How To Get Indian Driving License For NRI

Driving License For Foreigners in India

Want to drive around in India. One obviously needs a valid driving license. It is important to know and understand the specific activities one needs to follow in order to obtain a valid driving license. Under The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, no individual should be driving any motorized vehicle without obtaining a valid driving license in lieu of such a motorized vehicle.


Process Overview To Get Driving License in India

  • A driving license is an official certification issued by the Government of India
  • After proper validation and testing which permits an individual holding such license to drive a motorized vehicle such as a bike, a car, or any other light, medium, or heavy vehicle on the roads of India.
  • The procedure for obtaining a driving license in India is standardized and the citizens need to follow the steps sincerely.
  • Anyone desiring to obtain a driving license needs to first apply for a learner’s license. This learner’s license is a provisional license issued by the Regional Transport Office of the individual’s place of residence.
  • This provisional license has validity for a limited period of time. In order to get a learner’s license, the individual applicant needs to clear a small test regarding the road rules and regulations followed in India specifically. Once the individual clears the test and gets a valid learner’s license, he/she has a minimum of one month to apply for a permanent license.
  • While applying for a permanent license, the individual holding a valid learner’s license need to appear for a driving test organized by the same Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or Regional Transport Office (RTO) where the applicant applied for a learner’s license.
  • Once the applicant clears the driving test and all other mandated and stipulated requirements, a valid driving license is issued to the applicant by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of the locality.

How To Get a Driving License For NRI?

Anybody residing in India for a considerable period of time or Non-Resident Indians who have returned back to India with the intention to settle down in the country permanently can apply for a valid driving license. However, there are some variations in case a Non-Resident Indian applies for a driving license.

The procedure of issuance of a valid driving license remains the same irrespective of who is applying.

  • The NRI applicant needs to apply for a learner’s license at the local Regional Transport Office (RTO) after submitting the required documents such as a duly filled application form mentioning the kind of driving license being applied for; a medical fitness form duly signed by a recognized medical examiner which certifies that the individual applicant does not have any medical problems which might interfere with their driving abilities; a valid proof of the individual’s current address in India; a proof of the applicant’s age and three recent passport size photographs of the individual.
  • Once the applicant obtains a learner’s license, he/she can apply for a permanent driving license after a month from the date of issue of the learning license.

Required Documents For Driving License in India For NRI

The following are the required documents required while applying for a valid driving license in India:

  • A duly filled application form mentioning the kind of driving license being applied for
  • A medical fitness form duly signed by a recognized medical examiner which certifies that the individual applicant does not have any medical problems which might interfere with their driving abilities.
  • A valid proof of the individual’s current address in India: In case the applicant is an NRI, the following can be accepted valid proof of residence
  • Valid Indian Passport which shows the applicant’s Indian address
  • Rent receipt from the landlord
  • Electricity bill if it is generated in the name of the applicant
  • Landline telephone bill if it is registered in the name of the applicant
  • A proof of the applicant’s age, and
  • Three recent passport size photographs of the individual.

Required Documents For International Driving License in India For NRI

Non-Resident Indians can also apply for International Driving Permit or International Driver’s License from the Zonal Regional Transport Offices (RTO) in India easily. The NRI’s simply needs to submit the following documents in order to obtain an International driving license in India

  • A valid driving license of the applicant’s home country
  • An attested copy of the applicant’s identity proof along with his/her valid passport
  • An attested copy of the permanent address proof of the applicant
  • At least three to four recent passport size photographs of the applicant
  • A self - attested letter to the Zonal RTO in order to request for authentication of International Driving Permit
  • All the attested photocopies of air tickets of the applicant mentioning the recent travel to India along with the valid visa of the applicant
  • Duly filled in Forms CMV - 4, CMV-1 and CMV-1A
  • A Fee of INR500
  • An International driving license issued to any Non-Resident Indian is valid for a tenure of twelve months or one year. After this time period, International driving license needs to be renewed again either from the local RTO if the present location is with Indian Territory or at the Indian Embassy in case the individual is residing outside Indian Territory.
  • Documents acceptable for applying for a driving license

What Is New Smart Card Driver License For NRI

With the advent of technology and due to the adoption of such technology by various governmental organizations in India, the process of obtaining a valid driving license has become easy and smooth. Almost all the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and Regional Transport Authority (RTA) in India have adopted technology and are processing all the applications using technology.


Presently, most of the Regional Transport Offices (RTO’s) are issuing new smart card driver licenses for all applicants even for Non-Resident Indians.


These driving license cards come with a memory chip of 4 KB. These smart card driver licenses are equipped to have a unique gradation system based on any previous driving offense committed by an individual. With the increase in the seriousness of the driving offense, gradation is decreased for such individual drivers. This smart card driver license contains all essential personal details regarding the individual such as name and date of birth along with his/her signature, thumb impression, and photograph.