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How to obtain a commercial driving licence in India

Until recently, a commercial driving licence was mandatory for all those wanting to drive any type of commercial vehicle. In fact, in order to obtain a commercial driving licence, an individual needed to wait for a year after holding a private driving licence. However, in April 2018, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued an advisory to all the state governments, ordering compliance to the Supreme Court ruling in July 2017 where the requirements for a commercial licence for those driving taxis, three-wheelers, e-rickshaws, and two-wheelers for those delivering food and other logistical items, was no longer necessary. This has played a key role in opening up employment opportunities for lakhs of Indians. The Motor Vehicle Amendment Act passed in 2016 has also helped in strengthening the driver training process.

Those driving trucks, buses, and other heavy commercial vehicles would still need to hold a valid commercial driving licence.

Acquire your Driving Skills First

If you do not know how to drive a vehicle, start by first enrolling into a motor training school. The majority of driving schools will assist you in obtaining a learner’s licence. This is the first step in acquiring your driving skills before you appear for your driver's test. Within 30 days of the issuance of the learner's licence, you will have to complete your driving test which will include an examination of your practical driving skills and your knowledge of traffic rules and regulations. Once the licence test is over and the four-wheeler driving test has been successfully completed in the presence of the RTO, you will be able to formally get a permanent private driving licence.

Training towards getting a Commercial Driving Licence

Even though you may be a well-trained driver, you would still require training on how to drive commercial vehicles before you start operating one. There may only be a select few driving schools that might be able to offer you this training service. Maruti Suzuki Driving School is one such driving school that provides you with heavy vehicle training lessons. For this, you will have to get an additional learner's licence that is valid for a period of six months, which is the time period allocated to you to prepare yourself for heavy vehicles.

Types of Learner's Licences for Commercial Vehicles

The heavy vehicle that you wish to drive determines the type of learner's licence you should apply for. Learner's licences applicable for commercial use are as follows:

  • 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 Motor Vehicle
  • LMV – NT vehicle class for Light Motor Vehicles used for non-transport purposes
  • MGV vehicle class for Medium Goods Vehicle

Who are eligible to obtain a commercial licence?

While a lot of the requirements are similar to those for obtaining a private driving licence, here are some guidelines that may differ: -

  • The applicant has to be 18 years of age. In some states, the minimum age requirement may be as high as 22 years
  • The applicant should have cleared their Class 8 examinations which is the minimum education requirement
  • The applicant needs to clear a written test before they become eligible to acquire a commercial licence
  • The applicant should have received training from a Government Motor School. Alternatively, a school affiliated to the state government will also serve the purpose

The Documentation and Application Process

There are several documents that are required to be submitted prior to applying for a licence. These include:

  • Passport, Ration card, Voter ID, Aadhaar card or utility bills in the applicant’s name can serve as proof of address
  • Passport, PAN card, Voter ID, Aadhaar card, Birth certificate or class 10th mark sheet may act as identity proof
  • Forms 2, 1A and 5 must be duly filled
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Application fee

The application can be made online through the Sarathi website. However, if an offline application is what suits your needs, then visit the nearest RTO office and submit all the required documents along with the application fee.

For both these application processes, you will receive an acknowledgement with a serial number on the mobile phone number that you have registered. This is typically in the form of an SMS.


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