The Ministry of Road Transport has done away the requirement of a commercial driving license to drive taxis, auto-rickshaws, three-wheelers or two-wheelers and all these drivers can now use their private licences to drive these vehicles commercially.

Indian drivers of taxis, autos, e-rickshaws, three-wheelers and two-wheelers have been exempted from the need to have separate commercial driving license for operating their vehicles commercially. Which means taxi service providers can now commercially drive their vehicles and will require just their private driving licenses. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Road Transport on Monday – however, the mandate for a commercial driving licence remains in force for trucks, buses and other heavy commercial vehicles.

The exemption advisory was sent out by the Ministry of Road Transport to all the state governments which is in accordance with the norms ordered by Supreme Court in July 2017. The Supreme Court order said that a driver’s license is sufficient to operate a Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) and a separate endorsement is not needed. The exemption for drivers will provide relief because usually, one had to wait for one year to get the commercial licence after obtaining a private driving licence. The issue of transport or commercial license also involved a lot of corruption, which will now come to an end – up to certain extent.

The Supreme Court believes that this move will boost the employment opportunities for lakhs of drivers. But it will also mean multi-fold increase in the number of taxis, auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws on already congested Indian urban roads. Perhaps, the increase in number of commercial transportation vehicles will also mean the availability of these services will increase – henceforth reducing dependence on private vehicles. In fact, ideally speaking, one cab can replace at least six private cars and an auto-rickshaw replaces over a dozen cars – just because they are speedier and needs less parking space; hence, the move will be beneficial in all aspects.

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