Frequently Asked Questions - Indian Drivers Licence Verification

Indian Drivers Licence Verification FAQs

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we assist many clients with the Indian Drivers Licence Verification (IDLV) process through VFS. The IDLV process is necessary if they want to convert their Indian Drivers Licence to a NSW Drivers Licence, but the name on their Indian Passport is different to their name on their Indian Drivers Licence.

This article contains a number of Frequently Asked Questions that you may find helpful as you are doing research or looking for more information.

Why do I need to do the Indian Drivers Licence Verification?

If you wish to convert your Indian Drivers Licence to a NSW Drivers Licence and the driving authority (RMS/RTA) does not recognise your Indian Drivers Licence, then you must go through the IDLV process.

Who does the IDLV process?

For Indian nationals, the IDLV process is handled through VFS. You can find more information about the IDLV process and the relevant checklist/application on their website.
http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/australia/consular_miscellaneous/pdf/IDLV-Checklist.pdf

What happens if I don't go through the IDLV process?

You can still apply for a drivers licence in NSW, but your past driving history and experience in India may not be reconigsed. If your driving history and experience is not recognised, you will need to go through the normal process of applying for and qualifying for your NSW Drivers Licence (ie, starting with a Learner's Licence).

Is it better to go through the IDLV process instead of the normal process of obtaining a NSW Drivers Licence?

The normal process of applying for a NSW Drivers Licence (ie, starting with a Learner's Licence) can be quite demanding and time-consuming. It would be extremely frustrating to go through especially if you already have many years driving history and experience overseas. Despite the cost, the relatively short time frame to obtain a full NSW Drivers Licence through the IDLV process will probably be a more attractive option for most people.

Can I apply for the IDLV process if I am an Australian Citizen?

You will need to check with VFS. Our current understanding of the IDLV process through VFS is that you must be an Indian citizen (ie, being an OCI is not sufficient).

Why do I need a notary for the IDLV process?

If the name on your Indian Passport is different to the name on your Indian Drivers Licence, in addition to the common requirements of the IDLV process, you must also provide evidence that you are the one and the same person referred to in your Indian Passport and your Indian Drivers Licence and you are given 2 options - one of those options is to obtain evidence from a notary and the apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The other option involves obtaining an affidavit from a court in India as well as other things and so this is generally less practical if you are already living in Australia.

If I have already satisfied the requirements of the other option in the IDLV process, do I still need a notary?

No. If you have already obtained the evidence necessary to prove that you are the one and the same person appearing in your Indian Passport and your Indian Drivers Licence (according to the VFS checklist), then you do not need notary public services - you just need to rely on the evidence that you have already obtained assuming that it has been prepared properly according to the VFS requirements for IDLV.

What is a notary public?

In Australia, a notary public is a senior lawyer who has further qualifications and appointment to notarise documents. The role is very similar to the Justice of Peace or Commissioner of Oaths, except that a notary handles documents that are intended to be used in other countries. When it comes to the IDLV process, you may need a notary to notarise your document because technically the document will be sent to VFS which represents the Indian foreign office and consular services in Australia. As VFS also requires your document to be stamped with an apostille, this can only be done if your document has been notarised since the issuing authority for the apostille, being DFAT will only accept documents that have been notarised by a notary public in Australia.

What does your notary document say?

For the IDLV process, we will provide you with a notary certificate stating that you came to see us, you provided us with your Indian Passport and your Indian Drivers Licence, you appear to be the one and the same person referred to in your Indian Passport and your Indian Drivers Licence. We will also attach certified copies of your Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence to the notary certificate.

Will your notary certificate be sufficient?

Yes. Our notary certificate is our declaration that you are the one and the same person - which is similar to the affidavit referred to in the IDLV checklist. The difference between the certificate and the affidavit is that the affidavit would need to be signed by you. On the other hand, the notary certificate is prepared by us and signed by us as confirmation of your identity and the despite the inconsistency in your name on your Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence, that you are the one and the same person. VFS accepts our notary certificate.

Can I prepare my own affidavit?

Yes, of course. You can write your own affidavit if you wish however, we are not able to check your document or guarantee that the format or the wording that you use will be accepted by VFS. Our notary certificate has been accepted by VFS for over a decade without any issues and so we are confident that if you use our notary certificate, you will satisfy the notary requirement in the IDLV checklist. This is why we offer the service as it is. Anything different is not covered by in relation to the notary service.

There are many other notaries around, do I have to use your notary service?

Of course not! However, our experience and expertise in preparing the notary document for the IDLV process and satisfying the IDLV checklist are beyond comparison. We have been assisting members of the Indian community to convert their Indian Drivers Licence to a NSW Drivers Licence for over 10 years. If you have not received a referral from a friend, a family member or from someone else within your social circles, then please read through our blog and various material on the internet. You will understand what we do, how we do it and most importantly - why we do what we do. There is no substitute for confidence and peace of mind when you engage us to assist you with your IDLV application.

I am working and cannot come to your office, am I able to send someone else or are you able to come to my home or workplace?

We need to see you in person in order to complete the notary certificate. The notary certificate clearly states that we have seen you and we have compared you with your photograph on your Indian Passport and your Indian Drivers Licence before we verify that you are the one and the same person. You cannot send someone else to bring your documents to us. Unfortunately, due to the cost of travelling, we do not offer home or workplace visits for the IDLV process.

What is the apostille?

In addition to services from a notary public, you must also obtain an apostille from DFAT - this is a VFS requirement for the IDLV process. The apostille is an internationally recognised stamp from DFAT verifying the details of the notary. We are registered with DFAT for this purpose.

