I had a driving license since last 20 years, and suddenly I came to know that it is going to expire soon.

Did you say Agents?

As we all know earlier and event today for driving licenses we contact the agents who provide the service at a cost and home service also. Earlier we were not even required to visit RTO for any tests or anything. I remember at that time he charged my father Rs.400, it was in 1998.

So this time also, first thing I did was to contact few agents in Indirapuram for this. I found the numbers on Just Dial. They told me that for renewal I had to take NOC from the RTO where my existing license was issued. Then only we can apply for renewal. OR we can apply for a fresh license which will be a learners license and after 1 month it will be converted to permanent license. For this the price of the agents varied between Rs.3200 to Rs.4000. As the first idea of going to native place and get the NOC was difficult compared to applying for a new one. I choose to go for new license.

Online Research - After all Google knows everything

Meanwhile I did some research online and found that the license application procedure are now online. Thanks to Digital India movement by Modi government. With little more research I found that after submitting the application and making payment for fee, we will be given a time slot for a small online test. After passing the test, the learning license will be issued and mailed to our address by post. It looked quite easy and gave me the confidence to go through the process. I thought even if I am not able to complete it, then I can always contact any agent for next attempt, but first I should try myself.

So I applied online, and appeared for the test also. And yes I passed it first time, and now my learners license is issued. Without involvement or payment of any agent. All by myself. I have provided links below for the resources to prepare for the test.

Now I will details the procedure for the application:

Actual Procedure:
  1. Visit the website here - https://parivahan.gov.in
  2. Go to menu "Online Services" >> "Driving License Related Services"
  3. Select your state name from the drop down list. I selected "Uttar Pradesh"
  4. Now you will reach the Sarathi website for the online application. You can directly bookmark this application to reopen again to avoid step 1-3. You will need this website many times to perform all the steps.
  5. From the left side menu click "Apply Online". And from the options select "New Learners License"
  6. Now again select your state name from the state drop down. And from "Transaction" drop down select "Issue of Learners License"
  7. Now Click on view flows. This will show you the steps to go through for applying for new learners license. Read them carefully and click "Continue" button.
  8. If you are an Indian citizen  then you do not do anything in this new screen. Just click "Submit".
  9. In this screen you can see a large form with lots of details to enter. Basically this is to collect your personal details, and mailing address to choose RTO  office for your area.
  10. At bottom of the page select the type of license(s) you want to apply for. In my case I selected Motorcycle with Gear(MCWG), and LMV Non transport (NT).

Once the form details are submitted successfully, it will ask you to download the prepared form. Download this file. It will contain your application number. Keep this safe as you will need the application number for every next step. It will also contain your pre-filled application form where you just need to sign at the designated locations and affix passport size photos, where marked.

You can close the browser now, you can restart the remaining steps of the application, later on whenever you have time. You just need to select the correct menu link on the main page and enter your Application Number and date of birth.

There is an additional form "Form 1" which is for self declaration about any pre existing diseases, which may prevent you from driving comfortably. You need to fill/select options as fit for you sign it, and get it scanned. You need to upload it to the website with ID and address proof.

For ID proof you can use PAN Card, Passport and Aadhaar card. For Address proof you can Aadhar card, Voter ID card or Passport. You need to have the scanned image of the documents so that you can upload them.

Along with these documents you will also need to upload your Passport size photo and sample signature. There are specific size mentioned on the website for this. Picture image size should be at least 425 pixel wide and 550 pixel in height. For signature image this limit is around 200px and 40px.

Now you are ready to upload the documents. Open the Sarathi website described in step 4 above. Select Upload Documents. There you can see three more options which are self explanatory - "Upload Documents/Scanned images", "Upload Photograph and Signature", and "View Documents"

Open each section one by one and select the document to upload select the file on your PC/mobile and upload. You may like to preview the uploaded file before confirming the file, in second step after upload.

Once all the files are uploaded, and you have checked the files for correctness. You are ready to make the payment for the fees. You can make the online payment using the Net Banking or Debit Card. For SBI customers there are few other options also. The fee will be automatically calculated based on the type of licenses selected in above Step 8. In my case it was Rs. 300 for the license fees and Rs. 50 for the learners license test.

Now it is test time:

After completing the payment of fee you can select your preferred date and time slot for the test. There are two slots every working day first in the morning from 10:30AM to 1:30PM and another is afternoon from 2:30PM to 4:30PM. There are limited seats available in each slot. Select your slot and confirm. Now you will be asked to download a confirmation slip for the slot. Download and print this page to show at the time of test.

Now all the online work is done. You can visit the RTO office anytime in the slot duration. Although the test process is of few minutes only, but due to the slow speed people working there it took me more than 2 hours to complete the process. So it is advisable to reach at least 1 hour before the slot end time. My slot time was from 2:30 and I reached there on 2:45PM.

The process at test center:
  1. At the RTO Ghaziabad with all the papers prepared you need to visit at room number 106 in the new building.
  2. There provide the documents to the person in-charge there. He/she will review the documents and online application status.
  3. If everything found correct, as in my case. He/she will send you for biometric at counter number 107. Although it is not actually biometric, but they call it so. At counter 107 they will take your picture and get your sign on digital touch-pad with stylus.
  4. Once this is done, go back to 106, test room.
  5. There when your number comes the person in-charge will enter the details in computer for test. it will send a SMS with PIN to your mobile. Another pin is generated and provided by the incharge person to you.
  6. Using these two pin and Application number you will be able to take test.

Although there are around 10 computers provided by the government for this process. But when I went there the person incharge told me that the internet is not working or very slow and test process will not be possible. There were around 20 people along with me for test. He did not even bothered to check the net speed and just keep sitting on his chair and repeating this same line again and again. After 1.5 hours he announced that as the internet is not working, we have to complete the test on our mobile phones.

Then he asked to open the same Sarathi website described above and visit the online test link in the left side menu on home page. Then enter the Application number and pin from SMS there and go to next step. There enter the PIN provided by the in-charge person and your test will start.

The test was of 15 objective type questions. The questions are related with knowledge of traffic signs, and road safety. To pass the test you need to give correct answer to at least 8 questions. Once this is complete, it will show a final screen with pass or fail result. You need to take the screen shot of this screen, as the in-charge will ask you to show the screen to confirm that you passed.

Once you showed this to the incharge person. You are done. Go home and relax. I got the confirmation SMS in around 2 hours that my license is approved. Once it is approved you can take the temp print of license by visiting again the sarathi website. They say that I will get the license by post within 7 days. I am waiting as I completed my test just 2 days back.

Online resources for preparation of test

Now about the resources to prepare for the text. When searching on google I found this nice website - http://driving-tests.in/  here you can get the most approximate simulations for the test. It has around 10 test set of questions of 30 questions each. You can go through each test set as many times as you want. For each wrong answer it will provide you correct answer also. So you can learn.

On the Sarathi website also there are demo tests provided. You can go through them also. I did not checked them.

Another useful link I found on Delhi goverment website. They have a PDF with questions and correct answers. You can review it offline also OR if you want you can take a print to read if you feel comfortable in reading printed pages. Here is the link - Driving test Question Bank .

So that is all I wanted to tell about it. I tried to find this information on Google but could not find the details. Therefore I thought to write down myself to help others. Let me know if you have any questions or feedback in comments below.