An Overview of India Driving License Conversion for Foreigners
As per Indian law, foreigners cannot drive vehicles on Indian roads using the driving license issued by their home countries. If any visitor plans to stay less than a year and wishes to travel in India with their vehicles, he/she must acquire an International Driving License or International Driving Permit (IDP). The IDP is valid only for one year or till its expiry period, whichever is earlier. If an NRI or a foreigner plans to stay more than a year in India, they must obtain an Indian driving license. The procedure for foreigners to get an Indian driving license is relatively easy if they have valid driving licenses in their home countries.
Benefits of Foreigners for Having an India Driving License
- India Driving License conversion does not need you to obtain a learning license, take a road test, or undergo a waiting period.
- It applies to over 150 countries
- Having foreign driving license lets you rent a car abroad, which otherwise isn’t possible
- It is considered as a valid id proof
- This permit is available in different languages such as English, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, and many more, which makes it a worldwide accepted document.
How to Convert a Non-Indian Driving License?
Any foreigner needs to be at least 18 years of age to qualify for an Indian driving license. You can apply for a license for a two-wheeler, a light motor vehicle (passenger car), or a heavy motor vehicle (bus or truck).
With the following procedure, you can convert your non-Indian driving license to an Indian driving license:
- Go to the nearest RTO (Regional Transport Office) in the area where you stay
- Fill up the required application form for the new driving license
- Write a letter stating that you have a foreign driving license, which you wish to convert to an Indian license
- Attach a valid address proof of the residence where you stay in India
- Submit copies of your recent passport-sized photographs
- Attach a copy of your existing driving license in your home country
- Enclose your medical certificate with your application
- Pay the requisite charges
Driving conditions and regulations are very different from those in your home country. Therefore, it is necessary to acquaint yourself with all the traffic rules to drive safely on Indian roads. Understanding these rules can help you avoid punishments like a temporary suspension of your license or a jail term.
The Traffic Rules You Must Remember While Driving in India
- Always drive on the left side of the road.
- If you are driving a four-wheeler in the city, wear a seatbelt. It can help you avoid accidents and prevent penalties
- Do not drive if you are drunk. Most road accidents in India are a result of drunk driving. Your blood alcohol during driving must not exceed 0,03%, or you may have to pay a penalty of about ₹10000. You can also receive a jail sentence ranging from seven months to a maximum of four years.
- Never exceed the speed limit of 140 kph for cars and 80 kph for motorbikes. Violating the speed limit can result in a penalty of up to ₹2000.
- Do not ride your two-wheeler without a helmet. Not wearing one can cost you a fine of about ₹1000. You also risk suspension of your license if the circumstances are more serious.
- You need to always carry your vehicle insurance policy with you, or you may face penalties. The fine will be around ₹2000 if you are committing the offence for the first time.
- As of October 1, 2020, the Motor Vehicles rules state that you can use your phone only for navigational purposes. Penalties for breaking the rule can result in a fine of up to ₹5000 or even a jail term.
By following the above procedure for India Driving License conversion, you can get an Indian driving license that you can use to drive freely any vehicle without hassles on Indian roads. Driving safely, keeping the mandatory traffic rules in mind will prevent you from getting into trouble with Indian traffic authorities.