Driving licenses that expired during the past year, post COVID, are valid up to March 31, 2021. So, if you need to get your licence renewed and are wondering how to go about it, here is a guide that should help. (Note: The deadline has been extended again, to June 30, 2021)
Last month, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) launched an Aadhaar-authentication based contactless services that can be used to renew a driving license online without having to visit an RTO office. If one is able to do this, it certainly is the best option. However, if for any reason, you are unable to link your Aadhaar to your licence number, you will have to follow the traditional route:
- Go to the Sarathi Parivahan website page for “driving license related services”
- Select state – Karnataka and this is what you will see:
- Choose DL services
- Click “Continue” on the next screen
- You will be taken to the page for “Application for Services on Driving Licence”
- Enter your DL number and date of birth. With this, your details should get retrieved from the database.
Tackling missing data or deduplication error
If your DL information is not in the database or if there is a duplication of the DL number, you will get a message that says “De-duplication error” or the one below:
If you see such a message and click OK, you will be redirected to a backlog data entry page. However, for Karnataka, you will not be able to do anything online. You will need to visit the RTO where the license was issued and get it resolved.
When you go to the RTO, take along with you:
- Original DL along with 2 photocopies of the DL
- Write an application to the RTO stating that your DL is showing de-duplication error and/or not appearing online and that you need it to be entered by them
The DL supervisor at the RTO will attend to it. He will check on the system and either de-duplicate by issuing a new DL number or do the data entry. Mine was resolved immediately.
Have it checked online by someone who has access to a computer or check on your phone, then and there, to ensure it is done and you don’t need to make another trip
Filling up the online renewal form
If you are among the lucky ones whose DL details get retrieved minus the “De-duplication” error, then all your current DL details will show. You will see the validity of your licence, issuing RTO, etc.
You will find the following at the bottom of the screen:
- Confirmed that the above Driving Licence details are mine – choose Yes
- Submit Request to – State – choose Karnataka; RTO – choose the RTO you want to go to. If you aren’t sure, enter your Pincode.
In Bengaluru, one can go to any RTO. It does not have to be the same RTO which serviced you the last time. You will see this message:
If you choose an RTO that is different from the one where you were last serviced, you will get a message telling you so. You can decide if you want to continue with a different RTO or revert to the last issued RTO.
Do note that if you choose a different RTO, you will need to include “change of address” as a service at a later point in the process. This applies whether or not your address has changed. It involves a fee of Rs 200.
You will be able to update your mobile number and possibly Aadhaar number on the DL details page (I could not add the Aadhaar number).
Once you confirm your DL details, you will be taken to a screen where you can choose the DL service you require.
- Choose Renewal of DL
- If address or RTO has changed, choose Change of Address in DL also
- Proceed with each screen, and you will finally get a message that your application is accepted
- It will be given an Application Number
- Download the acknowledgement and print it
You will see a link to the populated application form (Form 2), medical self declaration (CMV Form 1) and medical certificate (Form 1a). Download and save these forms. They are pre-filled and have your signature/photo. You may choose to keep the same photo or change it to a recent one.
From experience, the RTO requires only the acknowledgement, medical certificate (Form 1a) and medical self declaration (CMV Form 1). They did not want the Form 2 even though I had printed it.
You will also see a list of the documents you need to upload. For renewal of DL, it will be soft copy of DL and medical certificate (Form 1a). If you have opted for address change, you need to upload the document for proof of address.
It will not be possible to upload the document in the same sitting since you will need to visit an MBBS doctor for the medical certificate. It needs to be signed and sealed by the doctor (across the photo). The doctor’s medical registration number should be clearly mentioned.
Once you get the medical certificate, you can upload it along with the other documents. For this, you will need to login again at the Sarathi Parivahan page. This time, choose Upload Document and proceed. You will need your application number and date of birth. On this same page, you can pay the fee (Fee Payments link) and book an appointment slot (Appointments link) later.
Once you have uploaded your documents, you will get a tick mark against that, saying you have completed the action.
Payment of fee and booking appointment
Next, you will need to pay the fee and book an appointment. Note that the payment site currently accepts payment against an application number only once. So if you, for example, first apply for renewal and pay, and subsequently apply for change of address, you will have to pay for change of address manually at the RTO counter. After you pay, download the receipt and print it. Then book your appointment slot and print it.
Note that payment may not reflect immediately. It takes a while. You can check Payment Status on the Sarathi Parivahan page.
When you go to the RTO, you need to have:
- Acknowledgement (keep 2 copies as one will be returned to you to keep)
- Appointment time slot
- Original DL in a plastic pouch
- Payment receipt number
- Medical Certificate (Form 1a)
- Medical self declaration (CMV Form 1)
- Copy of DL
- Original address proof (if change applied for) – I used Adahaar card
- Copy of address proof (if change applied for)
- Self addressed long green envelope affixed with postage stamps for speed post (currently Rs 18)
- The application form (Form 2), they did not want – but I had it
- They did not ask for Aadhaar card. Makes sense to carry it if you have one.
You have the option of paying at the RTO manual counter, but note that it has fixed timings, currently 10 am – 1 pm on weekdays, and there could be a long queue.
That’s it. Go to the RTO so that you are there at the appointed time. The DL supervisor will check your documents and the inspector will meet you and sign on it. Then, you will need to go for a brief sitting, for a photo and signature (they did not take biometrics). Though the application fee includes smart card, there is a differential fee that you will be asked to pay.
Then you take the docs to the superintendent who will note it in the register and give you an acknowledgement. Your license is supposed to reach you within 21 days. It took a week longer but it’s in my hand now!
Points to note
- One can apply for renewal of license one year before expiry. One can also apply within one year after its expiry
- If the renewal application is filed after a year of the expiry of the license, one needs to take the learner’s driving test again (you are treated as a fresh applicant)
- The fine for driving with an expired licence or driving without licence is Rs 5,000
- If you have applied for renewal, you can drive with the acknowledgement in lieu of the license
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