Types of Driving Licenses in India – A Complete Guide

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Types of Driving Licenses in India

Know about different types of driving licenses in India because you need a valid driving license to drive your vehicle on the streets.

If you do not have said license you can be sure that you would have to pay hefty fines and face other legal consequences if you are caught driving without the same by the police.

Normally, in India, you have specific driving licenses for all kinds of vehicles such as two-wheelers, commercial vehicles, and four-wheelers to name a few. These licenses are also provided for driving only within India.

As you may understand, these are official documents coming to you straight from the government of India so that you can drive a certain kind of vehicle. Having a license is a clear indication of the fact that you – its owner – know how to drive that particular kind of vehicle and that you have passed the necessary tests to determine if you can follow the rules and regulations in these cases.

The Indian government has determined the age limit of 18 years to apply for these licenses. This is because it believes that driving should only bring us convenience in life – it should not be a cause of loss for others. No one below the age of 18 years has the legal permission to drive. In case, this particular ruling is violated the parents of the delinquent could be held legally accountable for the same.

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1. Learner’s license 

The first license that anyone who wants to drive a car or any other vehicle, for that matter, in India would get is a learner’s license. These are issued by the Road Transport Authority and are provided to you before you get the permanent license. These licenses are valid only for six months from the date on which they are issued. This means that you have to learn how to drive within this time so that you can get the permanent license that we are referring to over here.

When a toddler learns how to walk we do not leave them unattended, do we? We always try to watch each step that they take and teach them how they can balance their bodies. In much the same way, a learner driver must never be left alone. They should always have an experienced driver with them – ones with a proper Indian driving license.

2. Permanent licenses 

Once the six-month waiting period gets over, the RTO (Regional Transport Office) issues the permanent license to an applicant. It is the most important among all the different types of driving license in India. However, to get that license the applicant must have successfully cleared a driving exam and they must be 18 years and above.

These days, you can also apply for all types of licenses online. This means that the entire process has become a lot simpler and there are no hassles at all. These licenses are issued for private vehicles such as bikes and cars. If the RTO issues this it means that the central authority is sure of your driving skills. It is a lot like when we see that our children have grown up and can stand on their two feet now. We then let them explore the world as they see fit.

Till then we take all the steps that we can to make sure that they do not suffer any kind of damage. The same logic also applies to these types of driving license as well.

3. Commercial driving licenses 

We can assume that you already know what light motor vehicle means. Well, if you wish to drive such vehicles for a commercial purpose you may need a commercial driving license. Usually, having these licenses makes sure that you can drive heavy vehicles. They are normally used to transport goods and passengers. The minimum eligibility criteria to apply for these licenses are a bit different compared to that of the other types of licenses that we have spoken about so far. Over here, the applicant must have cleared at least their eighth standards exams to apply for such a license.

You already know the LMV full form. In that case, you should also know that when you are driving these vehicles you have double the responsibility – you have to take care of your safety as well as that of others.    

4. International driving permits

When you apply for such a driving licenseit implies that you are capable of renting and driving any vehicle in another country.

These licenses can only be offered in cases where you have already got the permanent license. As opposed to the latter these licenses are valid only for a year from the date when they were issued. Once they expire you would have to apply for them again.

Types of Driving Licenses and Classes of Vehicles in India 

The following table provides you with an idea of various classes of vehicles and driving license categories in the country:

Class of license Type of vehicle
MC 50cc vehicles that have a maximum engine capacity of 50cc
LMV-NT vehicles such as motor cars and jeeps that are classified as light motor vehicles – however, they belong to the non-transport category
FVG vehicles such as mopeds and scooters that do not have gears
MC EX50CC vehicles that have gears and a minimum engine capacity of 50cc
MCWG vehicles with and without gear
HGMV vehicles that are used for transporting goods such as large trucks and trailers
HPMV commercial vehicles that have All India Permits to carry passengers

Driving has become an integral part of most of our daily routines. Some of us drive to work and take care of our everyday chores while for others it is the job that they do. No matter what the reason is, if anyone wants to drive a vehicle on the streets of India they should have a proper license with regards to the class of vehicle that they are driving.

Mar 31, 2022
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PayBima Team
PayBima is an Indian insurance aggregator on a mission to make insurance simple for people. PayBima is the Digital arm of the already established and trusted Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd., a reputed name in the insurance broking industry with 17 years of experience. PayBima promises you the easy-to-access online platform to buy insurance policies, and also extend their unrelented assistance with all your policy related queries and services.

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