New Driving Licence Rules: Driving Test at RTO Not Mandatory

Driving Licence Test
By - Adaa Praveen Kotwani
May 27, 2024

Long queues, physical visits to government offices and copious amounts of form filling are just some of the inefficiencies of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) when it comes to applying for a driving licence. However, starting June 1, 2024, a newer and simplified version will be implemented for the same. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has made several adjustments to their existing framework with the aim to streamline processes revolving around driving licences.

New Driving Licence Framework

Some key features of this new framework include:

  • The ability to sit the driving test from the nearest authorised private training centre, as opposed to the current mandate of doing so only at the individual RTO. Private training centres can receive authorization to administer driving tests from the government.
  • Depending on the licence type applied for, the applicant will be informed by authorities in advance of the exact documents required of them, significantly streamlining the paperwork aspect of this process. 
  • Fines ranging from Rs. 1,000 – 2,000 will be charged for driving a car without a valid driver’s licence in hand. Moreover, a hefty fine of Rs. 25,000 would be levied if a minor is caught driving a car along with the vehicle’s registration certificate being revoked. 
  • Application for a new driver’s licence will still take place through the official MoRTH website, https://parivahan.gov.in/ . In-person and manual submission of application at nearest RTO will also still be valid.

Qualifying Factors for Private Driving Schools

Private driving schools should consider these qualifying factors: 

  • 1 acre of land is the minimum land requirement for training purposes. 2 acres is the minimum land requirement for four-wheeler training.
  • Trainers at said institute must have a minimum of 5 years of driving experience, hold high school diplomas and be familiar with biometrics and IT systems. 
  • The duration of training for light motor vehicles (LMVs) should amount to a total of 29 hours finished over 4 weeks, comprising 8 hours of theory and 21 of practical training.
    Similarly, a total of 39 hours of training must be completed over 6 weeks for heavy motor vehicles (HMVs), comprising 8 hours of theory and 31 hours of practical training.
  • Suitable testing facility must be available at the driving school. 

New Driving Licence Fee & Charges

Changes in fees for application procedure are as follows: 

  • Issuing a learner’s licence (Form 3): Rs. 150 
  • Test fee for learner’s licence (original or repeat): Rs. 50
  • Driving test fee (original or repeat): Rs. 300
  • Issuing a driving licence: Rs. 200 
  • Issuing an international driving permit: Rs. 1000
  • Adding vehicle class to existing licence: Rs. 500 

What does this mean for New Drivers?

For new drivers, the upcoming changes simplify and refine the process of obtaining a driving licence. From June 1, 2024, they can take driving tests at authorised private training centres, reducing the need to visit RTOs. The paperwork will be more straightforward, with clear guidance on required documents provided beforehand. While the application process remains available both online and in-person, there will be stricter penalties for driving without a valid licence, including significant fines for minors. To sum up, these adjustments aim to make getting a licence more convenient and efficient.

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