Types of Driving Licence in India
Our life is governed with the natural phenomenon of breathing in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. This concept of life applies to all living beings on this planet. Here we understand that oxygen is essential to stay alive and that humans do not really have a choice. Just as we talk about life, a driving licence in India is an essential document for car/bike owners and drivers. Without this official document, one can be liable to hefty fines and other consequences.
After all, a Driving licence is a legal document that permits one to drive a specified vehicle. Driving any vehicle without a licence can land you in the zone of troubles, including monetary compensations and disqualifications.
Why is the Driving Licence important?
Driving licence in India is a permit to drive a specified category of the vehicle on the road, i.e a two-wheeler, four-wheeler or a commercial vehicle as well, within territorial boundaries. Your Driving licence is an official document issued by the Government of India to drive your car, truck, bus, bike, et all. It authorizes or clearly dictates that the owner knows how to drive the vehicle and has undergone tests that abide by the traffic rules and regulations.
Driving brings comfort and convenience in our life but it should not cause any damage to any third party. Keeping this in mind, mature adults above 18 years of age are entitled to get a driving licence. Anyone below this age is not permitted to drive. In case of a violation, the parents of the candidate can be legally held liable.
Different Types of Driving licence in India
You can master the skill of driving any kind of vehicle but legally you cannot put it to use on the road unless you own a licence. In India, following are the types of licences available by the RTO.
1. Learner’s licence
Before you get your permanent licence, the Road Transport Authority issues you a learner’s licence. The validity of the same is only for up to 6-months; which implies that you must polish your driving skills within this time frame.
Even when a toddler learns to take the first baby steps, we don’t leave them unattended. We try to watch each step and teach them to balance their body. In the same way, a learning licence holder should not be left alone to drive. She/he should always be accompanied by a mature driver.
2. Permanent licence
As soon as the waiting period of 6-months is over, the RTO issues a permanent licence to the applicant. The age of the applicant should be 18 years old and she/he should clear the driving exam. The process of applying is made online and hence the complete process is pretty simple and hassle-free.
The permanent licence is issued for private vehicles like cars and bikes. Issuing a permanent driver’s licence means that the authority RTO is assured about the driving skills of the applicant.
Just like when we find that the baby can walk on his own, only then we leave him to explore the world. Until then we tend to take extra care to prevent any kind of damage.
3. Commercial Driving licence
This type of licence authorizes the driver to drive heavy vehicles. Such kind of vehicle is used to transport passengers or goods. The minimum eligibility criteria to apply for a commercial driver's licence is a bit different. Here, the candidate should have necessarily cleared the examination of 8th standard.
The onus of the commercial vehicle driver is higher as they are accountable for not only their safety but also of others.
4. International Driving Permit
When an applicant looks for an international driving licence it implies that the person is eligible to rent and drive any vehicle in a foreign land.
However, it can only be issued if you already have a permanent driving licence. Unlike your driver's licence, the IDP has a validity for 1 year only. And on the expiry, one would need to apply again.
Driving Licence Categories and Class of Vehicles in India
Here’s a basic overview of the driving licence categories and the class of vehicles in India.
Vehicles that have an engine capacity of 50cc or less than that.
Vehicles like jeep and motor cars fall under the Light Motor Vehicle Category but these are of non-transport class.
Vehicles without gears fall under this category like scooters and mopeds.
Vehicles like motorcycles with gears whose engine capacity is of 50CC or more.
Vehicles like motorcycles both with and without gear fall under this category.
Vehicles like trailers, larger trucks, and other similar vehicles used for transport of goods fall under the category of HGMV.
Vehicles that runs for commercial purpose and has an All India Permit to carry passengers falls under the HPMV category.
Medium goods vehicles
Heavy motor vehicles
People holding driving licence for heavy motor vehicles can apply.
Light goods vehicles
Driving has become an essential part of our daily routine. Some drive to reach to work and manage daily chores while others drive as part of their job. Whatever may be the reason, any person who wants to drive a vehicle on the road should hold a licence as per the class of his/her vehicle.
Drawbacks of not owning a valid Driver's Licence
A driving licence allows you to legally drive your vehicle on the road. It is a relevant permit from the government of India and hence driving without one is illegal.
Driving without a DL
Increase in road mishaps have made it essential for the government to take strict actions towards those who do not drive carefully, and those who drive without a driving licence (after all, your driving licence is a permit that proves you know how to drive in the first place!) Any person found driving without a driving licence is liable for a fine of up to Rs 5,000 - depending on your state and vehicle.
Driving without DL and cause accidents
If anyone who happens to drive a car without a licence and meets with an accident, their licence will be cancelled immediately. She/he will be charged a fine of Rs.5,000/- and/or imprisonment that may extend to 6 months for the first time. But on a second offence, the driver may be imprisoned for up to 1 year and/or be fined up to Rs. 10,000.
What to do in the following situations?
a. When you lose your licence - If you happen to lose your driving licence, immediately visit the police station in your locality and let them know. Complain and file an F.I.R. Then visit the notary office to get an affidavit signed which should inform that you have lost your driving licence.
After you are done with the complaint, you can apply for a duplicate driving licence enclosing your copy of affidavit and F.I.R.