Owners of e-rickshaws and e-carts can now get a learner’s licence immediately after passing the driving test, with the Union Cabinet on Friday approving the corresponding amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.
Earlier, it was mandatory to have a driver’s licence for light motor vehicles for a year before a commercial licence could be issued. However, this proved to be a problem since most e-rickshaw owners did not have a licence to begin with.
“Section 7 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act has been amended to solve the matter of the licences. The learner’s licence will be directly issued to anybody who passes a driving test. But it will be applicable only for e-rickshaws and e-carts,” an official said.
The notification concerning the amendment to Central Motor Vehicle Rules, which paved the way for legalising of e-rickshaws and e-carts, states that “every driving licence issued or renewed by a licencing authority, to drive an e-rickshaw or an e-cart, shall be valid for a period of not more than three years from the date of issue, or till the validity of the licence, whichever is earlier”.
Reacting to the notification, Press Secretary of Battery Rickshaw Welfare Association Rajiv said, “This is a good move. But we had been requesting the government to waive off the idea of a driving licence because the vehicle is a slow moving vehicle and cannot exceed 20 km/hr. We are aware that this comes under the ambit of the Central Motor Vehicle Act, but we are requesting the government to issue a special e-rickshaw licence. The ministry said they are working on the matter.”