"Yesterday, I went to the Ambatur RTO, in Chennai to apply for my learner's license. When I presented my papers to pay the fees(Rs.90), the Junior Assistant at the counter asked me if I own a car. I answered 'No' and asked him if it is mandatory to own a car if I have to apply for LLR or to learn to drive a car. He stressed on that 'unwritten' rule he has been misleading applicants with, that one must own a car if he/she has to apply for a learner's license, and if i had any issues about it, he asked me to talk to the Brake Inspector.

I approached the Brake inspector's desk and raised this issue knowing very well, that there can't be a silly rule like that. The Brake inspector admitted that the Junior Assistant would have said that by "mistake". He added that it is sufficient to bring any car with the RC book copy accompanied by an authorization letter from the registered owner, that the vehicle can be used for applying for the LLR. When I said I want to give a written complaint on the junior assistant for lying to a citizen about the rules, the brake inspector called for him and asked him to apologize, which I wasn't comfortable with.

After a long conversation he agreed that it is not a matter of apologizing but its is unlawful to give wrong information to mislead the citizen and it is their duty to display the procedures, checklist of documents and the fee structure, inside the premises of the RTO office, which he promised to do in a day or two. He then signed on my LLR application. He then became very friendly and started venting out their side of the frustration. The staff in the printing section asked me to pick up my LLR after 4 pm. I said I can't come back in the evening or can't wait until that time and insisted that I would like to have it sooner. He then printed my LLR and issued it in 5 minutes.

It does work; let's go directly to the offices and pay the right fees, rather than relying on middlemen and paying the bribe."

-Lakshmi Gunasekar