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Is Original Driving License Compulsory on Indian Roads?
Mar 5, 2021

Is Original Driving License Compulsory?

The digital era has transformed the way we share and store essential information and documents. Long gone are the days when you had to carry the important papers of your vehicle with you. With everything gone digital, it has become easy to store your crucial documents online. This raises a question “is the original driving license compulsory for you to carry while driving?” To be straight, the answer is Yes! However, the ways to present it can vary. Let’s read ahead and find out!  

Is it compulsory to carry a driving license and other documents?

As per the Indian law, it is necessary for you to produce your original car documents to the cops if asked. However, it is not mandatory to show the physical version of them anymore. The latest amendments in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 have made it easy for the drivers to store and manage their vehicle documents. As per the amendments, you can keep your documents in the digital form on your phone. These will be considered equal to the physical documents that you don’t have to carry anymore. The amendment also states that the digital documents will only be considered valid if they are duly certified. A normal scanned copy of any of your vehicle documents will not be valid.

How to get the driving license and other documents certified?

If you want to drive document free on Indian roads, it is necessary to get certified electronic versions of the documents. Some apps released and maintained by the government organisations can help you obtain the certified documents. Digi-locker and m-Parivahan can be used to get the duty certified documents to keep on your phone. These apps are offered to the general public that can easily be downloaded from Google PlayStore or App Store. The apps allow the driver to access real-time information about:
  • Registration certificate (RC Book)
  • Driving License
  • Fitness validity
  • Motor insurance and its validity
  • PUC (Pollution Under Control) certificate
And others, if any!

DigiLocker App

The DigiLocker app is provided by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The issuers of the transport documents directly control this app, making it ideal for issuance and verification of your documents.

m-Parivahan App

On the other hand, the m-Parivahan is offered by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. You can get all your vehicle information from it by entering your driving license number or vehicle registration number. So, is the original driving license compulsory to carry along? Yes, but in the paperless form!  

What are the benefits of keeping your documents in electronic form?

As you have the answer to the question, is it compulsory to carry a driving license? Here are some of the benefits of securing all your vehicle documents in electronic form:

Safety and Portability

With time, it is common for physical documents to face wear, tear and disfiguration. Moreover, many of us may unintentionally misplace or lose the documents. It can be challenging to get on the road with no legal documents in hand. With the use of described apps, one can store all the relevant documents on their phone, which will eliminate the hassle of carrying them every time you head out. This method also gets rid of any physical damage to your driving license or any other document. Note: Buy car insurance online from digital-only insurers, it will reduce the paperwork and ensure safety. Quick Access Unlike physical documents that may take more time to present if you left them at home, the electronic documents can be accessed on the spot. Thus, saving a lot of time.

Benefits of electronic documents for the authorities

Apart from the general public, the availability of electronic documents also benefits the authorities in the following ways:

Faster delivery of documents

Government organisations used to face a delay of around 15-20 days in delivering physical copies of the documents. This caused a lot of inconvenience to the users. With the amendment to accept all the documents electronically, the time delay can be reduced to a few minutes. Government organisations, especially insurance firms, can deliver the customer’s insurance papers instantly online. However, users have to buy car insurance online for this.

Less paperwork to handle

Law Enforcement agencies would be free from handling files and folders containing user documents. Hence, there will be less paperwork to take care of. Moreover, when the documents are online, enforcement officers can instantly check the user data to verify the papers’ authenticity. The officers can use the eChallan app to do so.


  1. Can we show a photo of a driving Licence?

You can show a photo of your driving license to a police officer on duty but it is not gonna make any difference.  As per Indian Law,  apps like DigiLocker and m-Parivahan can help you get a verified copy of your driving license. This will be valid as compared to a simple picture.
  1. Should I keep old car insurance documents?

You don’t have to retain old car insurance documents. Once, you have renewed your policy, you can get rid of the old documents and keep the new ones on your phone.
  1. Is a cracked ID valid?

No, a snapped or retaped ID is not valid, you need to get a new one.

Final Words

Is the original driving license compulsory? Yes, it is mandatory to have the original driving license with you. However, you don’t have to carry it in the form of a physical paper; you can carry it on your phone in the DigiLocker or m-Parivahan app.   *Standard T&C apply Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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