Procuring a Commercial Driving License in India

Published on 28 Jul, 2021, 6:08 AM IST
Updated on 6 Jun, 2022, 1:28 PM IST

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Driving a Commercial Vehicle is a lucrative business, which requires having a commercial Driving License (DL). A businessman handling a transport or a freight business may face issues different than a person owning a private vehicle. In this article, we will discuss the process and documents required for acquiring a commercial DL in India.

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What is a Commercial Driver’s license?

A commercial license or a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is an important government authorized document. It is required for people who wish to enter the transportation industry, may be as a car, truck or a bus driver. A commercial driving License is similar to a usual driving License but for driving commercial vehicles.

The procedure for acquiring the license is easy. A commercial license is not issued until you pass the necessary tests that measure your knowledge about various laws for driving commercial vehicles.

A Regional Transport Office (RTO) is responsible for issuing a CDL. Other responsibilities of an RTO includes collecting vehicle tax, issuing personalized registrations and maintaining a record of drivers and cars.

Eligibility Criteria for Commercial Driving License

In order to be eligible for having a commercial license, the below criteria have to be met:

  • Age: The minimum age to apply for a CDL is 18 to 22 years, depending on the rules and regulations of the state.

  • Education: Every applicant should have passed at least class 8. It is mandatory to have a minute level of intelligence and memory to process the different signs and rules.

  • Learner’s License: A Learner’s license is mandatory for any driver who wishes to apply for a commercial license. LL authorizes an individual to drive a car for a certain period to learn how to drive. LL is issued after passing the written test.

  • Training: It is mandatory for the applicant to be trained from a Government Motor School. A Motor school tied-up with State Government can also serve the purpose.

  • Driving Test: The applicant’s driving skills will be tested and if they clear the test to the satisfaction of the presiding officer, he/she will receive his/her commercial driver’s license.

Documents Required for Commercial Driving License

Please make sure that you have the following documents before you apply for CDL:

  • Address Proof (Passport, ration card, voter id, aadhaar card or utility bills in the applicant’s name)

  • Identity Proof (Passport, PAN card, voter id, aadhaar card, birth certificate or 10th grade mark sheet)

  • Form 2

  • Form 1A

  • Form 5

  • Passport size photographs

  • Application Fee

How to Apply for Commercial Driving License

One can apply for a Commercial Driving License via Online or Offline application. To initiate the process, an online or offline application has to be submitted along with the necessary documents. Here is how to apply for a CDL:

  • Online Application: You can apply online for a commercial license. You can also download the application form, fill it completely and then upload it on the website. The following are the steps involved in applying for your commercial license:

  • Log on to the website and apply: You would have to log into the Sarathi website in India and download the required application form which is Form 4. Necessary photographs and information needs to be updated to proceed to the next step.

  • Medical Certificates and Form: The second step is filling up Form 1A. In case you intend to process a commercial license for a heavy vehicle then a Driver Refresher Training Certificate has to be furnished.

  • Submission of Form No.5: You will need to pursue training from a Government Driving School or the one authorized by the State Government. This institute will provide you with the necessary details for filling form 5.

  • Acknowledgement: Once these formalities have been completed, you will receive a serial number on your registered mobile number.

  • Driving test: You will then have to attend the test.

Offline Application:

Applying for a CDL offline is not as tedious as you would expect it to be. Here are the steps that you need to follow to get a commercial driver’s license.

  • Visit the nearest RTO office

  • Collect the required forms from the nearest RTO.

  • Medical Certificates and Form

  • Form 1A and Driver Refresher Training Certificate need to be submitted at the RTO.

  • Form No. 5: A formal training for driving needs to be completed from a Government Driving School or from an institute authorized by the State Government. You will receive the details to fill Form 5 from this training institute.

  • Documents submission: Ensure that all the documents mentioned above are submitted and attached to the Forms.

  • Acknowledgement: Once the forms and documents have been submitted, then you will receive a serial number on your mobile phone.

  • Driving Test: Next step is undertaking a driving test to become a commercial license.

What Happens If You Lose the Commercial License?

If you lose your Commercial license, it is advised that you report it immediately by filing an FIR. Then you can go back to the zonal regional transport authority to renew the CDL. It would be advisable to write a letter to notify that you lost your Commercial license. It is also advisable to get a stamped affidavit to notify that you’ve lost your commercial license and that you have registered a first information report for the same reason.

Also, read: Driving Licence (DL) renewal: Online and offline process

How to Get a Duplicate Commercial License?

After losing your original commercial license, you can get a duplicate license from the zonal transport offices across India. You can also get a duplicate commercial license if the original one is torn or has been stolen. If you have the affidavit and FIR ready, all you need to do is produce all the required documents and obtain a duplicate license from the officer. In all these circumstances, the following documents will be required in order to get a duplicate.

  • Application form 2

  • First Instance Report (FIR). If your commercial license was stolen or torn, you will require an NCR form.

  • You will have to present the original license if it is torn, soiled or mutilated.

  • Photocopies of your original commercial license. So always ensure that you have photocopies made of the same once you receive it.

  • Details of the license – Kindly mention every detail on the license. The serial numbers, the birth details and the time it was issued along with how it was lost.

  • Passport size photographs

  • Age proof

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