Getting my driving license

Note:This post was completed over a span of 4 months. I started with it on 19th July 2010 and got busy and this post remained an unpublished draft. One bright not-so-sunny day i.e. today, 7th November 2010, I decided to come out of hibernation and hence this post was completed.

Recently, I got my driving license made. It was simple but it would be much simpler if you're prepared for what you'll have to face at the Transport Office. I was fortunate enough to have a Zonal Transport Office (Raja Garden) really close to my house. Getting a driving license basically involves 2 steps. You first needs to get a learner license made and then the next step is getting a permanent license.

Learner License
I went to the transport office a day before I got my learner license made to get the form and the guide to road signs and traffic rules they give along with the form. The Zonal Transport office opens at 8:30 am and unlike other Government offices, it isn't too crowded and you don't have to wait for too long for anything. I applied for a license to drive a LMV(Light Motor Vehicle) and a Motorcycle with gear so the fees for a learner license was Rs60. I deposited my fees after getting my documents verified. The documents required were an address proof and an age proof. I used my passport as both. After paying the fees, I was sent to a counter where a guy was making entries for learner license applicants in a register. After that, I was sent in a room for a learner license test. A test for colorblindness was conducted before the test on traffic signs and rules. The question bank for the computerized learner license test can be found on the Delhi Govt. Transport Department website. The test was pretty simple apart from a question which said-

What is the minimum age required to get a transport license?

Now, why is person who is getting a license to drive non-commercial vehicles supposed to know that! ? I pretty much got all answers correct, passed the test and was asked to collect my learner license later that day.

Permanent License
Once you get your learner license, you can apply for a permanent license between 1 to 6 months of the issue of the learners license. I utilised the 1 month gap the way it is supposed to be used and improved my driving skills in that period. As soon as the 1 month was over, i went to the Zonal Transport Office again to apply for a permanent license. The documents required include form 4(available from the transport office), id proof, photograph, learner's license. Also carry along the receipt of the payment you made for the learner's license and photocopies of PUCs and RCs of the vehicles you intend to drive; more on that later.

The process is pretty simple, first you need to get your documents checked and pay the fees for the permanent license i.e. Rs 300. Then I was sent to another counter where a guy was noting down the details of all the applicants. After that i was sent to the transport officer for the driving test. He asked me to park my car in front of the gate and wait for him. After waiting for about 20 minutes or so, he came and simply asked me to take a round and come back. The funny part is, he didn't even sit in the car during the test so basically, the test is just a formality. What really matters is the documents. The documents can be a big PITA. I was asked to submit the photocopies of the PUCs of a LMV and a motorcycle as I was applying for a license to drive the same. Now what if someone doesn't own a vehicle? The same was the case with me. I somehow managed to arrange for the photocopy of a PUC certificate of a motorcycle through a tout outside the transport office. After the test was done and the form was submitted, I was asked to go home and i got the license in 2-3 days.

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