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Types of Driving License in India

A Driving License is a document that is recognised & required by the Government of India for all those who would like to drive a vehicle. It primarily contains a licence registration number and a passport size photo of the person for whom it is issued. It must also have a rubber stamp and signature of the authorising officer along with where the license was issued. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 states that no individual without a Driving license is authorised to drive a vehicle in the country. A driving License is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of respective States. After a certain age, a person is permitted to get a Learner’s License to practice driving and once their official test is done by the authorities of the RTO, a Driving License will be issued to the individual. Let us understand the types of Driving Licenses in India.

Types of Driving License in India

Learner’s License,/h3>

A learner’s license is the first license and a prerequisite for getting a permanent license. The license is valid for 6 months, a period when an individual can learn to drive and if they are confident, they can apply for a permanent license after 30 days from the issuance of the learner’s license. The following points must be followed by those who have a learner’s license:

● The learner must be taught to drive by an individual who has a permanent driving license

● The vehicle that the individual who drives must display a clear red “L” sign for other drivers on road to go slow or give way

● It is expected that the individual who is learning to drive knows all the road signs and traffic rules of the country

● Those learning to drive commercial vehicles must train from government motor driving institutes

● Those learning to drive a two-wheeler should drive only with the trainer and nobody else

Permanent Driving License for Private Vehicles

Anybody above the age of 18 who has passed the driving test is issued a driving license. The license is given in the form of a smart card which would contain a chip that would have all the biometric information about the individual. The license card would also contain information such as the name of the person, their date of birth, their address, and their signature. It would also indicate the type of vehicle, for instance, two-wheeler/four-wheeler, that the individual is permitted to drive

Permanent Driving License for Commercial Vehicles

This is for those drivers who want to drive heavy motor vehicles that either transport goods or passengers. These drivers should have studied at least till 8th grade and require training from the government or state-sponsored specialised training institutes. License for commercial vehicles is not given very easily and the union government has separate rules for providing these licenses. Drivers are required to go through several rounds of driving tests before they are issued a license since safety is very important

International Driving Permit

If an individual who owns a permanent license wishes to drive to foreign countries, they can do so after availing an international driving permit. They can drive either their own or rented vehicle using this permit and it is valid only for a year after which it must be renewed. The table below shows the eligibility criteria for availing of a driving license:






Motorcycles with gear

  • The applicant must be 18 years or older
  • Must be aware of traffic rules and road signs
  • Should have a valid age and address proof


Motorcycles without gear (engine capacity of 50CC)

  • The individual can be 16 with the concept of a parent/guardian
  • Must be aware of traffic rules and regulations
  • Should have a valid age and address proof


Heavy Commercial Vehicles

  • The applicant should have at least completed 8th grade
  •  The applicant should be 18 years and, in many states, the minimum age to apply is 20 years
  • The individual must undergo training from a government training school

Driving License Categories

A Driving License is issued depending on the class of the motor vehicle. The eligibility criteria are subject to differ based on the class of the vehicle. The table below shows the categories of driving license with its class:










MC 50CC (Motorcycle)


Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50cc or less





Motorcycles with any engine capacity without gears (including scooter & mopeds)





The light motor vehicle used for non-transport purposes





Motorcycles with gear and capacity of 50CC and more (including Light Motor Vehicles and cars)



MC With Gear or M/CYCL.WG


All motorcycles with or without gear






Medium Goods Vehicle





Light Motor Vehicles including motorcars jeeps taxis, delivery vans





Heavy Motor Vehicles





Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle





Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicle/Heavy Transport Vehicle

Validity and Renewal of License

A permanent driving license for private vehicles is valid for 20 years from the issuance date or until the individual turns 50 years, whichever happens first, and commercial vehicle licenses are valid for 3 years. The license can be renewed by filing a renewal application (form 9) and submitting the required documents in the RTO. The form will consist of the details of the current driving license of the applicant. The license will be renewed for another 5 years if it is a non-transport vehicle and 3 years if it is a transport vehicle.

Insurance is another very important element to pay heed to while owning a vehicle. When a person owns vehicle insurance, if there is an unfortunate incident, availing of medical help and financial support will be easy. If you want to know more about health insurance, two-wheeler insurance, or car insurance, click here! Remember that a driving license and insurance are essential requirements for legally driving a vehicle. For a hassle-free driving experience, apply for a driving license, drive with a valid license, and follow all the road rules and regulations!

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