Before obtaining your driving licence and having the freedom to drive everywhere, you have to get a learner’s licence when you learn driving, so how do you apply for one?
In India, no one is allowed to drive a motor vehicle in any public place unless that person holds a valid driving licence that is issued to him or her and specifies the type of vehicle that person is authorised to drive. Before getting your permanent driving licence, you must first have your learner’s licence.
A learner’s licence is an official document that is issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and it is only valid for 6 months. With the learner’s licence, you are able to apply for a permanent driving licence at least 1 month after the issuance date of your learner’s licence.
The eligibility criteria to apply for a learner’s licence are different depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive:
For motorcycles with gear, you have to be at least 18 years old.
For motorcycles without gear (engine capacity not exceeding 50cc), you have to be at least 16 years old. If you are below 18 years of age, a legal guardian’s permission is required.
For commercial heavy vehicles and transport vehicles, you have to be at least 18 or 20 years old, depending on the state you stay at.
For all types of vehicle, you must be conversant with the traffic rules and regulations
When you meet one of the above criteria, you are ready to apply for a learner’s licence.
Whether you are eligible to apply for a learner’s licence depends on the class of vehicle you plan to drive
2. Types of learner’s licence
First, based on the class of motor vehicle you plan to drive, you are given a different type of learner’s licence. Each type has a different set of criteria as stated in part 1 above. Some of the most common class of motor vehicle that you may consider using are:
Motorcycles with engine capacity exceeding 50cc or with gear, light motor vehicles that are used to transport (car included) (MC EX50CC)
Motorcycles without gear (FVG)
Light motor vehicles that are not used to transport (LMV–NT)
Motorcycles with the engine capacity not exceeding 50cc (MC 50cc)
Light Motor Vehicle for non-transport purposes (LMV–NT)
Light Motor Vehicle that is used for non-personal purposes (LMV–TR)
Medium Goods Vehicle (MGV)
Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicle (HPMV)
Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle (HGMV)
Learner’s licence is issued based on the class of vehicle
3. Required documents for learner’s licence application
After knowing which type of learner’s licence you are going to apply for, you need to prepare the necessary documents to submit to the local RTO. The required documents are:
Proof of address (you only have to submit one of the following documents as proof of address)
Permanent address proof
Temporary address proof (Registered Rental agreement and LPG bill/electricity bill)
Voter's identity card (EPIC card)
Life insurance policy
Utility bills like electricity bill or telephone bill
State or Central Government issued payslip
Proof of age (you only have to submit one of the following documents as proof of age)
Voter's identity card (EPIC card)
School matriculation certificate
School transfer certificate
Six passport-size photos
Medical certificate (signed by a Government-certified doctor if possible)
Filled application form
There are a few documents you have to prepare for learner’s licence application
4. Applying for a learner’s licence online
Like permanent driving licence, you can download the application form and apply for a learner’s licence online on the official Sarathi website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (sarathi.nic.in). However, many states’ RTO websites allow you to go through the learner’s licence application process now. While the detailed process is different from site to site, the general steps that you have to take are as follows:
Visit the official Sarathi website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (sarathi.nic.in) or your local RTO website.
Check whether your state allows online driving licence application.
If it is possible, the site lists out the stages in application submission. Read it carefully.
After that, the website takes you step-by-step to complete the application process. Read and follow the instructions closely.
After uploading all the required papers including your application form, you have to pay a fee of around 150 rupees.
Then you can choose when you would like to have your driving licence test and whether to take the test online, depending on each state.
Online learner’s licence application is done either on the official Sarathi website or on the local RTO website
5. Applying for a learner’s licence offline
If you want to go to the nearest RTO and submit the physical documents by yourself, you can do so. You can get the application form online or at the local RTO, and then you have to fill it in and submit to the RTO. Next, you choose when and where you would like to have your test and pay the fee. Once you pass, the learner’s licence will be delivered to your permanent address.
Offline learner’s licence application is done at the nearest RTO