Any business that deals with freight and logistics knows that it is crucial that your business must meet all transportation compliances. To ensure that goods travel to and fro without any hassle, the first thing to check is whether the commercial vehicle is being driven by a driver in possession of a commercial vehicle licence (CVL). As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, an individual without a valid driving licence is prohibited from driving any motor vehicle.
So, if you are looking to acquire a commercial driving licence, then in this article, we tell you all about CVL, the eligibility criteria and how to apply for it.
What is a Commercial Vehicle / Heavy Vehicle Licence?
A commercial vehicle licence, or a commercial licence, is an official document that permits an individual to drive a commercial vehicle, authorised by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) present in various Indian states.
A person that is to handle and drive a vehicle that has been registered for commercial use (to transport goods or people) has to be in possession of a commercial driver’s licence (CDL). After submitting the relevant documents (as mentioned in the below sections), and passing a driver’s test, a person becomes a certified CDL driver.
There are various types of commercial licences depending on the type of vehicle, ranging from a LMV cab driving licence, to a HMV driving licence to a trailer licence, to name a few.
Types of Commercial Vehicle Licences
As previously mentioned, there are many types of commercial vehicle licences. Their classification depends upon the type of commercial motor vehicle they are being issued for. For someone to be a CDL driver, the eligibility criteria changes on the basis of the class of the vehicle.
|Licence Class||Vehicle Type|
|LMV||for Light Motor Vehicles (cars, taxix, delivery vans, etc.)|
|MGV||for Medium Goods Vehicles|
|HMV||for Heavy Motor Vehicles|
|HGMV||for Heavy Goods Motor Vehicles|
|HPMV||for Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicles|
|HTV||for Heavy Transport Vehicles|
|Trailer||for heavy trailers|
Eligibility Criteria for a Commercial Driving Licence
The applicant for a commercial vehicle licence needs to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The applicant must be over the age of 18 years. According to some state regulations, the minimum age to get a CDL is 20 years as well.
- The applicant must have cleared 8th standard in school.
- Before a person can get a commercial vehicle licence issued to them, they must first apply for and have a learner’s permit or a Learner’s Licence.
- The applicant must have received their due training from a government training school or a motor school that is associated with the state government.
- The applicant must clear their driver’s test conducted in the presence of a Motor Vehicle Inspector.
Documents Required to Get a Commercial Driving Licence
When you apply for a commercial licence, the following documents must be attached with your application form:
- Address Proof (any of the following)
- Aadhar Card
- PAN Card
- Voters ID Card
- Utility bills under the name of the applicant
- LIC Policy Bond
- Ration Card
- Identity Proof / Proof of Age (any of the following)
- Birth Certificate
- 10th standard marksheet
- PAN Card
- Aadhar Card
- Voters ID Card
- Passport sized photographs
- 2 while applying for a Learner’s Licence
- 3 while applying for a permanent CDL
- Medical certificate
- RTO Forms
- Form 1A
- Form 2
- Form 5
Along with the above mentioned documents, the applicant must also enclose the application fee with the form. A person can submit the application and the documents either by applying online or offline.
How to Apply for a Commercial Driving Licence / Heavy Vehicle Licence Online
To get a commercial driving licence apply online now by following a few simple steps, mentioned as follows:
Step 1: Log onto the Sarathi website and download Form 4.
Step 2: Fill in your relevant details and upload all the required documents and the passport sized photographs.
Step 3: Submit Form 1A, which is a necessary requirement denoting the applicant’s medical certificate.
Step 3(a): In the event the applicant has requested for an HMV driving licence, a Driver Refreshing Training Certificate is also required.
Step 4: Submit Form 5, wherein the applicant can confirm that he/she has taken mandatory training from a Government Motor School or one associated with the state government.
Step 5: After the form is completely filled out, and all the RTO forms and documents are submitted, you will now receive a serial number, as well as notifications, on your registered mobile number.
How to Apply for a Commercial Driving Licence / Heavy Vehicle Licence Offline
Any person who wishes to obtain a commercial licence can apply for the same offline as well. To do so, he/she needs to follow the below mentioned steps:
Step 1: Visit your nearest RTO office and collect Form 2.
Step 2: Fill in Form 1A, that denotes your medical certificate.
Step 2(a): In the event the applicant has requested for an HMV driving licence, a Driver Refreshing Training Certificate is also required.
Step 3: Fill up Form 5, wherein the applicant can confirm that he/she has taken mandatory training from a Government Motor School or one associated with the state government.
Step 4: Submit Form 2, Form 1A and Form 5, along with relevant documents such as address proof, identity proof and passport sized photographs.
Step 5: Once the submission is complete, you will now receive a serial number, as well as notifications, on your registered mobile number.
Whether you apply for a commercial vehicle licence online or offline, once the form submission process is complete, you will have to appear for a driving test, taken by a Motor Vehicle Inspector, at the allotted centre on the designated day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I allowed to drive a commercial vehicle on a private licence?
As per a Supreme Court order, you can drive taxis and light motor vehicles, being used for commercial purposes, on a private licence. However, in order to drive trucks, buses and other medium and heavy commercial vehicles, you need to carry a valid commercial vehicle licence.
What if I misplace my commercial licence?
In the event that you lose your commercial vehicle licence, you must immediately file an FIR and visit your nearest RTO to get your commercial driver’s licence reissued.
What is the procedure for getting a duplicate commercial licence?
As mentioned in the previous question, you must file a First Information Report (FIR) immediately in case your licence gets lost. After the FIR has been lodged, you must get a signed affidavit, stating that you have lost your CDL and that you have filed an FIR against the same. Once that is done, you need to submit the FIR and the affidavit to the RTO, along with the following documents:
- Form 2
- Photocopy of the original commercial vehicle licence
- Passport sized photographs
- Proof of identity
In case you have applied for a duplicate licence because your existing commercial licence is torn or damaged, then you must provide the above mentioned documents along with the original licence in its mutilated state.
What if I fail my commercial licence driving test?
In case you fail your commercial licence driving test, you can retake the test after 7 days. You should note that there is no limit on the number of times an applicant can retake the test after failing.
I don’t own a permanent driving licence. Am I allowed to get a commercial driving license without that?
No, you cannot own a commercial vehicle licence without first getting a permanent driving licence.
Do I have to necessarily submit a medical certificate to get a commercial driving licence?
Yes, you need to submit a medical certificate, as well as Form 1A, while applying for a commercial driving licence as proof of being medically fit to drive heavy commercial vehicles.
Is my commercial licence valid in states other than the one it was issued in?
Yes, your commercial vehicle licence is valid in all states across India, irrespective of the state it was issued in.