How Can Foreigners and NRI Apply for Driving License in India?

How Can Foreigners and NRI Apply for Driving License in India?

Driving in India necessitates a valid driving license provided by the Regional Transport Office (RTO). This applies to both NRIs and foreigners. Even though they hold a driver’s license in their home/residence country, they must obtain one in India in order to drive their motor vehicles inside the country.

Indian RTO follows the specific standards for issuing driving licenses to NRI and Foreigners. RTOs follow a precise set of standards while giving driving licenses to foreign drivers. Those who already hold driving licenses in their native countries will find it easy to obtain a driving license in their new country. Let’s take a closer look at the many components of driving licenses for NRIs and foreigners.

Guidelines for NRIs and Foreigners Obtaining a Driving License

People travel to India from other nations for both professional and personal reasons. Section 9(3)(a)(iii) of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 allows these tourists to get a driving license in India. They will be able to drive their automobiles across the country after they have obtained the license.

The following things must be considered before obtaining a license:

  • NRIs and foreigners are not permitted to drive on Indian roadways using their home/residence country’s license.
  • An international driving license is valid in India. However, its validity is limited to one year.
  • NRIs and foreigners who want to stay in India for more than a year must apply for an Indian driving license.
  • Those who already hold a driver’s license in their native country can apply for one in India without first obtaining a learner’s permit.
  • Applicants who want to acquire a driver’s license can do so at their local RTO.
  • To acquire a driving license in India, the candidate must be at least 18 years old.

The documents needed to drive in India totally depend on the length of your stay in India, divided into two categories: long-stay (more than one year) and short-stay (less than one year).

Long-Stay–In India for More Than 1 Year

In case you want to stay in India for longer than a year, you must obtain an Indian driving license. This is also because the IDP is only valid for one year.

How To Apply for Indian Driving License?

An Indian driving license is only valid for those who live in India. The following are the steps to get a driving license:

  • Have a legal rent agreement for the house or apartment you are residing in; this will serve as your local address in India.
  • One should apply for a residency certificate at the Police Commissioners Office by bringing your rental agreement, passport, and visa.

After receiving your residency certificate, you should go to your local Regional Transport Office (RTO) to apply for a learner’s license. Or one can follow the online process of applying driving license. After applying, the learner’s license test will be taken at RTO. This computerized exam covers the laws of Indian driving.

Those who already hold a driver’s license in their home country do not need to obtain a learner’s permit to apply for a driving license in India.

Bring the necessary documentation to the RTO or MVD to apply for this:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Eye test certificate
  • National country license
  • Residence certificate
  • Duly filled application form
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Proof of identity or age proof

Copies must be submitted to the RTO or MVD, and originals must be brought for verification.

  • You can apply for the Driving License after having your learners for one month.
  • The vehicle will be driven through a pre-designed road and metropolitan traffic in the final test. This test will differ from one state to the next.
  • You have one month to retake this test if you fail it.

Short-Stay–In India for Less Than 1 Year

If you want to visit India for less than a year and prefer to self-drive, you must have the following papers in addition to your visa and passport:

  • International Driver’s License (IDP 1949 with max 1-year validity)
  • National Country Permit

An International Driving Permit is a multilingual translation of your driver’s license issued by the government.

How To Apply for International Driving License?

There are two ways to apply for an International Driving Permit. You can apply either online or offline by visiting the local RTO office with the required documents.

Following are the steps to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) Online:

  • Go to the official website and choose your state.
  • Select the Driving License services option under the ‘apply online section.
  • Continue after carefully reading the instructions.
  • Enter your driver’s license number and birth date. Continue By clicking the button.
  • Choose the service you want to apply for, in this example, ‘issuance of IDP to DL holder,’ and then click ‘proceed.’
  • At the top of the screen, you will see your name, driving license number, and the name of the RTO you have chosen.
  • Include information like birthplace, birth nation, passport number and validity, and visa number and validity.
  • Select the vehicle class for which you are seeking an International Driving License and click ‘confirm.’
  • Upload the documents mentioned above, check them, and submit.
  • Upload a photo of yourself as well as your signature. Then press the ‘next’ button.
  • Payment should be made at the RTO center. Print your application form and bring it to the RTO along with the required papers.


Foreigners and NRIs obtain driving licenses in India for a variety of reasons. There are other instances where foreigners take a vacation and drive to different regions of India. Whatever your reason, you must obtain a valid driver’s license in India before you may operate a car. The procedure above is quite simple. However, you may have to wait a bit to obtain the necessary license.

About me

Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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