The procedure for renewal of driving license in Karnataka


I wish to write about this topic in two parts. Part A is about theory and Part B is practical. Hope this article helps.


Driving License (DL) is issued for an initial period of 20 years or for 50 years of age whichever is earlier. Those who have DL may kindly check the validity of the license. For all you know, it would have expired by now! Once you cross 50 years, you have to renew DL once in every 3 or 5 years!


Renewal of DL – Suppose the validity of DL expires on 28th February, 2015, can you apply for the renewal now? No Sir. You can apply 20 days before the date of expiry or within 30 days of expiry (of DL!!!).


Process (Part A Theory) – you have to submit an application to the concerned RTO Office for renewal in CMV 9 along with medical certificate in form CMV 1/ IA, 3 passport size photos and original driving license. You have to pay around Rs.300 towards the fees and plastic card. The renewed license will be delivered on the same day. Looks quite simple, isn’t it? Now you can read about ground reality.


Part B – Practical. One of my relatives (also a state government employee) had been to RTO office last week to get his driving license renewed. (He has many RTOs as his friends) The day he went, his friend RTO was on leave and hence he suggested meeting his office people directly.


Accessories required – (a) 1 cloth envelope (b) stapler (c) one plastic cover to put the DL  (c) 3 photographs (d) sufficient money in the denomination of  Rs.1,Rs. 250, Rs.100,etc. (c) Rs.25 postal stamp. (e) glue stick


Step 1– You have to visit a nearby RTO Office. In the above case, my relative climbed 5 floors of the RTO office (the down time of Lifts in RTO office/ government office is over 80%). Then he came to know that the office has been shifted to another building. There won’t be any signage boards. So, it is better to ask someone about the location of the office (before climbing 5-10 floors!).


Step 2 – Collect application form – There will be a long queue to collect application form. According to him “over 100 people were waiting to get the application from the counter”


Step 3 – Medical Certificate – If you are over 40 years of age, you have to get a medical certificate from an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) practicing at a Government hospital. You can visit government hospital, after filling application form for renewal as well as medical certificate form. Meet the concerned doctor, get the check up done and get his attestation on the certificate.


Step 4 – Verification by RTO official – You have to stand in another queue to meet one official who checks the application form, original DL, your photos, medical certificate, etc. After he verifies, he signs on the form and ask you to pay Rs.250 as the fees.


Step 5 – You have to stand in a queue of Cash Counter. (Remember, in each queue there will be around 100 people standing always). You have to pay the fees before 1.30 PM during working days. The cash counter closes at 1.30 PM and if you fail to pay before that, you can try your luck the next day!


Step 6 – After cash is paid, you have to collect the receipt. Again stand in a queue to get the thumb impression and photos done. (something like registration for aadhar card or property registration)


Step 7 – After the photo session, you have to stand in another queue to submit all the above documents to one person. (This is the time all your accessories come to use. You have to put DL inside the small plastic cover, write the postal address where the new DL is to be sent, affix Rs.25 stamp on envelope, staple all the relevant forms). Once you get your turn, the concerned official of RTO collects all your application and supporting papers, issues you an acknowledgement (it is a small piece of paper; don’t miss it please)


Step 8 – You will get DL within 30 working days through speed post. If you fail to collect the post, the postal department will return the document after 10 days! Once they return, you had it! So, better you apply leave and stay back at home till you get DL.


Our honorable transport minister wants to scrap RTO. Oh God, please influence him to scrap it soon!


In this time and age, look at the way we have to struggle to get our DL renewed! No international reforms are required to fix this problem. Government can act swiftly and help the people of this country. I understand that the transport department has initiated online application process for issue of driving license, vehicle registration, etc. Hopefully, this will help.


You want shortcuts? Maybe pay Rs.5000 to an agent; you will get DL at your doorstep within a week.


Thought for the day

Life is really simple, unless we insist on making it complicated.

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About B E Kumar Prasad

B E Kumar Prasad
He is a Practicing Chartered Accountant in Bengaluru, India. He has 25+ years of experience in income tax, business setup, and NRI matters. He is also an Insolvency Professional and Registered Valuer (F&SA).Prasad welcomes your comments and questions. Please email him at [email protected]

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2021 years ago

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2021 years ago


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2021 years ago


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Narendra Singh Rana
Narendra Singh Rana
2021 years ago

Thanks for this information. This page has been of a great help. I got my DL renewed following the steps here. Strangely, my DL was issued for another 5 yrs only (I am <40 hrs of age). Is this the norm or does it seem to be a mistake in my DL renewal.?

Stinky Finger
Stinky Finger
2021 years ago

On the practical side, my experience with the help desk in mangaluru.
1. The website says that the medical certificate is required for people above 50, but I was asked to present one at 38
2. The Fees listed on the website is 250 but the help desk says 400? 17/1/2017
3. The forms are not available at the RTO any more, you have to print it out online
4. I was advised that a BAMS doctor’s certificate won’t do and we need a MBBS – What?
I think all these misguidance are to hazzle the user so that he does not get his work done in one go and has to keep visiting the RTO again and again.

2021 years ago

Dear Prasadji, Thanks for sharing in a logical and practical way on renewal of D/L. You have saved many people’s time by providing useful tips. Is there any requirement of residence proof ?

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