Sri Lanka Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Sri Lanka Driving Licence : To drive legally on Sri Lankan roads, you must obtain a valid driver’s license from the Department of Motor Traffic. Here are some key requirements:

  • Minimum age is 18 years to obtain a license for motorcycles and cars.
  • You must be a resident or citizen of Sri Lanka. Foreign licenses are valid for up to 3 months.
  • Candidates must pass a written exam on road rules and traffic laws.
  • A practical driving test must then be passed at a Vehicle Examining Station.
  • Licenses must be renewed every 10 years.

Types of Driver’s Licenses

There are several classes of driver’s licenses issued in Sri Lanka:

  • Class B: For motorcycles and three-wheelers under 200cc engine capacity.
  • Class A1: For heavy motorcycles over 200cc engine capacity.
  • Class C: For private motor cars.
  • Class G: For dual-purpose vehicles that can carry both passengers and goods, like vans.
  • Class F: For heavy goods vehicles and lorries over 7,500 kg.
  • Class E: For buses and coaches with more than 30 seats.

Steps to Getting a Sri Lanka Driving Licence

Follow these key steps to obtain your Sri Lankan driver’s license:

1. Apply for a Learner’s Permit

  • Visit the Department of Motor Traffic to obtain application forms.
  • Complete the Learner’s Permit application with all required documents.
  • Provide a medical report, ID, passport photos, and proof of residence.
  • Pay the fee of LKR 1,500.

2. Pass the Written Exam

  • Study the government’s rules of the road manual.
  • Take the written test at a testing center. It has over 100 multiple choice questions.
  • Passing score is 50%. Results are given immediately.

3. Book a Driving Test Date

  • If you passed the written test, visit the Vehicle Examining Station to book a driving test.
  • Submit your learner’s permit, ID, and fees.
  • You will be given a date for your practical driving test.

4. Take Driving Lessons

  • Take lessons from a qualified driving school instructor.
  • You must complete at least 15-20 hours of practice lessons.
  • Focus on driving skills like maneuvering, parking, intersections, etc.

5. Take the Driving Test

  • Bring all documents, learner’s permit, and fees to the test center.
  • A driving examiner will assess your driving skills on the road.
  • If you pass, you pay a license issuance fee and are issued your license.

Getting an International Driving Permit

With a Sri Lankan license, you can also apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP). This allows you to legally drive abroad.

To get a Sri Lanka IDP:

  • Apply at the automobile associations AAA or AA.
  • Bring passport photos, Sri Lankan license, and completed application.
  • Pay fee of around LKR 3,000.
  • You will be issued an IDP valid for 1 year.

Over 100 countries recognize the IDP globally.

Renewing Your Sri Lankan License

  • Licenses must be renewed every 10 years.
  • Visit the Department of Motor Traffic before expiration.
  • Bring old license, new medical report, photos and renewal fee of LKR 2,500.
  • An eye exam may be required for renewals.
  • Your renewed license will be valid for another 10 years.

Replacing a Lost or Damaged License

If your license is lost, damaged or destroyed, you must replace it right away:

  • Visit the Department of Motor Traffic.
  • File a police report about your lost license. Provide copy to department.
  • Complete application and pay fee of LKR 3,000 for replacement license.
  • You may need to retake the written exam before a replacement is issued.

Changing Your Address on Your License

If you change your permanent residence address, you must update your driver’s license:

  • Visit the Department of Motor Traffic.
  • Provide proof of new address (utility bill, rental agreement etc).
  • Request your address be changed on your license record.
  • Pay fee of LKR 500 to have an updated license issued.

Transferring a Foreign License

If you become a resident of Sri Lanka, you can transfer your valid foreign license:

  • Apply at the Department of Motor Traffic within first 3 months of residency.
  • Provide your current foreign license, passport, photos, and translations.
  • Pay fee of LKR 5,000 to transfer the license category.
  • You do not need to take the exams again.

Traffic Violations and Penalties

As a driver, you must obey Sri Lanka’s traffic laws. Some common offenses:

  • Speeding – Fines from LKR 1,000 to 3,000
  • Drunk Driving – Fine up to LKR 10,000, imprisonment up to 6 months
  • Reckless Driving – Fines up to LKR 5,000, license suspension
  • Running a Red Light – Fines up to LKR 2,500
  • No License – Fines up to LKR 5,000
  • No Insurance – Fines up to LKR 10,000

Penalties increase for repeat offenses. Violations lead to points deductions on your license.

License Fees and Costs in Sri Lanka

Here are typical driver’s license fees in Sri Lanka:

  • Learner’s Permit – LKR 1,500
  • Written Exam – LKR 300
  • Driving Test – LKR 2,500
  • License Replacement – LKR 3,000
  • License Renewal – LKR 2,500
  • International Driving Permit – LKR 3,000

Overall budget about LKR 10,000-15,000 to obtain your new license.

Booking Tests and Checking Results Online

The Department of Motor Traffic now offers an online system for tests and results at

  • Register for an account on the portal.
  • Book preferred dates for exams and driving tests.
  • Pay fees online via credit/debit card.
  • Check your results for the written exam and driving test.

Using the portal makes the licensing process more efficient.

FAQ on Sri Lanka Driving Licence

How long is a Sri Lankan driver’s license valid for?

Licenses are valid for 10 years from date of issue. They must be renewed before expiration.

Can I drive in Sri Lanka with just an international permit?

No, an IDP must be used alongside a valid Sri Lankan license. The IDP itself does not allow driving.

Is a medical certificate required to obtain a license in Sri Lanka?

Yes, you need a valid medical report from an approved physician to prove fitness to drive.

What is the minimum age to get a motorcycle license in Sri Lanka?

You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a motorcycle (Class B) license in Sri Lanka.

Can women obtain driver’s licenses in Sri Lanka?

Yes, there are no restrictions on women obtaining licenses. The same rules apply equally to male and female applicants.

How many times can I take the driving test in Sri Lanka?

You can take the practical driving test up to 3 times if you fail. After third fail, must wait 3 months.

Do I need insurance to obtain a license in Sri Lanka?

No, you only need insurance after getting your license to legally drive a vehicle. It is not needed just to obtain a license.

Is an eye test required for a Sri Lankan driver’s license?

Yes, all applicants need to pass an eye exam and submit a medical report confirming visual fitness to drive.

What vehicles can I drive with a Class B license in Sri Lanka?

A Class B license covers motorcycles and 3-wheelers with engine capacity less than 200cc.

What documents do I need for a learner’s permit?

You need national ID, passport photos, proof of residence, completed application, and medical report.

Driving Legally on Sri Lanka’s Roads

Obtaining your Sri Lankan driver’s license allows you to explore the beautiful island nation. Make sure to renew it on time and drive safely at all times. The scenic journeys will be well worth it!