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7 Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Commercial Driving Licence (CDL) in India

  • Written by admin / May 28, 2021

For businesses that deal in transportation and logistics, it is crucial that their operations follow all the compliances. If any business doesn’t follow these norms and rules set by the government of India, it can lead to legal problems and huge fines. To guarantee that goods travel from one location to another safely, these businesses must make sure that individuals that are driving their commercials vehicles are holders of a valid commercial vehicle license in India.

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a person without a legitimate driving license is not allowed to drive any vehicle in India, and driving commercial vehicles requires a CDL. If you are a part of any such business or want to apply for your own CDL, this article is for you. Here, we will discuss the commonly asked question about Commercial Driving Licence in India. So, let’s get started.

7 FAQ’s About Getting a Commercial Driving Licence (CDL) in India

Getting a CDL in India requires qualifying for a driving test along with passing the eligibility criteria set by the government of India. Here a few commonly asked question about CDL in India:

1. What is a Commercial Driving Licence (CDL)?

A commercial driving licence is a document issued by RTOs (regional transport offices) in states of India to candidates who qualify to drive a commercial vehicle in the country. These commercial vehicles can be trucks or any other vehicles for the transportation of goods or taxis like Uber or Ola.

A person that requires to drive any type of commercial vehicle (which is registered for commercial use to transport people or goods) needs to have a valid CDL. RTOs issue this type of licence, only after a candidate submits essential documents and qualifies for the driver’s test. There are several types of CDLs depending upon the type of vehicle a person needs to drive, ranging from LMV to HMV.

2.How Many Types of CDLs are there in India?

As mentioned earlier, there are several types of commercial driving licences in India ranging from a light motor vehicle driving licence to a heavy motor vehicle driving license. Below mentioned are types of commercial driving licences one can apply for in India:

  • LMV (for light motor vehicles like taxis, cars, vans, etc.)
  • HMV (for heavy motor vehicles)
  • HPMV (for heavy passenger motor vehicle)
  • MGV (for medium goods vehicles)
  • HGMV (for heavy goods motor vehicles)
  • Trailers (for heavy trailers)
  • HTV (for heavy transport vehicles)

3. How Can I Apply for a CDL?

There are two methods to apply for a CDL in India.

  • Online Process:

To apply online for a commercial driving license, you need to visit the Sarathi website. You can download the form from there, fill it with all the essential details and upload it on the website. Here is the step-by-step process:

  • Register on the Sarathi website
  • Download the required application form
  • Update necessary information and your photographs
  • If you need a CDL for a heavy vehicle, provide your driver refresher training certificate
  • Once you complete your training, a serial number will be issued on your mobile number.
  • Attend the test as per the schedule and get your licence once you qualify.
  • Offline Process:

Visit your nearest RTO and ask for the form to apply for a CDL. Fill the form and submit it with all the required documents. Once you submit that, they will issue a serial number to your application using which you can take the driving test. Complete your training and qualify for the test. Once you pass the required test, the RTO office will post your CDL to your address.

If at any step, you want to check the status of your application, just go to the Sarthi website by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and check it

4.What is the Eligibility Criteria for Applying for a CDL?

If you want to apply for a CDL, you must check your eligibility first that depends on the below mentioned factors:

Age: Usually, the minimum age requirement to apply for a CDL is 18 years. However, it can vary in a few states of India. For example, to apply for a CDL in Haryana and Punjab, one must be 20 years old and should have passed at least class 8.

Skills training: To get a CDL, a candidate must undergo training from a government driving school or from a school that has its tie up with the government.

Education: As mentioned earlier, a candidate should have passed at least class 8 and must possess the ability to understand and read numerous traffic signs.

Learner’s licence: A learner licence is given to candidates once they pass their writing test so that they can practice driving. It is basically issued for a specific period of time so that candidates can train themselves in driving.

5. What Happens If You Misplace Your CDL?

If you misplace your CDL, file an FIR immediately. After you file an FIR, go to your RTO and apply for a duplicate licence. You will be asked to write a letter to the RTO head alongside the application form for getting the duplicate CDL issued. It is prudent to attach a stamped affidavit that informs about your misplacement of CDL and that you have already filed an FIR.

6. How Can I get a Duplicate CDL?

As described in the last question, you must file an FIR promptly if your CDL gets lost.

After filling the FIR, prepare a signed affidavit stating that your CDL is misplaced and you have already documented an FIR. Whenever that is done, you need to submit both the documents to the RTO, along with the following mentioned documents:

  • Application form
  • Photostat of the original CDL
  • Proof of identity
  • Passport sized photographs

If you have applied for a duplicate CDL because your original one is damaged or torn, you must submit the above mentioned documents alongside the original CDL in its ravaged state.

If you fail your CDL test, you can reattempt the test after 7 days. Also note that the CDL is valid in all states of India, regardless of the state it was issued in.

Wrapping Up

Getting a license for commercial driving isn’t as hard as it sounds, however you do need to procure it. You simply need to ensure you are completely trained and competent, pass the test, and the licence will be yours! Besides, You should ensure you carry every one of the obligatory documents, including car insurance, and other vehicle related permits.