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-
- Identity Proofs
- Voter ID
- Age Proofs
- Birth Certificate
- School Certificate with printed D.O.B.
- PAN card
- Voter ID
- Address Proofs
- Electricity Bills
- Voter ID
- Ration Card
- LIC Bond
- Rental Agreements/Property Papers
- Medical Certificate, if applicable
- Self-declaration of medical fitness
- 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|
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.