How Is The Driving License Test Conducted?

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  • 23 Feb 2023

A driving license exam is a test of your competency to drive a vehicle on Indian roads and of your ability to understand road safety rules and traffic signals. It’s a mix of a practical driving test and written or verbal exam.

The test is designed to ensure that those who drive on Indian roads are qualified to drive and can do so safely.

But before you even apply for a driving license, you must have had a learner’s license for at least one month (Read How to get a Learner’s License). If you are confident of your driving skills and have had a learner’s license for at least a month, then continue reading for the rest of the process.

You can book a driving license test online through the Sarathi Parivahan website ( The process is simple. Choose your state and follow the instruction. You will be asked to provide your personal details, upload documents and photos and make a payment. Finally, you will have to pick an available slot on a date that is convenient to you. You can also visit the Regional Transport Office (RTO) nearest to you and book the slot personally.

Keep the following documents handy for verification:

  • Payment receipt
  • 3 passport-sized photographs
  • Valid learner’s license
  • All documents of the vehicle for which you are giving the test such as registration certificate, insurance certificate, tax card
  • If it is a transport vehicle, provide fitness certificate
  • Application form

How Is The Driving License Test Conducted For Heavy Vehicles?

The DL test for commercial and heavy vehicles such as trucks, lorries and buses were relatively easy until 2014. In the recent past, the rules have become stringent and more structured because of an increase in the number of accidents and a greater awareness of road safety. Many RTOs have specialized tracks to take driving exams for heavy and commercial motor vehicles.

A typical test will involve driving in figures of H and T, stopping and starting on inclines, taking sharp turns, sudden braking, use of lights, reversing and parking.

The written exam will test you on ability to read road signs, understanding of indicators, rules of the highway, road safety etc.

The increase in the stringency of the test will ensure that only well-trained and competent drivers are given a license. And this will reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on Indian roads.

However, there are some RTOs that still conduct the test for heavy vehicles leniently.

What Is The Examination For Light Motor Vehicles All About?

The test for LMVs is not surprising easier than those applying for a commercial license. The drivers of four-wheelers are tested on the following basis:

  • Ability to park parallel
  • Ability to drive forward on an 8-shaped road
  • Ability to drive forward on an upward gradient without moving backwards
  • Ability to drive revers on an S-shaped road
  • The inspector will also check your breaking, acceleration and use of gears.

As with the HMV, you will be tested on your knowledge of road signs and road safety rules.

What Is The Test For Two-wheelers?

Different RTOs have different processes. But a typical process will go something like this:

Prior to the trial, the RTO executive will check your documents and payment receipt for verification. If they are fine, you are eligible to give the exam. You have to fill a testing form along with a radio-frequency identification card (RFID) that you have to use in the testing tracks. You have to fulfil the following conditions to pass the exam:

  • If you are eligible to take the test, the signal light will turn green
  • You can start your two-wheeler move forward to cross the start line. At this point, the signal turns red
  • You have to ensure none of the marker poles is knocked down while taking the test
  • You have to complete the task within a stipulated time
  • If you violate any rule of the test, the computer that oversees the exam will detect them, and your marks get cut
  • The machine will take a video of your Your photo will be taken midway through the exam via the camera mounted inside the vehicle

Driving License Written Test

The officer at the RTO may also give you a written exam. The questions are designed to test your knowledge of traffic rules, road signs and good driving practices. Typically, there are 15 questions in a test and you are expected to answer at least 11 of them correctly to pass. You can reapply for the test within 24 hours if you fail.

According to a survey by SAVELife Foundation, nearly 60% of people get a driving license without giving a test (that is 6 in every 10 people). The survey was conducted in 2017 and covered 10 cities which have the highest vehicle population.

Getting a license without a test is an unsafe practice as it could endanger your own life as well the lives of others.

  • The best way to crack the driving license test is to be well-prepared. Good preparation will not only help you pass the exam but will also make you a better driver.

  • Learn all road signs, indicators and signals.

  • Be sure you can parallel park, box park.

  • You should be able to start and move forward in an incline.

  • You should be able to release the clutch smoothly and move through the gears seamlessly.

  • The only way you can master these is by practising it with an instructor.

  • Go for the test only when you are fully confident of your driving skills. You have six months from getting a learner’s license to apply for a full driving license.

  • Be calm while driving in front of the inspector.

  • Make sure you put on your seat belt, give the right indicators or hand signals and follow instructions.

All the best!

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