11 Jul 2019 | 6 min read
Driving is one of the most important aspects these days. It allows one to be on mobile and reach anywhere anytime without depending on anyone else. Even though car and bike hire services make it easier for people to get conveyance facilities even at wee hours of the night, it is always fruitful when you know how to drive and have a driving license. One can have a driving license for two-wheeler vehicles or four wheelers or both.
The cost of a second hand vehicle can start from a few thousands and move up the ladder to many crores for that beautiful, spanking, new high-end car. It is no wonder then that almost every family which lives above the poverty line owns at least one motor vehicle. It depends on the individual’s financial capacity and choice; which kind of vehicle the person buys. One can see all kinds of vehicle beginning from mopeds that run on two thin tyres at one end of the spectrum to trailer trucks with twenty-two huge wheels running cheek by jow on Indian roads.
The first step towards getting a license online is to apply for a learner’s license. There are conditions one must fulfil to be able to apply for a learners’ license online
If you are going to be driving a vehicle with gears, you can apply for learner’s license when you are eighteen years of age and in case you are applying for a license to drive a vehicle without gears, then you can do so at sixteen years of age.
It is a good idea to join a driving school and online you can find the information. There you will be made aware of traffic rules and regulations. In case you are going to be taught by a relative or friend then you must make sure you know and understand traffic rules.
You will have to submit three photographs of passport size.
Any of the following documents can be submitted as proof of residence
A] Ration card.
C] Aadhaar card.
You must be able to give proof of your present address and your permanent address. If your present address is your permanent address, then only one proof is required. But in case, you live in rented accommodation, you can give a rental agreement as proof of present address. Electricity or telephone bills which are in your name are also considered valid address proof.
You have to submit a self-attested photocopy of the above-mentioned documents.
Once you get the learner’s license, you must adhere to three conditions.
You can apply for the permanent license after thirty days of getting and using the learner’s license.
You have to access the transport office website and download Form1A and Form 1B. After filling these forms according to the instruction given there, you must click on submit.
A web registration number is generated and this is the reference number for all purposes till the license is in your hand.
When you have submitted the forms and uploaded all the other documents such as age proof, proof of address, you can choose a time and date that is convenient to you and appear for the test. When this date is settled you have to be present in person to take the test at the regional transport office.
If you score six points you will have passed the test and you will be granted a learner’s license. This is valid all over India.
You must apply for a permanent license within three months or one hundred and eighty days of being awarded a learner’s license.
There are different categories of driving licenses. Each of these allows the holder to drive a certain class of motor vehicle only. The fee for the license varies as do some of the terms and condition. But some conditions are common to all categories of driving licenses.
A permanent license is granted only to people who are eighteen years old.
Earlier the minimum educational qualification was the candidate must have cleared class eight. The government is now studying the possibility of doing away with this criterion so as to provide job opportunities to people from the economically weaker sections and economically backward sections of the society. But this proposal is still under consideration and the minimum educational qualification rule holds good.
All applicants must give proof of being in good health. Eyesight is of utmost importance. Colour blindness can debar a person from getting a license.
All candidates should have the knowledge of road signs and should follow instructions given by these signs. It is also imperative for all drivers to know the rules and regulations of using the roads.
If you qualify at the age and educational barrier, then the next step is to fill the forms.
You have to fill Form 4 to apply for a motor driving license in our country. This form can be obtained from the regional transport office. It is also available online.
This form has to be filled in accordance with the instructions and submitted at the regional transport office in whose jurisdiction or area in which you reside.
Along with the form, you have to submit the following:
Once the form has been scrutinised and accepted, you will have to take an online test. You can choose a date and time that is convenient to you and if that particular slot is free, it will be allotted to you. This test comprises twenty questions regarding traffic rules and road regulations. It may also contain questions about good practices to be followed for safe driving both for you and other road users.
If you have been taking driving lessons, the whole process will become easier. The driving school staff is generally well versed in filling the application forms and will help you to do the needful.
Once you have deposited the form, and a test time slot has been allotted, make sure you are present punctually. You will be expected to deposit test slot booking slip at the relevant counter and accompany the official to the track to display your driving skills.
Passing the practical driving test is not easy. It is conducted on an especially constructed track. You have to be able to drive on an 8-shaped track without dislodging the barriers placed on the sides of the track.
When you have manoeuvred your vehicle successfully over this track, you will be expected to reverse on an S-shaped track.
The tracks are difficult to drive on. As most of the candidates are nervous, it becomes more difficult for them to pass the test. It is a good idea to practise driving on such a track before going for your assessment. There is a fifty- fifty chance that you will be able to clear the test if you do not have a good grip on your driving skills.
It is not just the track you are driving on that requires your attention. The examiner, who is an official from the regional transport office, will also note whether you are using the brakes correctly. He will check whether you are changing gears at the correct juncture. The manner in which you shift the gears, smoothly or roughly, will speak volumes for your driving skills.
He will also check if you use hand signals when they are required. Using indicators when you want to turn right or left or want to allow overtaking is another test of your driving skills. The official will take note of it if you do not use the side view and rear-view mirrors efficiently. How efficiently you reverse and park vehicle will tilt the scales in your favour or go against you.
