New Delhi: In a move to check multiple driving licenses under one name, the Centre will ask states to make Aadhaar identification necessary for a new licence as well as for those seeking renewal.
This is expected to prevent the issuance of multiple licences, means adopted to beat the suspension of licence for traffic, criminal offences or for fake identity.
The Aadhaar number’s biometrics details will help prevent such practices. The new regime is expected to kick off from October 2017, official sources said.
The Union road transport ministry has already started work to roll out the measure by incorporating the necessary changes. Since issuance of a driving licence is a state subject, the ministry will urge states to adopt this “safe system”, which will almost end the practice of people getting multiple licences from different regional transport offices (RTOs) in different states.
Since it is not too difficult to get such multiple licences at present, even the confiscation of a driving licence by police doesn’t work as a deterrent.
Aadhaar will be a single document which will be enough to establish the identity of the applicant. If anyone does not have it, then he/she has to submit several other documents.
We are making the necessary changes and incorporating provisions to enable RTOs to record these details. All RTOs will have access to the central database of driving licences (known as Sarathi) to check whether the applicant has got any other driving licence issued anywhere in the country,” a source said.
Till recently, RTOs followed a manual system and in the absence of access to real time data of all RTOs, they couldn’t check if an ap plicant already had another driving licence. The National Informatics Centre, which is responsible for managing the database of vehicles and licensed drivers, has uploaded most of the data available in RTO records.
“We are expediting the process to convert all data from hard copy registers to the digital format. Uninterrupted access to updated details will bring a huge transformation. It will be nearly impossible to get a fake or duplicate licence,” the source said.
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According to official estimates, about 18 crore driving licences have been issued across the country so far.