No Commercial License Needed For Driving Ola,Uber In Karnataka


In a move that could rapidly expand the pool of available drivers, the Karnataka State’s transport department has decided to issue a notification allowing people who hold a valid private light motor vehicle (LMV) driving license to ply taxis, without having to obtain a commercial license, according to media reports. 

For some time now, the taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber have been inviting people with a valid license to join their platforms and boost their income. However, the transport department was not clear about its stance on this issue and hence many drivers were hesitant. 

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The aggregators based their claims on Supreme Court order of July 3, 2017.

“The Court’s order did away with the system of obtaining a separate commercial license to drive a taxi. Now anyone can become a taxi driver if he has a valid driving license,”

said Transport Commissioner Naveen Raj Singh. He, however, added that the rules for police verification would apply.

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had in April this year come out with an advisory asking State governments to comply with the order. Karnataka has now taken the lead.

Taxi operators have welcomed the move.

Radhakrishna Holla, president, Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners Association (BTTOA) said,

“Bengaluru has a huge scarcity of drivers. The tourism sector alone needs at least 20,000 more. If rules are simplified, it will encourage women, too, to take up jobs. We had asked the State government to issue a notification, as this insistence on a commercial license was continuing even after the court order.”

Taxi unions though have criticised the move.

“If people holding private LMV licenses are allowed to drive a taxi, it will have a negative impact on existing drivers, as their earnings will come down,”

said Tanveer Pasha, president of Uber and Ola Drivers’ Association in Bengaluru

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