Delhi: Want new driving licence? Test may take up to three months

The number of online appointments were drastically reduced to ensure social distancing. Even the busiest RTOs that earlier faced over 1,000 applicants a day are now giving time slots to only a couple of hundreds.

Waiting period for learner’s licence test
NEW DELHI: Want to get a new driving licence? You might have to wait for up to three months for a slot to go for a learner’s licence test or a driving test for a permanent licence, depending on where you live in Delhi. However, if it is renewal of a transport document such as a licence, fitness certificate or a permit, there is no need to rush because the validity of these have been extended till September 30.

After remaining shut during lockdown, the 13 regional transport offices (RTOs) had reopened on May 4. However, the number of online appointments were drastically reduced to ensure social distancing. Even the busiest RTOs that earlier faced over 1,000 applicants a day are now giving time slots to only a couple of hundreds.

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The South Zone RTO at Sarai Kale Khan catering to most of south Delhi used to conduct over 250 driving tests at its automated test track before the lockdown. Since resuming work, it allows a maximum of 80 tests a day. Not more than 50 applicants are allowed to give tests to get a learner’s licence. Even these reduced slots are comparatively higher than in other RTOs.

If you apply for a learner’s licence at the South Zone II RTO in Vasant Vihar for areas like Munirka, Vasant Kunj, Green Park and Delhi Cantonment, the earliest you can get a test slot is September 28. Similarly, the Loni Road RTO, meant for entire northeast Delhi, doesn’t have slots before September 28.

The waiting period at other busy RTOs, including at Mayur Vihar, Janakpuri, Dwarka and Surajmal Vihar, is two months’ long, while you have a wait of 30 days for an appointment at Rajouri Garden and Sarai Kale Khan (Central) RTOs.

“The number of slots vary across RTOs according to the infrastructure and space available. That is why the waiting period is a month at Sarai Kale Khan, but three months at Vasant Vihar though both cater to different parts of south Delhi,” a transport department official said. “It is very important to maintain social distancing and there is no option but to reduce slots for applicants.”

Although vehicle registration has hugely dipped after the Covid outbreak, the number registration is now picking up, particularly for two-wheelers. “With Delhi Metro closed and buses unable to cater to the demand of commuters, people are opting for affordable private vehicles. That is why registration of gearless scooters has picked up in particular,” the official added. “Also, those who didn’t need a driving licence till now are applying for one, leading to a rush.”

He informed that the central government had extended the validity of all transport documents, including driving licences that have expired since February 1 or will expire by September 30, to September 30. “Those who want to renew their documents don’t need to panic or rush to the RTO,” he said.
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