CAN’T drive if you cannot read/write: High Court orders license cancellation

The Rajasthan high court bench has passed a new bizarre rule to cancel the driving licenses. Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma, in a single-bench ruling, has directed the transport authorities to withdraw the driver’s license issued to the illiterate persons. The reason the court gave behind the cancellation of the licenses is that the illiterate persons driving a vehicle can be a menace for the pedestrians.

CAN’T drive if you cannot read/write: High Court orders license cancellation

The court passed a two-page ruling after hearing a case on a different case. The excerpt from the ruling says,

“The license cannot be allowed to be issued for driving any kind of vehicle to an illiterate person as he is virtually a menace for the pedestrians as he would not be in a position to understand road signs and notices of caution written on boards for human safety on the highways as well as on the roads in the cities. The license of Light Motor Vehicles issued to the petitioner and similar persons also must be therefore withdrawn in the light of what has been stated hereinabove.“

According to the judge, an illiterate person cannot read road signs properly, which is why they can be dangerous to pedestrians. The court said that people who cannot read are a menace to the pedestrians. It should be noted that there is no minimum qualification required to get a private driving license in India. However, there are written tests that require a certain level of basic reading and writing. If a person is applying for a transport license, the prescribed minimum requirement is Class VII pass.

Interestingly, the court passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed by a person who was seeking a license to drive a transport vehicle. The person filed a petition saying that he should be allowed to drive the transport vehicle on the ground that he received the driving license thirteen years ago. It should be noted that in 2017, the Supreme Court passed a ruling that allowed LMV license holders could drive commercial LMV category vehicles without endorsing it. This allowed many people to earn by driving commercial vehicles without getting any extra permissions from the authorities.

Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma, who was the only judge present on the bench listening to the petition observed that the petitioner was illiterate and yet he holds a driving license. The judge then said that Motor Vehicle rules should consider the public who are using the road and should not be framed in a way to only benefit the license seekers.

The court has asked the transport authorities to show their course of action in the next one month. It is not known how the authorities will identify such illiterate person but cancelling the licenses will have a huge impact on the livelihood of the people.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)