Fine Despite Helmet to International Driving Permit: 5 New Rules Indian Drivers Must Know

File photo of traffic in India

There have been recent changes to transport rules, including the updating of the Motor Vehicles Act and new standards as per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Here’s what you need to know.

On 26 August, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) released a statement to announce changes in the issuance of an International Driving Permit (IDP). As per this statement, IDP has been standardised across the country and will help authorities in other countries verify the same. The changes are as per the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 (Geneva Convention).

Meanwhile, in May, the Motor Vehicles Act of 1998 was amended to ensure road safety, reduce accidents, and control traffic violations. As per the new rules, even if a two-wheeler rider is wearing a helmet, he/she may have to pay fines under certain circumstances. 

Both these changes affect drivers of four-wheelers and two-wheelers across the country. These changes in rules are important for drivers to know, and follow.

Here are 5 key new rules from the two updates:

  1. Fine up to Rs 2,000 despite wearing a helmet: As per the latest update to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1998, fines can be imposed on two-wheeler riders who wear helmets improperly.  If you wear a helmet with the band/buckle/strip untied, you will be asked to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. If your helmet doesn’t have a BSI (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification, you will be asked to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. If you break traffic rules, like jumping a red light, you will be asked to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 even if you are wearing a helmet.
  2. Fine of Rs 1,000 if children are not wearing helmets: The new rules also include those for children below four years of age on two-wheelers. Children must wear helmets and the riders must use harness belts for them. The rider should maintain a speed limit of up to 40 km/hr while driving with children. If these rules are violated, you will be asked to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 and your driver’s licence will be suspended for three months.
  3. Fine of Rs 20,000 for overloading the vehicle: The latest update also attracts a massive fine of Rs 20,000 for overloading a two-wheeler. You will be asked to cough up an additional fine of Rs 2,000 per tonne.
  4. All states to issue the same International Driving Permit: So far, each state was issuing a different format for an International Driving Permit (IDP), which caused hassle to drivers. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has introduced a uniform format across all states. The document will be issued in booklet form. The IDP is valid in 102 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, UAE, and Australia. This format is expected to help issues faced by Indians in foreign countries regarding verification.  
  5. QR code to link IDP with driving licence: In the new standardised format, a QR code will be included in the booklet. This will have data related to the driver so that officials in other countries will be able to check it easily. 

Edited by Divya Sethu


‘Now, ₹2,000 fine if helmet strap untied or BSI mark missing: Check details’ Published on 19 May, 2022 Courtesy Hindustan Times

‘Road ministry standardises process for issuing international driving permit’ Published on 29 August, 2022 Courtesy Business Standard

‘MoRTH standardises the process for issuing international driving permits’ by Akhil Dalvi for Autocar India, Published on 30 August, 2022