Having applied for a fresh Karnataka Driving License recently in Bangalore, I thought I should share the procedure with all of you, so you don’t waste your time and patience there trying to figure out where to go and what to do. And most importantly, these steps will help you go through the process yourself, rather than taking the help of any touts or agents.
Following are the main steps:
1. Identify your respective RTO
2. Apply for a Learner’s License (LL)
3. One month waiting period where you must learn to drive the car
4. Apply for a Driving License (DL)
5. Collecting the DL
The next sections will cover these steps in detail.
Step 1: Identify your RTO
You can get the list of all the RTO offices in Bangalore along with their complete address here: http://www.bangalorecircle.com/pages/DIR/RTOoffices.html
If you are confused about which RTO your area falls under, you can refer to this link to identify your respective RTO: http://transport.karnataka.gov.in/index.php/information/details/jurisdictions
Since I applied for my DL at the Koramangala RTO (located in Koramangala BDA Complex), I will provide instructions with reference to that particular RTO.
Step 2: Applying for the LL
You need to go to the RTO with the following documents:
1. Three recent passport size photos
2. Address proof (Ration card, Passport, etc.) (copy as well as original)
3. Age proof (Birth certificate, PAN card, etc.) (copy as well as original)
With these documents, go to the helpdesk which is on the second floor of Koramangala BDA Complex. Take CMV Form 2 from there (or download it from here) and fill it up. Next, go to the RTO cash counter which is in Room No. 12, pay Rs. 30 per LL and get the receipt printout. Note that if you’re applying for, say, both two-wheeler and four-wheeler LL at once, you need to take two receipts of Rs. 30 each, so explain to the person at the counter accordingly.
On the CMV Form 2, you need to tick all the vehicle categories for which you need the license (e.g two-wheeler with gear, light motor vehicle, etc.).
Next, attach copies of all the above mentioned documents to the CMV Form 2 and go to the Assistant RTO Officer’s cabin. He will verify the documents with their originals and then sign on the CMV Form 2. Then, you need to go to Room No. 2, where another person will ask you to explain the traffic signs and driving rules as specified in the Indian Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. After that, he will sign on the form too.
Now, you need to go to Room No. 12 again and submit it at the LL counter to the right of the ARTO’s cabin. After an hour or so, you will get your LL, which is basically a sheet of paper with your photo and other details of your license application. It also mentions the validity period of the LL, which is six months from the date of application.
UPDATE: You can now even apply for the LL online! You need to visit this link, go through the instructions and then click on the “Apply online” link on the left side panel. I am not giving any more details as everything is self-explanatory if you follow the instructions on the link.
Step 3: Waiting period of one month
There is a waiting period of one month after you get the LL, after which you can apply for the actual DL. This is to enable you to learn to drive the vehicle properly under the guidance of another valid DL holder.
Following are the rules for this period:
1. Always carry your LL with you
2. Never drive the vehicle alone. You are supposed to be accompanied by another person who has a valid DL for that type of vehicle
3. Put a red “L” sticker on the front and back of the vehicle, which will warn others that you are a learner
4. Do not concentrate on ABC (accelerator-brake-clutch) of driving alone! Imbibe the finer points of driving as well, such as lane discipline, respecting traffic signals, giving way to others, not honking indiscriminately, etc.
Step 4: Applying for the DL
Now comes the real test! After you have completed the minimum one month waiting period, you are eligible to apply for the DL. For this, you have to give a driving test in front of a Driving Inspector and he has to be satisfied that you have learnt to drive the vehicle properly.
You again need to carry three passport size photos for this. First, go to the helpdesk as before and take CMV Form 4, one for each class of vehicle for which you are taking the license (don’t forget this, or else you will have to run around again later), or download here. So if you’re applying for both two-wheeler and four-wheeler simultaneously, as I did, you have to fill the CMV Form 4 in duplicate. In this form, you have to fill in the requested info and also provide your LL number.
You also have to take CMV Form 7 (for issuing PVC card DL) from the cabin to the right of the ARTO’s cabin in Room No. 12 and fill it up (only once, even if you’re applying for more than one class of vehicle license). Next, go to the RTO cash counter in the same room and pay Rs. 215 for the PVC card (smart card type) DL, and Rs. 50 each for the driving test for every class of vehicle. In my case, the total was Rs. 315 (Rs. 215 for plastic DL, Rs. 50 x 2 for DL test for two- and four-wheeler).
Now, you again need to go to the ARTO’s cabin with CMV Form 4(s), Form 7, your LL(s) and payment receipt(s) all attached together. He will verify everything and then sign on the Form 4(s).
Next, you need to go to the DL section which is the same place from where you took the Form 7 (room to the right of the ARTO’s cabin). There, your picture will be taken on the webcam, your fingerprints will be scanned, and you will be asked to sign using an electronic pen on a pad. All this will be recorded electronically on the RTO’s computers, and will appear on your actual DL.
Then, you need to go to another desk which is on the left of the ARTO’s cabin, where you need to show them the signed CMV Form 4 and payment receipts, and they will enter it into the system (don’t ask me why it’s like this!!). Then they will put a stamp on your CMV Form 4 that says “Back entry done”. Ensure that your photo, fingerprints and signature are taken before you come here, or else the system will not accept your form.
Once this is done, you need to go for the driving test. The Driving Inspector will be sitting on the ground floor of the Koramangala BDA Complex. Go to him with all your forms attached, and with the original documents (including Emission Certificate(s)) of the vehicle(s) for which you are applying for the license. Note that if you’re applying for both two- and four-wheeler, you need to bring both the vehicles with you (so you need a friend/relative to come with you, obviously), and you also need to get the original documents of both vehicles. Also note that you may need to arrange for your own vehicles; you may or may not be allowed to borrow another person’s vehicle, as the Inspector may not allow it for some really strange, inexplicable reason!
Once the driving test is done, the Inspector will take all the forms from you, sign on them and keep them with him. You don’t have any proofs/receipts with you at this point, which I find rather strange (’cause what if he loses your form?). After a couple of days, you can come and collect your DL. Note that in Koramangala RTO, they issue DLs only on Fridays between 4-5 PM, so you can’t collect it on any other day.
It may also happen that the Inspector is not satisfied with your driving for whatever reason. Perhaps you genuinely made a mistake during the test (didn’t give necessary signals, didn’t follow rules, etc.), or perhaps the Inspector just wants you to grease his palm. If it’s the former reason, he’ll ask you to reappear for the test after a week’s gap. If it’s the latter, the decision is yours as to whether you want to pay him off or complain to the authorities (Lok Ayukta or RTI may help you here).
Step 5: Collecting the DL
Once you collect your DL on the given date, remember to verify it on the spot for any mistakes. Ensure that your name, date of birth, address, parents’ name, etc. are correct. If not, bring it to their notice immediately. Perhaps you may need to pay Rs. 215 again for a fresh plastic card, as the present rules are such that you pay even if the mistake is theirs!
This is how a Karnataka DL looks like (currently):
Hope this information was helpful! Please let me know if I’ve missed out any details, or if any information is erroneous.
- Karnataka RTO website: http://transport.karnataka.gov.in/
- Do’s and Don’ts of DL & LL: http://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/440-driving-license-help-440
- Traffic Rules & Regulations: http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.gov.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82&btp=82
- Traffic Signs: http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.gov.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78&btp=78
- CMV Form 2: http://transport.karnataka.gov.in/uploads/files/form2.pdf
- CMV Form 4: http://transport.karnataka.gov.in/uploads/files/form4.pdf
- Bangalore Traffic Police website: http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.gov.in