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How to apply for a Smart Card Driving License

How to apply for a Smart Card Driving License

Till a few years ago, my Driving License came in the form of a booklet. These booklets were prone to wear, tear, and damage. The state Regional Transport Offices (RTO) later started granting Driving Licenses in the form of a card. Nowadays, rectangular cards are getting replaced by the Smart Card Driving License.

How to apply for a Smart Card Driving License
Apply for Smart Card Driving License

WHAT IS A SMART CARD DRIVING LICENSE?

The government introduced Smart Cards for Driving Licenses in September 2013. While earlier driving licenses were issued in the name of the state, the smart card is issued in the name of the government of India. All driving licenses now issued in most Indian states are in the form of a smart card. If you still have a booklet or normal card license, you can apply to convert it to a smart card.

A smart card Driving License is a tamper-proof plastic card with an embedded microprocessor chip of 64 kb memory that stores all your information. It comes with several security features such as patterns of colors, design, logo, hologram, etc to ensure that the card cannot be duplicated.

Driving license holders can convert their paper driving licenses to smart cards by paying Rs 200. The smart card is far superior to the earlier licenses. The smart card holds all your biometric information such as your blood group, thumb & fingerprint, body marks, etc. Your RTO also holds the same data.

Traffic officers have special readers to read and verify data stored on your card.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A SMART CARD DRIVING LICENSE?

A smart card comes with many benefits as all the information is stored electronically. 

  • It stores all your details such as your signature, photograph, biometrics, and demographics. 
  • There is no chance of such information getting tampered with as they are in an electronic form, readable only on specific devices
  • The State Transport Departments that offer these smart cards also provide traffic police officers with unique systems to decode the Driving License holder’s information instantly
  • Having a smart card Driving License prevents fake licenses
  • Unlike a booklet or paper card, the Smart Card does not tear or easily damage.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A SMART CARD DRIVING LICENSE?

If you are eligible for a driving license and are applying for a new one, you will most likely be issued a smart card. If you have an old paper or plastic card, you can convert it to a smart card. To get a license – a smart card or otherwise: 

  • You should be 18 years old if you want a Smart Card license to ride a geared motorcycle with an engine capacity of more than 50 cc
  • You must have completed 16 years of age if you wish to ride a gearless bike with an engine capacity of up to 50cc. You must also procure a consent letter from your parents/guardian
  • For commercial vehicles, you should be above 18 years and have completed 8th standard

WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD YOU CARRY WHILE OBTAINING A SMART CARD DRIVING LICENSE?

The following are the documents that you will need for a new Smart Card Driving License. 

  • Age proof (birth certificate, PAN card, school certificate, passport)
  • Address proof (Utility bills, payslips, bank passbook, ration card, voter ID, passport, life insurance policy)
  • An Aadhaar card is mandatory
  • Current residence proof

The state RTO centers or portals provide the following forms: 

  • Application form (Read more about Driving License and the forms required)
  • Physical fitness declaration
  • Application for grant of Driving License
  • Medical certificate form
  • 1 passport-sized photograph
  • If you are a diplomat/foreigner/physically disabled/refugee, carry the following documents: Passport copy
  • Visa copy
  • Citizenship proof
  • Resident permit proof
  • Medical certificate from the native country
  • Physically challenged certificate
  • Diplomat proof
  • Learner’s license copy

WHAT ARE THE SMART CARD DRIVING LICENSE FEES?

The fees for a Smart Card license are Rs 200. But do check with your state RTO for the exact charges.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A SMART CARD DRIVING LICENSE ONLINE?

  • Select your state
  • Choose the new Driving License option from the drop-down menu
  • Click Continue
  • Choose from Learner’s License/ Foreign Driving License/ Defence license
  • Based on what you select above, you will have to provide your Learner’s License details/ Foreign Driving License Details (as well as passport and visa information)/ Defence License details
  • Enter your date of birth and click ok
  • Next, add your details like name, age, address, class of vehicle, immediate family member data, educational qualification, and blood group, and click submit
  • You will receive an Application number. Note it down for completing the remaining steps
  • Upload your supporting documents like ID, date of birth and address proofs, your learner’s license copy, foreign Driving License copy if you are a diplomat/refugee/foreigner, physically challenged certificate, passport copy, visa copy, the medical certificate from your practitioner
  • Upload your photo and signature by entering the application number and date of birth
  • Book a slot for your Driving License test by adding your application number and date of birth
  • Enter your application number and birth date to make the payment for your class of vehicle
  • You can get the payment done by net banking or credit/debit card. Foreigners/diplomats/refugees can make payments through MasterCard/VISA
  • Once you pay the amount, check all your details and submit
  • Quote the reference number when you visit the RTO for your examination

HOW TO ACQUIRE A SMART CARD DL OFFLINE?

  • The process is simple and may involve two visits to the RTO and a practical exam. Go to the RTO near you and obtain the application form, physical fitness declaration form, medical certificate form
  • Fill up all the forms and submit them to the RTO executive along with your relevant documents
  • Attach your passport-sized photographs
  • Pay the fee for the type of vehicle you wish to drive and collect the payment slip from the RTO executive
  • Book a slot for your test as per your schedule
  • Appear for the exam on time. Give a written exam followed by an interview to gauge your knowledge about road rules and safety. Then take your practical exam, which will test your driving skills on the RTO track.
  • If you pass the test, you will have to submit your biometrics, including your photo and fingerprints.
  • You will receive your Driving License the next day between 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM. In case you fail, you can appear for the test after 7 days

HOW TO CONVERT A PAPER OR PLASTIC CARD DRIVING LICENSE TO SMART CARD?

If you have a booklet or PVC card Driving License, you can convert it to Smart Card by applying for it. Go to the RTO that issued your driving license and ask for a form to upgrade your license. Fill up the form and submit the documents required such as existing Driving License, address proof, and any other documents sought by the RTO.

The RTO executive will cross-check the documents and take your biometrics (photograph and fingerprint scan).

Pay a fee of INR 200. Keep the receipt handy, as that will function as your license till the Smart Card arrives.

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