Getting late for the office or going for a quick visit to the local store- driving without a valid driving license can cost you hefty.
Getting behind the wheels is no child�s play. It involves risk of life and finances. That�s why the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has mandated for all drivers to carry their driving license and other vehicle-related documents before hitting the road.
But more often than not, we find ourselves violating the traffic laws. Be it an honest mistake, an evil temptation, or a deliberate violation - the consequences are always going to be dire. So, if you don�t want to get caught on the wrong foot by the traffic police, better avoid these common driving license related offenses: - Not carrying the original or the proof of license while driving - Learning to drive on public roads without a learner�s license - Driving with an expired/temporarily suspended/canceled driving license
Before we head over to the implications of not holding or carrying the appropriate license, you should know which is the right category of driving license for you. All driving licenses are issued by Regional Traffic Offices (RTO) in India.
:- This is issued to the person who is learning to drive. Only after obtaining this license can one practice driving on public roads. A person must be 16 years (for non-geared vehicles) or 18 years (for geared vehicles) of age to apply for this license. He must always be accompanied by a permanent license holder on the road. Learner�s license is valid only for 6 months.
:- This is issued by RTO for a period of 20 years. A person having attained the age of 18 years and passed the practical and written exam can obtain for this license.
Commercial Driving License
:- A person planning to drive heavy vehicles for plying goods or passengers can apply for this license. He must be 18 years of age, having cleared his 8th standard exams.
International Driving License
:- If a person is planning to drive a motor vehicle in a foreign land, he can apply for this category of license. This is valid only for a year after which it needs to be re-applied.
According to WHO Global Report on road safety 2018, Indian ranks 1st in the world in accident-related death. With a mere 1% of the world�s vehicles, India accounts for 11% of global road deaths. To better this dismal picture, the government has come down heavily on the traffic offenders with its Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019. Under this act, States are allowed to impose heavy penalties to disciple the motorists. So, if you have forgotten your license at home or planning to trick the authorities with an invalid one, you are likely to get into serious trouble.
:- As per the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, driving without a valid license is a punishable offense. The person doing so will attract a fine of up to Rs 5000. On repeating the offense a second time, the person will be liable for a penalty of up to Rs10,000. On top of this, you will also have to pay for the vehicle impounding fees, spiked insurance premiums, and court charges. Now, if you still decide to take a chance, be prepared for a hole in your pocket.
:- Money is not the only thing, having a criminal record in your name in government books is yet another problem awaiting you. If you take to driver seat without a license, the police official on duty may decide to imprison you for up to 6 months for the first offense and up to a year for every repeat offense. So, be mindful, lest you want to end up in jail.
No accident claims
:- In case, unfortunately, you meet with an accident while driving without your original license, you lose your right to accident insurance claims. Under the motor vehicles act, a person without a driving license is not eligible for third-party claims in case of a road accident. So, if that be the case, you will have to pay all the third-party damages out of your pocket. Failing to do so, will only pave the way to prison.
Increased insurance premiums
:- Now, if you don�t hold a good driving record in your name, your vehicle insurance will not come dear to you. You will have to pay higher premiums if the insurance company finds out your �risky� vehicle history. Also, you will have lesser number of insurers willing to insure your vehicle.
Seizure of vehicle
:- Just in case you meet with an accident or the authorities find it necessary, they can even impound your vehicle. You will have to pay charges to get your vehicle back from the detained plot- which obviously means a loss of time and money for you.
Given all of this, is there a way to find a safer exit on getting caught driving without a license? Well, Yes!
If it is a deliberate attempt on your part to violate the road rules, then there is no way than to brace up for the harsh reality. But in case it is an innocent mistake- for example, you forget your wallet in a jiffy or misplaced your license, the authorities have suggested an alternative.
You can store your vehicle-related documents digitally in DigiLocker or the mParivahan app. You can carry your driving license in the electronic form to show it to the traffic police when the hard copy is not available. But digital documents don�t mean scanned or photocopies, only the original e-copies are acceptable.