The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced new rules that permit the issuance of driving license (DL) without driving tests. The applicants will be given high-quality driving courses and after clearing the test, they won’t be further asked to take driving tests at the time of getting the licence.
The centre has empowered accredited driver training centres to issue the DLs to eligible candidates after successful completion of training. The said centres can be either run by the state transport authority or the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The new rules come into place from July 1, 2022. These DLs will have a validity of five years, after which they have to be renewed.
Section 3 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1998 mandates the following:
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place unless he holds an effective driving licence issued to him authorising him to drive the vehicle; and no person shall so drive a transport vehicle [other than 1[a motor cab or motor cycle] hired for his own use or rented under any scheme made under sub-section (2) of Section 75] unless his driving licence specifically entitles him so to do.
(2) The conditions subject to which sub-section (1) shall not apply to a person receiving instructions in driving a motor vehicle shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Section 4 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1998 lays down the eligibility criteria for those who can get a driving licence—those owning a two-wheeler below 50cc should be 16 years old, those who own any other vehicle must be 18 years old and those who apply for a driving license for a transport vehicle should be 20 years old.
People applying for DLs will have to get themselves enrolled at any driver training centre which have been mentioned and upon competition, they will have to appear in a test. Once cleared, the centre will issue a certificate. Upon receiving the certificate, applicants can apply for a driving licence, which will be issued based on the training certificate, without any test at the RTO.
It must be noted that the dedicated training centres will be equipped with simulators and will have driving test tracks. These centres can train for light motor vehicles and medium and heavy vehicles. The total training duration for LMVs will be 29 hours, to be completed within four weeks. The training centres will provide both theoretical and practical knowledge.
Lack of proper knowledge and competency is considered to be major issues on Indian roads and a large number of road accidents occur due to these issues and lack of regulations. The centres are allowed to provide industry specific specialised training as well.
Over the years, India has come to be known as one of them most challenging places to drive in the world as drivers are apathetic.
—By Shashank Rai and India Legal Bureau