Driving Licence: How to apply for driving license online, download soft copy, and more

As many as 18 driving licence services are available online.

Driving Licence aka DL is a legal permit for people to drive two-wheelers or four-wheelers on the roads. In India, as you may know, the permit is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) of that particular state. The age for obtaining a driving licence for any vehicle with gear is set at 18 years or older, while the licence for a gearless vehicle such as moped or scooty (with a capacity of up to 50cc) can be availed from age 16. A provisional licence or learner’s licence is issued first, followed by a permanent driving licence after 30 days and a test. MoRTH recently issued Aadhaar-based authentication for 18 DL services online, which include learner’s licence, licence renewal, and duplicate licence. This will eliminate the applicants’ need to visit a local RTO. Read on to find out how to apply for driving license online, download a soft copy, renew DL, and more.

From July 1st onwards, individuals in India can acquire a driving licence without undertaking a driving test at any Regional Transport Office (RTO). For this, candidates will have to apply for a driving course at accredited driver training centres, and once the test is cleared, they will be exempted from the driving test at the time of obtaining a driving licence.

How to apply for driving license online

You can apply for a learner’s driving license online using a central government portal called Parivahan.

How to apply learner’s driving license

  • Fire up your browser and visit https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/
  • Hover your cursor to ‘Online Services’ next to the About Us section
  • Select ‘Driving License Related service’ from the drop-down menu
  • Select the state where you want to apply for the driving license from the following screen
  • A message will pop-up, giving you a brief on the services you can avail yourself online without going down to the RTO office
  • Click on the ‘cross’ to close that message and look for ‘Apply for Learner License’
  • Next, fill in the details, upload the required documents, pay the fees, and take the test, (if required)
  • After this, you’ll get the learner’s licence

The online facility is available across 31 states in the country, including Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh (AP), Assam, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh (MP).

How to apply for permanent driving license online

After 30 days of learner’s driving license, you can apply for the permanent license from the same Parivahan portal.

  • Visit https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/ again and select ‘Driving License Related service’ from the ‘Online Services’ drop-down menu
  • Enter the state and this time select ‘Apply for Driving License’
  • Fill in your details, upload necessary documents, make the payment, and book the test slot
  • If cleared, the permanent driving license is sent to your address via registered post.
  • Otherwise, you’ll have to fill out the form, make the payment, and appear for the test again after seven days. That’s the rule for most states

The application for a permanent driving licence must be filed within 180 days from the issue date of the Learner’s licence.

How to renew driving licence

The Parivahan portal can be used for various other things, including duplicate DL, change of address, international driving permit, update mobile number, and check application and payment status, as well as DL renewal.

  • To renew your driving licence online, go to Parivahan portal –> ‘Driving License Related service’ under ‘Online Services’ –> and select State.
  • Click ‘Apply for DL Renewal’
  • Fill in your details, upload documents, photos, and signature, book a driving licence test slot (if required)
  • Proceed to pay the fees and print the receipt
  • A renewed driving licence will be issued to you

How to check driving licence status

How to apply for driving license -- Check driving licence status
  • Head over to the Parivahan and click on ‘Application Status’ under ‘Online Services’ –> ‘Driving License Related service’.
  • Enter the application number and DoB
  • Click on ‘Submit’ to know the status of your driving licence

How to download driving licence soft copy

You can download the soft copy of your driving licence on your mobile phone using the government’s mParivahan or DigiLocker app. For this, you need to have a registered mobile number.

  • If you’re using a DigiLocker app Create account or sign-in, if you’ve already registered, using the same mobile number that is there on the Driving License database
  • Go to ‘Browse’, which should be the third option on the bottom menu, and search driving licence
  • Select the state that has issued you the driving licence
  • Enter the Driving License number and hit Get Document
  • You’ll get a soft copy of your driving licence. This soft copy is at par with the original document as per IT Act
  • Next, go to ‘Issued Document’ and tap on the three-dot icon and select ‘Download’ to save it on your mobile phone as PDF, XML, and JSON

You can also use the DigiLocker and mParivahan apps to digitally store other documents such as Aadhaar, vehicle registration, PAN, education certificates, and more.

FAQs

Types of DL in India

There are basically two types of DL in India: learner’s and permanent, for all categories of vehicles. These categories are:

Vehicle TypeEligibility
Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50 cc or less than 50 cc
  • 16 years or older
  • Consent of parent or guardian if the age is less than 18
Motorcycles with gear, motorcycles with a capacity of 50 cc or more, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) including cars
  • 18 years or older
Heavy Commercial vehicles
  • 18 years or older
  • Cleared the 8th standard


Additionally, an applicant must be conversant with traffic rules and regulations. He/ She should also hold a valid age and address proof. In case, you’re over 50 years of age, you’ll be required to produce a medical certificate.

Documents required for driving licence

  • Permanent Proof of address, which can be any one of the following: Aadhaar card, Passport, Voter ID card, Self-owned house agreement, Electricity bill
  • If the current address is different from permanent, a rental agreement or LPG bill would be required
  • Age Proof: Aadhaar and Passport should do, but carry your class 10th certificate (if available) as well
  • Carry class 8th certificate, if you’re applying for heavy commercial vehicles driving license

Validity of a driving license

A permanent driving license usually has a validity of 20 years from the date of issue or till the holder attains 50 years of age, whichever is earlier. That said, a driving licence for commercial vehicles must be renewed after every three years.

Aadhaar-based DL services you can avail online

  • Learner’s licence
  • Renewal of driving licence for which test of competence to drive is not required
  • Duplicate driving licence
  • Change of address in driving licence and certificate of registration
  • Issue of international driving permit
  • Surrender of class of vehicle from licence
  • Application for temporary registration of motor vehicle
  • Application for registration of motor vehicle with fully built body
  • Application for issue of duplicate certificate of registration
  • Application for grant of NOC for certificate of registration
  • Notice of transfer of ownership of motor vehicle
  • Application for transfer of ownership of motor vehicle
  • Intimation of change of address in certificate of registration
  • Application for registration for driver training from accredited driver training centre
  • Application for registration of motor vehicle of diplomatic officer
  • Application for assignment of fresh registration mark of motor vehicle of diplomatic officer
  • Endorsement of hire-purchase agreement
  • Termination of hire-purchase agreement