Transportation Policies/Rules

How to apply for a CDL online? How is it different from offline application?

A Commercial Driving Licence (CDL) certifies your eligibility to operate a heavy commercial vehicle. In this article, we will explore types of CDL, eligibility, and application process. We will discuss the documents required, how to apply for commercial driving license online and offline, and the differences between online and offline application methods.

What Are the Different Types Of A Commercial Driving Licence?

Within the commercial use category, there are eight different types of CDL in India, according to the type of vehicle you want to drive: heavy motor vehicles or light motor vehicles.

  • LMV Light Motor Vehicles
  • LMV-NT Light Motor Vehicles for non-transport operations 
  • MGV Medium Goods Vehicle
  • HTV Heavy Transport Vehicle
  • HMV     Heavy Motor Vehicle
  • HPMV Heavy Passenger Motor Vehicle
  • HGMV Heavy Goods Motor Vehicle
  • A Trailer Heavy motor vehicle licence is required to obtain a
                        trailer licence

You are eligible to get a Commercial Driving Licence if – 

  • You are a citizen of India.
  • You are above 18 years of age. (In some states age requirement might be above 20 or 22 years)
  • You have passed 8th grade.
  • You have a regular driving licence for at least one year.
  • You are trained at a government or government-affiliated motor training school.

Which are the Documents Required?

  • Residence Proof (Passport, Voter ID, Ration card etc.)
  • Identity proof: Aadhaar card, birth certificate, PAN card etc.)
  • Application Forms: Form  2, Form 1A and Form 5
  • Original learner’s licence
  • Passport size photograph

How To Apply For a Commercial Driving Licence? 

Once you identify which CDL you need to apply for, the next question is, “How to apply for a commercial driving licence?” Let us answer that.

You can apply for a commercial driving licence either online or offline. Below are the steps in detail to understand the process better – 

Online Application Process

  1. Go to the website of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways ( and create an account or log in if you already have one.
  2. Go to the downloads section and download Form No. 4 (application form for a commercial driving licence).
  3. Fill out the application form with accurate and complete information. Provide details regarding your personal information, educational qualifications, driving experience, and any other required information.
  4. Scan and upload the necessary documents to verify your identity and address. This can include your passport, voter ID card, or Aadhaar card.
  5. Include Form 1A, which is a medical certificate form obtained from an authorised medical practitioner. This form confirms your fitness to drive a commercial vehicle.
  6. If you have received training from a recognised training centre, upload Form 5 furnished by the training centre. This form attests to the completion of your training.
  7. Make the payment for the CDL application fees through the online payment options available on the portal. The fees will be per the type of CDL.
  8. Review all the entered information and uploaded documents before you submit.
  9. After successful submission, you will receive a serial number on your registered mobile number. Keep this number for future reference.
  10. Visit the designated training centre on the allotted date and time to appear for the CDL test. The test assesses your driving skills and knowledge of traffic rules and regulations.

Offline Application Process

  1. Collect Form No. 2 from the Regional Transport Office (RTO), which is the application form for a commercial driving licence.
  2. Fill in the form with the required information with details regarding your personal information, educational qualifications, driving experience, etc.
  3. Submit supporting documents along with Form No. 2; these may include proof of identity, proof of address, age proof, passport-size photographs, and any other specific documents required by the RTO.
  4. Submit Form No. 1, which is the self-declaration of physical fitness, along with Form No. 1A, which is the medical certificate obtained from an authorised medical practitioner. If you have received training from a recognised training centre, submit Form No. 5 furnished by the training centre.
  5. Make the payment for the CDL application fees at the designated fee counter of the RTO.
  6. Once you have submitted the application and paid the fees,  a confirmatory message may be sent to your registered mobile number. Keep this message for future reference.
  7. Contact the RTO to schedule your driving test. They will provide you with a date and time for the test.
  8. Appear for the driving test on the allotted date and time. The test will assess your driving skills and knowledge of traffic rules and regulations. On clearing the test, you will be eligible to receive your CDL.

Key Differences Between Online and Offline Applications

Firstly, online applications provide convenience and flexibility. You can apply from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. You do not need to physically visit a specific location to submit the application form, saving time and effort. Another advantage of online applications is Real-time updates. You receive notifications and updates on their application status, allowing you to address any missing documents or additional requirements promptly.

On the other hand, offline applications allow for direct interaction between applicants and application process administrators. You can communicate face-to-face, ask questions, and seek clarification, providing a more personalised experience. Offline applications also accommodate individuals who may not have access to internet connectivity. However, offline applications require you to visit the application location, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Offline applications also tend to have slower processing times. Manual handling of paperwork can result in longer wait times for applicants.


To recap, this blog post explored the process of applying for a CDL (Commercial Driver’s Licence) for online and offline application methods. It also discussed key differences and considerations.

Online applications offer convenience, time-saving benefits, real-time updates, and a larger reach. However, they require internet access, raise security concerns, and may exclude individuals without the necessary technology. Offline applications provide personal interaction, accessibility for all, and a paper trail but can be inconvenient, have slower processing times, and have a limited reach. The choice between online and offline applications depends on the specific context, target audience, and available resources.

Need more information? Head of Vahak. If you need commercial vehicles without the hassle of getting a CDL, you can use Vahak’s Logistics Services to partner with India’s leading logistics services providers.

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