How to apply for a learner’s licence in India?

A driving license is a legal document under governmental authority that permits a person to drive on roads. These licenses can be of different types – for individuals who drive cars and bikes for personal use and for those who drive heavy vehicles for commercial purposes. There is also a different DL for getting an international license to drive valid in foreign nations. All these types of licenses come with their own eligibility criteria and validity period. They can be renewed once expired. A permanent license is issued only if the driver is above 18 years of age and has successfully passed the driving test. While the applicant is at the learning stage, s/he is issued a learner’s license.

What is a Learner’s License?

A learner’s license is issued when the applicant is at a learning stage. Driving without a license is punishable and hence, people apply for one right when they are learning to drive. They need legal approval to be allowed to drive and hence, they can apply at the nearest Regional Transport Authority/Office (RTA/RTO). Once an applicant has learned to drive, s/he can apply for a permanent license provided s/he is 18 years of age. One can apply for a permanent license 30 days after obtaining a learner’s license. A learner’s license can be issued to those below 18 years of age but above 16 years and is valid for 6 months.

A learning license will have personal details like the name and age of the learner, a photograph, and a rubber stamp with the signature of the authority in charge. It will mention the type of DL it is and will be labeled as Learner’s License.


To apply for a learner’s license, one must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant must be 16 years of age or older
  • As long as one is a learner, one can only drive vehicles that are non-gear and with an engine capacity of 50 CC
  • The learner must get the consent of the guardian/parent
  • The learning license holder must drive under supervision

Documents Required to Apply for Learner’s License

You need to fill the form for the learning license and pay the due fees for the same. Apart from this, the documents required to apply for a learner are listed below-

  1. Identity Proofs
  • Passport
  • Voter ID
  • Aadhar
  1. Age Proofs
  • Birth Certificate
  • School Certificate with printed D.O.B.
  • PAN card
  • Aadhar
  • Voter ID
  • Passport
  1. Address Proofs
  • PAN
  • Aadhar
  • Electricity Bills
  • Voter ID
  • Ration Card
  • LIC Bond
  • Rental Agreements/Property Papers
  1. Medical Certificate, if applicable
  2. Self-declaration of medical fitness
  3. Passport size photographs (at least 3)

How to Apply?

You can apply offline by visiting the nearest RTO or online through an online portal known as ‘Sarathi’. Sarathi is the official website of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry. Go to the website and follow the below steps-

  • Go to ‘Sarathi Services’ and click on the option ‘New Driving License’
  • You will be taken to the form for applying for a driving license online
  • Once you get confirmation that your application has been processed, you can book a slot for your learner’s license test and after the test, you can get your learner’s license. It is valid for six months during which you have to practice driving your vehicle
  • Once you learn and the 6 months pass away, you can apply for your permanent license within six months of getting your learner’s license. However, you must be 18 years of age to apply for a permanent license

Alternatively, one can apply through the ‘Parivahan’ website of the government by going to the ‘Driving License Related Services’.

Difference between a Learner’s License and a Permanent License

As the name suggests, a learner’s license is for a candidate who is still learning to drive, whereas a permanent license is for those who have successfully passed the driving test, are eligible to drive on roads, and also know about the traffic regulations. The other differences have been explained in the table below-

Criteria Learner’s Driving License Permanent Driving License
Purpose Given to beginners/learners Given to skilled drivers as a certification
Importance Legal document for learners to drive Legal document for learner drivers to drive on public roads
When to Apply Can be obtained before a permanent license Can only be obtained 30 days after the learner’s license has been issued
Validity 6 months 20 years

Types of Learner’s Licence in India

Learner’s licence is issued to a candidate on the basis of the class of the vehicle he wants to learn to drive. Pertaining to that vehicle type, here is a list of types of learner’s licence you can get in India.

In India, driving licence and learner’s licence is issued on the basis of the following categories:

For Personal Use:

  • MC 50CC (Motorcycle 50 cc) licence class for motor vehicles with engine capacity of 50 cc or less than 50 cc.
  • LMV – NT licence class for Light Motor Vehicle used for non-transport purposes
  • FVG licence class for Motorcycles of any engine capacity but with no gears, like scooters and mopeds
  • MC EX50CC licence class for Motorcycles with a capacity of 50 CC or more, motorcycles with gear and Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars
  • MCWG or M / CYCL.WG licence class for all types of motor vehicles, including the ones with gear

For Commercial Use:

  • HGMV vehicle class for Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle
  • LMV – TR vehicle class for Light Motor Vehicle used for commercial purposes
  • HPMV vehicle class for heavy passenger vehicles
  • LMV – NT vehicle class for light motor vehicles used for non-transport purposes
  • MGV vehicle class for medium goods vehicle
  • Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining Learner’s Licence in India
Motorcycles with gear The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
Motorcycles without gear with capacity up to 50cc The applicant must be at least 16 years old. For applicants less than 18 years, consent of a parent or guardian is required.
Commercial heavy vehicles and transport vehicle The applicant must be at least 18 years old and must have finished schooling till 8th standard. In a few states, the minimum age requirement for a learner’s licence for this vehicle type is 20 years.
General requirements The applicant must be well-versed with traffic rules and regulations and must have valid address and age proof.

Test Procedure for Getting Learner’s Licence in India

To check your knowledge related to traffic rules and regulations, you will either have to give a written test online or offline. This procedure is mandatory for all the learner’s licence applicants.

Here are a few important points for you to note while giving the leaner’s licence test:

  • Be present at the venue half an hour before the allotted time slot.
  • If you are an online applicant, then you will have to present the confirmation slip and pay the learner’s licence test fees before taking the test.
  • Generally, you will have to answer questions online or on paper.
  • If you pass the test, you can apply for a permanent driving licence 30 days after the date of issue of learner’s licence. Also, the application for a permanent driving licence must be filed within 180 days from the date of issue of the learner’s licence.
  • If you fail the test, you can give the test again after a week.

Importance of Learner’s Licence in India

Here are a few reasons for getting a learner’s licence in India:

Here is why it is important for you to get a learner’s licence in India:

  • You cannot legally drive on Indian roads without a learner’s licence.
  • To learn driving, you must first get a learner’s licence specific to the class of the vehicle you are learning to drive or ride.
  • To get a permanent driving licence, it’s mandatory to first procure a learner’s licence.
  • A learner’s licence gives you the authority to learn driving on Indian roads in presence of an experienced driving instructor holding a valid driving licence.
  • A learner’s licence helps you to improve your driving skills and also makes you aware about various rules and regulations you need to comply with while plying your vehicle on Indian roads.

Driving License – Check Eligibility, Documents & How to Apply for it

Wrapping it up:

A learner’s driving license holder is the one who is yet to get a permanent license but is in the process of learning to drive. It is the pre-stage of getting a permanent license that assures that the candidate is well aware of traffic rules and knows how to drive. The one who holds a learning driving license must be at least 16 years of age and can drive specific vehicles only that too under supervision. A learner must get the consent of parents or guardians for the license.

What if I have learned to drive but I am not 18? Can I apply for a permanent license?

If you have learned to drive but still not turned 18 then you will not be issued a permanent license. However, if you are about to turn 18 then you may apply within a few months of having a learner’s license. If you are 18, a permanent license can be obtained 30 days after a learner’s license.

Do I need to give the driving test for getting a permanent license after getting a learner’s license?

Yes, you need to give a driving test for getting a permanent license after getting a learner’s license. This is because the driving test confirms that you have skillfully learned to drive.

Can I use my learner’s license?

Yes, you need to give a driving test for getting a permanent license after getting a learner’s license. This is because the driving test can confirm that you have skillfully learned to drive.

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