Light Motor Vehicle License (LMV).

A majority of four-wheeler licenses in the country fall under this category of license. It allows its holder to drive light cars, which are cars, minivans, jeeps, SUVs, taxis, delivery vans, and three wheelers.

Heavy Motor Vehicle License (HMV).

Just like light vehicle licenses, these are issued to drive heavier vehicles like trucks, lorries, tourist coaches, or buses. A person owning a heavy motor vehicle license is allowed to operate lighter vehicles as well, but not the other way around.