If you are taking the practical driving test for a two-wheeler license, manoeuvres like using your side view mirrors and signalling with your hand or with the indicator lights correctly will earn you your driving license, provided you do all this without your feet touching the ground.
After you have cleared the practical test, you will be given a receipt. This will be your license till such a time as you receive the real license. You are allowed to drive on the road using this receipt as license. It will take a few days for your license to come onto your hands as it is not handed to you immediately. It sent to your registered address by speed post. This takes a maximum of three weeks.
In case your license has not been delivered and you feel anxious, you can check the status of your driving license by going to the official website of the Ministry for Road Transport and Highways.
So now you are the happy possessor of an Indian driving license. You should understand what the numbers and letters all mean. In other words, you should decode your driving license.
The first thing any person looks at carefully is his or her photograph.
The policeman on the road who stops you to check your papers is not concerned with the quality of the photograph. To him it is just a document that tells him that you are within your legal rights to drive on the road.
He will also check the papers of your vehicle to ensure that the vehicle belongs to you and that your road tax, pollution check and insurance papers are in order.
The first two letters are the code of the state where the license was made. The next number is the code of the city followed by the district. The numbers after that indicate the year in which the license was made and at the end is a unique identification number for the licensee.
Earlier driving licenses used to come in the form of booklets where your traffic offences were noted down by the policeman on duty. These booklets were neither easy to carry nor were they aesthetically designed. Modern driving licenses are smart cards. They contain a small golden chip. This chip is not a means of making the card pretty. It contains biometric information about the licensee.
Whenever required, the authorities can access all information about you by scanning the card. This is very useful to the police in keeping a record of your traffic offences. They can know all your previous offences at one glance by just scanning your card. It helps to keep control of habitual offenders. Driving licenses of habitual offenders can be suspended on the spot with the help of this chip which is embedded in the card.
The microchip also helps the government to keep track of differently-abled drivers who have had their vehicles modified to suit their needs.
Another advantage is that the government is able to keep track of people who have pledged to donate organs in the unfortunate event of death in a road accident.
The digital age has brought about many changes in the format of the driving license. The government of India has issued orders that the registration certificate and driving license can be stored in DigiLocker. The license holder does not have to present a hard copy of his documents. A soft copy is acceptable and proof enough.
Strict guidelines have been issued by the ministry of road transport to the traffic police about how to deal with those who break traffic rules on the roads.
If the driver is drunk and he fails the breath analyzer test he can be fined. If the alcohol level in his blood is way beyond the permissible level, his license can be suspended.
A driver who drives recklessly and does not adhere to speed limits can lose his license. One is not allowed to talk on the phone or jump traffic lights. These offences attract a stiff fine.
There are rules which state that you are not allowed to carry cargo in private vehicles. You are also not allowed to carry passengers in vehicles meant for ferrying goods.
All these rules have been stringently followed keeping in view the Supreme Court orders which pulled up the road transport department for the rising number of road fatalities.
Everyone wonders why they should do all this if only a small card is lost.
Indians have taken into their stride that jostling for space on the already overcrowded road will be a monster trucks and a battery-operated e-rickshaw which looks so flimsy that it might be blown away from the exhaust of the monster truck. But irrespective of the kind of vehicle he is driving, every driver must have a valid driving license issued by the government.
Currently, parents who permit their underage children to drive have been booked as accomplices if an accident is caused by their wards. No leeway is given to parents who look the other way when their child, who does not have a driving license, zooms off in one of the many cars parked in the drive ways and endangers lives of other road users.
Correctly speaking, every driver on the road, irrespective of the kind of vehicle she/he drives, must be qualified and be allowed to drive legally. To drive legally, one must possess a valid driving license issued by the government agency called the Regional Transport Office.
The current government has come down heavily on driving offences of various kinds. The proposed fines are stiffer, jail terms have been proposed and the last resort punishment would be cancellation of the offenders’ driving license.
The last-mentioned punishment is the most dreaded of all punishments because a driving license is not just a government-issued permit for Indians to drive. It is a means of establishing their identity. It is a proof of citizenship and also a proof of their age.
The law is very clear that every driver of any category of motor vehicle must have a valid driving license. There can be no compromise on this issue and every law-abiding citizen of India must acquire one before he can be seated on the drivers’ seat to drive his vehicle.
The rules which state this unequivocally are the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 and the Central Motor Rules of 1989. These rules also state that anyone who is driving must have his or her license on his or her person when driving. In case the license cannot be produced on demand by a government functionary on the road, the errant driver is liable to be imprisoned and his or her vehicle may be impounded.
So, if an Indian loses his driving license, he is bereft of his very identity, he is at a loss to prove where he lives and how old he is. In the absence of a credible public transport system, if you cannot drive legally on Indian roads then you are sure to face punctuality issues.
There are other identity proofs such as the voters’ identity card and the Aadhaar card but neither of these is generally carried by the person as a driving license. There are different stages of learning to drive and acquiring licenses at different levels. Different kinds of driving licenses are issued for different kinds of vehicles. The processes and driving test are also different depending on the kind of vehicle you are seeking the license for.