What is a Driver’s License?
If one is interested to drive a car with legal sanction and permit, he has to go through the due process of making a Driver’s Licence. It is an official document authorized under Section 18 of The Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.
Requisites for Obtaining a Driver’s Licence
In India, a driver’s license is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of the state you reside in.
A driver’s licence contains a registration number and a passport size photo that gives you the identity of the owner of the vehicle. It must have a rubber stamp and the signature of the officer-in-charge along with the mention of the office it was issued from.
Types of Driver’s License
There are two types of Driver’s Licence in India-
- A Learner’s license is a temporary license that is valid for six months. Before getting a permanent driver’s license, you need to get a learner’s license when you are learning to drive. You can apply for this type of license only by the age of 16.
- Permanent Licence is the indispensable document for which you must have a valid Learner’s Licence first. An individual becomes eligible to receive a permanent driver’s license after 30 days of issuance of the learner’s license. The minimum age for holding a permanent driving license in India is 18 years.
Procedure for a Driver’s License
Procedure for acquiring a Driver’s Licence is mentioned below:
- Get the application form for a motor vehicle driving license in India. You can download the form online from the state transport website or can get it from the nearest RTO office.
- Fill the form and submit it along with your age proof and address proof at the RTO office in your area. Ask the RTO officials to schedule your driver’s licence test and pay the fees for the same.
- Reach the driver’s licence test center on the given date and time. On clearing the test, your driving license will be sent to your registered address.
- If you are taking driver’s lessons from a driving school, then the school officials can help you procure your license.
Penalty and Legal Consequences for Driving without Driver’s License
The government has notified 63 provisions of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019, including the ones dealing with enhanced penalties for various traffic offences effecting from September 1, 2019.
The new law enhances the penalty for unauthorized use of vehicles without a licence to Rs 5,000 from up to Rs 1,000. The minimum penalty for driving without a licence has been increased to Rs 5,000 from Rs 500 while the fine for driving despite disqualification has been increased to Rs 10,000.
Suspension and Expiration of Driver’s License
The Supreme Court Committee on Road safety issued direction to suspend driver’s licence for a period of not less than three months under Section 19 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 read with Rule 21 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 for:
- Driving at a speed exceeding the specified limit which in the Committee’s view would also include red light jumping.
- Carrying overload in goods carriage and carrying persons in goods carriages.
- Driving vehicles under the influence of drink and drugs.
- Using mobile phone while driving a vehicle.
According to the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, an individual can apply for renewal of driver’s licence any time between one year before its expiry and up to one after its expiry. However, if you apply for renewal after one year of the expiry of licence then you will be required to undertake the driver’s licence test once again.
About the Author – Aditya Pratap
Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practising in Mumbai. He argues cases in the Bombay High Court, Sessions and Magistrate Courts, along with appearances before RERA, NCLT and the Family Court. For further information one may visit his website adityapratap.in or view his YouTube Channel to see his interviews. Questions can be emailed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cases argued by Aditya Pratap can be viewed here.