Driving is a necessity for many and a thrill for some others. However, you are forbidden from enjoying the fun of driving if you have yet obtained a valid driving licence.
As defined in the Motor Vehicles Act (1988), no individual in India is allowed to drive any vehicle on the highway or any other road unless that person has a valid driving licence. The organisation that administers driving licence is the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO). A valid driving licence must have a registration number, a passport size photo of the vehicle’s, a rubber stamp, and the signature of the officer-in-charge along with the mention of the office it was issued from. This document is proof that one is well-aware of traffic laws and has gone through sufficient training and tests to be able to drive responsibly and safely on the road. Today there are 4 types of driving licence available, and each type is issued for a different type of drivers.
1. Learner's Licence
You can apply for a Learner's Licence when you are at least 16 years old. If you are between 16 and 18 years old, you are only allowed to ride a motorcycle with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc (motorcycle without gear) and signed permission from parents or legal guardians is required. From the age of 18, you need Learner's Licence in order to ride a motorcycle with gear or drive a light motor vehicle. Learner's Licence holder must show a big red “L” on his or her car to let other road users know that he or she is a new driver. This licence is valid for 6 months and mostly limits you to driving inside city borders.
A Learner's Licence allows a 16-year-old to ride a motorcycle without gear
2. Permanent Licence
To apply for a Permanent Licence, you must first have a Learner's Licence. Also, you are eligible for application after 30 days and within 180 days of issuance of the Learner's Licence. At this level, it is necessary that you are familiar with vehicle systems, driving, and traffic laws. You must pass an official test of competence to drive a vehicle in order to have a Permanent Licence. This type of licence is valid for 20 years from the date of issue/renewal or from the day the holder is 50 years old (whichever comes sooner). After that, the licence must be renewed every 5 years. Permanent Licence allows you to drive to any road that permits public vehicles.
A Permanent Licence allows you to drive everywhere in India
3. International Driving Licence
If you want to drive to anywhere that is outside of India, an International Driving Licence is all that you need. You must obtain an International Driving Licence from the country that you visit within one year period. To be eligible for such a licence, you have to submit the following documents:
Attested copy of address proof
Attested copy of birth certificate
2 passport size photographs
While an International Driving Licence lets you drive to a lot of places besides India, its validity only lasts up to 1 year.
An International Driving Licence allows you to drive to places outside of India
4. Duplicate Driving Licence
You should always have a valid driving licence with you whenever you drive, but in case you lose your licence or your kid draws cats and flowers on it, you can show the traffic police a duplicate copy of your licence. To have a Duplicate Driving Licence, you must submit the following documents:
The Duplicate Driving Licence works and has the validity that is the exact same as your previous licence.
TIP: You should have a photocopy or a photo of your original licence with all the details on it so the authority can locate your licence easier and faster.
A Duplicate Driving Licence can replace your original driving licence in case of loss, theft, or mutilation
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