What is a driving license

A driving license is an official document issued by either the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of the state in which you reside. This document authorizes an individual to drive their motor vehicles on Indian roads. It can also be used as an identity card in non-driving contexts (proof of identity (e.g. when opening a bank account) or age (e.g. when applying for a mobile connection).

What are the features of a Driving License?

  • To identify whether a driving license is genuine or fake, you can check out the following features in it:
  • It should have the name of the office from where it was made and issued. This will help you to know where to direct any further process or inquiries.
  • It carries a photograph of the license holder.
  • It carries a unique registration number.
  • It carries a rubber stamp and signature of the officer in charge of the issuing office.

Why do you require a Driving License?

Below given are the reasons why you need a Driving License:

Required by law

You need to hold a valid driving license if you wish to drive motor vehicles on the road. By ‘valid’ we mean that it should be authentic and should not be expired. If it has crossed the expiry date, you need to renew your license. 

Evidence of personal ID

Driving license is an important document that can also be used as documentary evidence of personal identification. Such places include government offices, travel booking offices, airports, etc. It is an equivalent of other forms of personal identification like passports, PAN cards, Voter ID, Aadhaar Card, etc.

For independent commute

Having an independent license is a necessity today. If you own a driving license you can drive your vehicle freely on the road and can go anywhere.

Categories of Driving License in India

A driving license in India is issued depending on the class of your motor vehicle. However, the eligibility requirements for every vehicle type may vary. The list of categories for which the driving license can be applied for are given below:

Category of useLicense ClassTypes
Personal UseMC 50CC (Motorcycle 50cc)
Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50 cc or less

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

Light motor vehicles that are used for non-transport purposes

Motorcycles with gear, Motorcycles with a capacity of 50CC or more. Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars

MC With Gear or M/CYCL.WG
All motorcycles even with gear
Commercial Use
For medium goods vehicle

Light motor vehicles including motorcars, jeeps, taxis, delivery vans

Heavy Motor Vehicles

Heavy Goods Motor Vehicles

Heavy passenger motor vehicle/ Heavy transport vehicle

The person holding a heavy vehicle driving license can apply for heavy trailer license

Eligibility for a Driving License in India

The eligibility for a driving license depends on the class of a vehicle and the type of driving license. The eligibility criteria for different permanent Driving license types in India are given below.

Type of permanent driving licenseEligibility Criteria
Motorcycles without gear (with a capacity of up to 50 ccs)
The applicant must be at least 16 years old and must have the consent of the parent/guardian if he/she is less than 18 years old.
Motorcycles with gear
The applicant should be at least 18 years old.
Commercial heavy vehicles and transport vehicles
The applicant should have completed the 8th standard. He/she must be at least 18 years old (in some states, the minimum age limit is 20 years).
GeneralThe applicant must be conversant with traffic rules and regulations. He/she must have a valid age proof and address proof documents.

Documents required for obtaining Driving License in India

While applying for a driving license, here is a list of documents that you need to submit:

  • Proof of age in the form of birth certificate, PAN Card, passport, 10th class mark sheet, Transfer certificate from any school for any class with the date of birth printed on it.
  • Proof of address in the form of a passport, Aadhaar card, electricity bill issued in your name, Voter ID card, agreement of house ownership, passport, ration card. In case the house is rented, a rental agreement along with either an electricity bill or gas bill would work
  • Duly filled application form
  • Passport size photographs
  • Application fees
  • Medical certificate issued by a certified physician (for people aged 40 years or older)