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Old 21st March 2016, 10:28   #1
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Question RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

Is it possible to appear for a Driver's license test in Bangalore in an automatic transmission car and use it for the driving test? I've seen mixed opinions about this in other places online and realized (in hindsight) this would be the best place to ask! Anyone have experiences getting a DL test in an AT car?

Rule 15 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 prescribes how the driving test is conducted (including clutch release, gear control, reversing). So technically it is not possible. However, an AT car is categorized as LMV, and so driving an AT car and being able to steer, drive, park, reverse should qualify for a driver's license for an LMV car. (note that motorcycles have a w/gear and wo/gear option but LMV has just one and no AT option in the DL application).

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Old 21st March 2016, 11:15   #2
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

As you mentioned correctly, I think it is not possible to give a driving test in an AT for two reasons:

1. Unlike a two-wheeler, where the license is issued for 2 categories - Motor Cycle With Gear and Motor Cycle Without Gear, there is only one category for cars - LMV or Light Motor Vehicle

2. The Motor Vehicles Rules states the need of changing gears while appearing for a driving test. Here is an extract from the Government of Tamilnadu website.

Quote:
15. Driving test.—(1) No person shall appear for the test of competence to drive unless
he has held a learner's licence for a period of at least 37[thirty days].
(2) The test of competence to drive referred to in sub-section (3) of section 9 shall be
conducted by the licensing authority or such other person as may be authorised in this
behalf by the State Government in a vehicle of the type to which the application relates.
(3) The applicant shall satisfy the person conducting the test that he is able to—
(a) adjust rear-view mirror;
(b) take suitable precautions before starting the engine;
(c) move away safely and smoothly straight ahead at an angle, while at the same
time engaging all gears until the top gear is reached;
(d) to change to the lower gears quickly from the top gear when the traffic
conditions warrant such change;
(e) change quickly to lower gears when driving downhill;
Source: Please refer to the Page 11 of The Central Motor Vehicles Rule
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Old 21st March 2016, 11:25   #3
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D C View Post
As you mentioned correctly, I think it is not possible to give a driving test in an AT for two reasons:

1. Unlike a two-wheeler, where the license is issued for 2 categories - Motor Cycle With Gear and Motor Cycle Without Gear, there is only one category for cars - LMV or Light Motor Vehicle

2. The Motor Vehicles Rules states the need of changing gears while appearing for a driving test. Here is an extract from the Government of Tamilnadu website.



Source: Please refer to the Page 11 of The Central Motor Vehicles Rule
Yep, thank you for confirming what the law states about the driving test.

On the other hand, the fact that there isn't a separate category of vehicle called LMV-AT only means that any car categorized as LMV should qualify. So, an automatic car (which is also categorized as LMV) should qualify.

Does someone have first hand information on what Bangalore RTOs practices are about this? Has someone appeared with an auto car?
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Old 21st March 2016, 11:36   #4
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

It'd be very stupid to not allow ATs during RTO tests.

Easiest way to get info on this would be to ask a driving school; they know the workings in and out.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 21st March 2016 at 11:52.
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Old 21st March 2016, 11:47   #5
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
It'd be very stupid to now allow ATs during RTO tests.

Easiest way to get info on this would be to ask a driving school; they know the workings in and out.
Did you mean it'd be very stupid to _not_ allow ATs?

Yes, I am checking with a few driving schools. But I know what they're going to say: they'll all want to turn the situation to their advantage (because I intend to appear for the test without an agent or a driving school). They'd say ATs are not allowed, and they could "help" if I work through them.
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Old 21st March 2016, 15:18   #6
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

In the UK, if you take a test in an AT car, your licence will restrict you to this. India does not have this rule but the RTO could only allow you to take test in a manual car only. It is a grey area
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Old 21st March 2016, 16:20   #7
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nirupesh View Post
Is it possible to appear for a Driver's license test in Bangalore in an automatic transmission car and use it for the driving test? I've seen mixed opinions about this in other places online and realized (in hindsight) this would be the best place to ask! Anyone have experiences getting a DL test in an AT car?
I do not know about Bangalore, at least in Coimbatore, they do not allow a test in an AT car.

A couple of months back my wife had to appear for a driving test. She was not comfortable with the driving school car(s), as they used 5 different cars during the 10 driving classes, each car requiring a different clutch pressure, and they could bring any car for the test. She was not confident at all in passing the test. She was comfortable with the Polo GT TSi. I did lot of asking around, even an inspector in the traffic department who was a friend of a friend. It was not allowed.

I then had my wife drive a known taxi driver's Swift Dzire for a few days and attend the test. Even here, I faced lot of problems as the driving school guy was stubborn saying that RTO would not allow someone to take a driving test in a yellow registration car. In the end, my wife had to drive the driving school's car for the test. She passed.

I learnt two lessons:

1. It is not possible to take a driving test in an automatic car. All that matters is you drive a manual car for 200 meters from 1st to 4th gear without stalling I do not know if this is the case in other places, but in Coimbatore, this is the requirement.
2. If you want to drive your own car for the test, it should be a white board private owned car. I totally did not understand why attending the test in a yellow board car is not allowed

Maybe in the future, when automatics become very common, they may allow driving tests in an automatic.

Last edited by graaja : 21st March 2016 at 16:22.
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Old 21st March 2016, 16:34   #8
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In chennai, I took this driving test in my sx4 AT, just checked my license it says LMV 05/08/2013 TN18Z, no mention of AT or WG anywhere, hope this helps, I guess it depends on your RTO officer, mine was accomodating, even though I was not through a driving school
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Old 21st March 2016, 16:39   #9
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

10 years ago a colleague of mine took the driving test in an automatic car in Bangalore and passed the same. He had no issues with it. He took the test in Jayanagar RTO.
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Old 21st March 2016, 17:15   #10
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvprasad View Post
In chennai, I took this driving test in my sx4 AT, just checked my license it says LMV 05/08/2013 TN18Z, no mention of AT or WG anywhere, hope this helps, I guess it depends on your RTO officer, mine was accomodating, even though I was not through a driving school
How long ago was your DL test? Did the officer seem to care at all that you were in an AT car? Was he/she even present in the car with you?
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Old 21st March 2016, 18:17   #11
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It was in august 2013, RTO officer sat next to me when I drove the car, he was aware that it was an AT car not even AMT, he was kind of strict because he failed a couple of guys driving a manual car referred by a driving school
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Old 21st March 2016, 18:45   #12
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

A friend of mine gave his test in an auto i20 some time back in Delhi. Anyway, why do they even bother with these formalities? The test is a joke, maybe a method to get a few hundred extra bucks.
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Old 21st March 2016, 18:59   #13
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

Interesting, what if I use the manual Tiptronic feature on my Octavia DSG? Then the only thing lacking is the clutch. Similar position for AMT vehicles!
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Old 21st March 2016, 19:25   #14
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

AFAIK, there is not provision to pass the driving test in an automatic geared car in India.

You have to pass the test in a manual tranny car and i guess only the handicapped are allowed to pass the test in automatics or something like that.

Maybe this will change with the greater proliferation of automatics (AMTs) in the market and we will have the same tests as in other major markets.
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Old 21st March 2016, 19:28   #15
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Default re: RTO Driving Test with an Automatic Transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
In the UK, if you take a test in an AT car, your licence will restrict you to this.
Interesting, USA doesn't have such classification or restriction, one can drive either a Manual or automatic car with a Car license.
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