Driving Licenses in India - a Brief

By: Abhimanyu Singh

In order to drive a motor vehicle in any public place a valid Driving License is necessary. A Driving License is issued to a person authorizing him/her to drive vehicle in a given category/categories. There are different types of licenses issued by the Regional Transport Offices.

To begin with an individual must join one of the many driving schools in India and obtain a Learner Driving License. This is a temporary license that is valid up to 6 months from the date of issue. It is issued to enable the individual learn driving of Motor Vehicle. The courses at the Indian driving schools introduces the individual to traffic rules in India, the meaning and interpretation of various traffic signs and road signals on Indian roads. The aim is to inculcate within the new driver the value and necessity of Road Safety.

The next step is the issuing of a Permanent Driving License. This is issued to those Individuals who become eligible after a period of thirty days. One must apply for the same within 180 days from the date of issue of the learner license. An individual only qualifies for a permanent driving license once he is conversant with the basics of the vehicle, displays able control of the vehicle and is conversant with the various traffic rules & regulations.

In case of loss, theft, or on mutilation, Duplicate Licenses are issued by the traffic authorities. The documents to be produced are First Information Report of the lost license, challans clearance report from Regional Transport Association Office (in case of Commercial licence renewal. The duplicate license will have the valid period same as the previous license.

It is highly recommended that a photocopy of the original license or particulars of license are noted in order to make it easier for the issuing authority to locate the particulars from their record.

The transport authorities issue several types of Driving licenses e.g. Motorcycle License or Two-wheeler License to permit driving of only two-wheeler vehicles like bike, scooter and moped or Light Motor Vehicle License is issued to drive light vehicles like auto rickshaws, motor car, jeep, taxi, three-wheeler delivery vans, etc. And finally Heavy Motor Vehicle Licenses are issued to drive heavy vehicles like trucks, buses, tourist coaches, cranes, goods carriages, etc.

Virtually all the cities and towns of India have seen a rapid increase in vehicular traffic. The conditions of the Indian Highways and Indian roads are only now seeing an improvement. The onset of heavier traffic has made driving conditions in India tougher and more stressful. This has now manifested itself in the rapid increase in cases of road rage in India. Traffic authorities are being sensitised to this situation and are constantly working on ways to improve the lot of the Indian driver.

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