Every driver of a vehicle must hold a valid license to drive a vehicle in India. The license is issued by the Regional Transport Authority Office. Driving without a license is among the major traffic violation
Anyone interested to acquire a driving license must enrol in a driving training establishment and take lessons from an authorized trainer in a vehicle of his choice. In order to train as a driver, you must get a Learner’s License from the Regional Transport Office before commencing with your lessons.
After completing the driving training course, you will be required to appear for a test before the officer of the Regional Transport Office. This test includes both practical and theoretical aspects which the prospective must be able clear.
The practical test is the actual test of driving that the candidate needs to undertake. The theoretical test is the test of your knowledge of the traffic rules and traffic signs on the road. Once you pass these tests you will get a driving license from the Regional Transport Office.
There are different categories of driving licenses which is based on the different types and categories of vehicles. Like trucks, cars and two-wheelers etc. have different types of licenses.
A driving license is issued for a definite period. For cars, etc. the validity of the license will be for 20 years with a grace period of 30 days for renewal. For commercial vehicles, the validity of the license will be for 3 years only.
The holder of any driving license will have to renew the license before the expiry date to be able to keep on driving on the Indian roads.
Once you hold a valid license through the procedure stated above you are ready to drive the vehicle of your choice on any Indian road.
There are many who do not follow this procedure but learn driving from a relative or driver by using their family car or two-wheeler. Many learning driving in this way often never bother to acquire a learner’s license which by itself is an offence too.
Driving a vehicle without a license in India is a gross traffic violation. This traffic violation will immediately attract a fine for driving without license. Anyone driving with a license that has expired is also indulging in an illegal act.
Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the fine for driving without license was Rs. 500. Thus, the no license fine was never a proper deterrent for traffic violations. Even if any driver was caught by the police for driving without a license that driver promptly paid the without license fine and escaped scot-free.
It was very difficult for the police to enforce errant drivers driving without a license to make them secure a proper license.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Government of India realized the gravity of the problem of enforcing traffic laws on Indian roads. They designed changes in the existing provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. Such changes were made to effectively curb the traffic violations on the Indian roads.
Also, to strengthen the hands of the law enforcing authorities like the city or the district police officials, amendments in the fine structure was due for a very long time.
From September 2019, the amended Motor Vehicles Act became effective. At present the penalty for driving without a license is Rs. 5000. Every time a driver is caught by the police for driving without a license, he or she will be liable to pay this penalty.
With the new traffic laws in place from 2019, the law enforcing authorities expects that the traffic violations will come down sharply.
The penalty for driving without a license has been increased ten folds from a mere Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000. The drivers driving without a license should feel the pinch of the punishment and will be forced to change their attitude.
This new traffic rules should also generate awareness of the dangers of driving without a license to the drivers.
The Indian roads have accidents which are considered to be very high when compared with other countries. Following the new traffic rules will mean fewer traffic violations. This, in turn, will save many lives. Every life is important to the country. So, follow the law to be safe and save a life.