Is the apostille free?

No, whether you apply directly to DFAT or engage us to assist you with obtaining the apostille - there is a fee. As dealing with DFAT is a significant component of the services that we provide in addition to our notary services, we provide clients with a package and fixed fee for applying for the apostille inclusive of the apostille fee charged by DFAT.

How much do you charge to help with the IDLV process?

To help with the IDLV process, we provide 2 levels of service, we can either (1) prepare the notary document only (but this means you will need to apply for your own apostille), or (2) prepare the notary document and apply for the apostille on your behalf as well. You can submit a quote request to us by clicking the link below
https://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees-quote/

How long will it take to complete the notarisation and apostille?

We generally ask our clients to allow up to about 2 weeks. While we are able to prepare your notary document within 2-3 hours, unfortunately, the processing times with DFAT can vary up to about 2 weeks to obtain the apostille - sometimes (especially around public holidays) it could take longer. If your request is urgent, we can prepare your notary document for you but you should make your own arrangements for the apostille.

Can I pay extra to make it go faster?

Unfortunately, no. The DFAT processing times do not change and there is no option for 'urgent' or 'faster' services. In the past, DFAT would accept urgent processing over the counter however even now over the counter processing is no longer available. You can either call to make an appointment (sometimes 1-2 weeks in advance) or make arrangements to send your documents to them by mail.

Can I take your notary document directly to RMS/RTA to apply for my licence?

The statements in the notary document are generic and basically verify that you are the one and the same person by comparison to both your Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence, so if RMS/RTA or any other government department requires some proof that you are the one and the same person it could be possible that our notary document can be used for this purpose - however, it was NOT designed for this purpose. Our notary document was designed to be part of the IDLV process handled by VFS and so we cannot guarantee that it can be used for any other purpose. You should make further enquiries with RMS/RTA.

The name on my Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence is the same. Do I still need notary services?

No. If your name on your Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence is the same, you do not need notary services but you may still need to apply to VFS and go through their IDLV process. You may also want to check directly with RMS/RTA to see whether they will accept your Indian Drivers Licence as sufficient proof of your driving history and experience.

My father's name on my Indian Passport and my Indian Drivers Licence is different. Can you help me?

We cannot verify that your father is the one and the same person for the purposes of the IDLV process. You may need to make further enquiries with VFS for more information about how to correct this inconsistency. However, for our purpose in preparing the notary document, we do not refer to your father's name and so we can still prepare the notary document to verify that you are the one and the same person to satisfy the IDLV checklist requirement even if your father's name is different on both documents.

My date of birth on my Indian Passport and my Indian Drivers Licence is different. Can you help me?

No. We cannot help you if your date of birth on your Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence is different. You will need to make further enquiries with VFS for more information. We cannot prepare the notary certificate since we use both your photograph and your date of birth in your Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence to confirm that you are the one and the same person despite the difference in your name.

I do not have my original Indian Drivers Licence. Can you help me?

No. You must have your original Indian Drivers Licence. This is a VFS requirement and it is clearly stated on the IDLV checklist. If you do not have your original Indian Drivers Licence, you will need to make further enquiries with VFS or your licence authority in India about obtaining a replacement licence.

My Indian Passport has been damaged. Will this be a problem?

As long as your photograph and your biographical details (ie, name, date of birth, passport expiry date) are still clear and legible, we will accept your Indian Passport even if it has been damaged. However, you may need to make further enquiries with VFS as to whether they will accept your Indian Passport in its damaged condition. Normally, a damaged passport will be invalid and should be replaced. VFS may require you to complete Form V - the Affidavit in lieu of a lost/stolen passport. Be aware that if your passport is replaced (either because it's lost, damaged or expired/renewed) the notary document that we provide to you may no longer be valid because it would refer to your previous passport.

My Indian Passport has expired. Will this be a problem?

If you insist, we can still prepare the notary document based on your expired Indian Passport, especially if it has only expired recently and you still resemble your photograph. However, you may have problems with VFS and so you should make further enquiries with VFS about using an expired passport for the IDLV process. Be aware that if you change your passport after we have prepared the notary document, the notary document may be invalid as your passport details would have changed. If your Indian Passport has expired, we recommend renewing it before you start the IDLV process.

Why do I need a letter from my licence authority in India?

The letter from your licence authority in India verifies the validity of your licence (even if it is in a different name) and the details of your driving history/experience. You do not need this letter for us to prepare the notary document, but you will need it in your IDLV application to VFS. If you cannot obtain a letter from your licence authority in India, you can visit the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways website (see below) to print your licence details.

I live in Australia. How do I get a letter from my licence authority in India?

There are 2 options to obtaining verification of your licence from India, you can either print the details of your licence from https://sarathi.nic.in (the official application for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) or you can obtain the letter directly from your licence authority. In the past, our clients have either applied in person to their licence authority or they have asked family members to assist them.

Will you send my IDLV application to VFS?

No. We will only provide the notary service or the notary service and apostille (depending on what you choose). We do not provide any other services in relation to the IDLV process. We are aware that there are some consultant businesses that offer to handle the 'whole' process for you, however, before you consider engaging someone else to do it for you, you should check out the VFS website and IDLV checklist first. If you have the necessary documents, including the notary document and apostille if your name on your Indian Passport and Indian Drivers Licence are different, it should be fairly easy to follow and do it yourself.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit https://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Get quote to notarise Indian documents

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at https://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at https://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see https://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.