Obtaining a Permanent Licence in India

The process of securing a permanent driving licence in India, including how to find out more about taking a test in each state…

After obtaining a learner’s licence, applicants for a permanent licence must pass a driving test. They must provide their own vehicle in which to take the test.

New applicants must also submit the following documents to the RTO/RTA:

  • Application forms – can be downloaded from an RTO/RTA website
  • Documents for the motor vehicle to be used in the driving test – registration or insurance certificate
  • Letter of consent (if the vehicle is not owned by the applicant)
  • Passport-sized photographs (the number varies by state)
  • Fees (vary by state)

The Motor Vehicles Act (1988) stipulates the length of validity for the three categories of permanent licence:

  • Motorcycle licence – 20 years from the date of issue or until the holder reaches the age of 50 (whichever is first)
  • Light motor vehicle licence – 20 years from the date of issue or until the holder reaches the age of 50 (whichever is first)
  • Transport licence – three years

By international standards, the driving test in India is not demanding. The RTO/RTA examiner will usually conduct the test in a vacant plot or on busy roads. Examiners commonly ask an applicant to drive a “figure eight” on their motorcycle or other two-wheeled vehicle as part of the test.

  • Further information on testing centres, test details and application forms can be found on each state government’s RTO/RTA website. For links to these sites: Click here