After the successful issuance of Digital Driving License since last year, finally Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has initiated online-based application system for driving licenses based on the decision all over Nepal from January 9. The Transportation Management Office, Bagmati has been issuing smart licenses from December 20, 2015.
The new licenses are similar to ATM cards issued by banks. They contain electronic chips similar to SIM cards and store information like the driver’s identity and vehicle registration number.
The cards will eventually be issued from all the zonal offices of the department, except Karnali zone.
According to Shrestha, the department plans to complete replacing the technology enabled license within three to five years. Till date, the DoTM has issued around 2 million driving licenses, out of which around 1.5 million are estimated to be active.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bijay Kumar Gachhadar launched the new licenses by unveiling a license issued in the name of DoTM Director General Chandra Man Shrestha and a replica.
Speaking at the event, Gachhadar stressed the need to make people aware about the newly introduced licenses. He added that the use of technology would end anomalies prevailing in the sector.
As per the decision made by DoTM, the department will fix a quota for each office and this could vary on a daily basis.
However, according to Rupnarayan Bhattarai, director general of DoTM, the online-based system has not been applied in the Karnali Zonal Office.
Based on the confirmation code, the process of written and trial exams will begin.
The implementation of fully online-based system is expected to facilitate the general public, who otherwise would have to queue for hours just to submit their applications for the driving licence.
The DoTM has changed manual system of accepting applications after receiving a large number of complaints from service seekers about the huge inconvenience due to the earlier system.
DoTM has categorized the vehicles in different groups. For example, motorcycles have been categorized in Group ‘A’, scooters in Group ‘K’ and cars in Group ‘B’ in the new system. People can choose the appropriate group through the website of the DoTM and apply for the driving license.
While the data recorded on the smart driving licences will be accessible to all the transport offices across the country, linkages will be made available to the traffic police, police and insurance agencies, among others, so that they can get complete information about the driver.
Meanwhile, driving licence applicants will have to give a fingerprint impression, get a passport-size photograph made and place their signature on the licence card by visiting the transportation office. This means that people will not be able to get their colleagues or friends obtain or renew licences on their behalf.
The DoTM has fixed the quota for two-wheelers between 100 and 600 units based on the zonal office. The highest number of quota has been fixed for offices belonging to the Bagmati Zonal Office. “As per demand in the zonal offices, we have fixed the quota and this may be changed on a daily basis,” Bhattarai clarified.
“Different quotas have been fixed for different zonal offices. Service seekers will get confirmation code and based on the code, the next process will be started,” Bhattarai stated. “So, if the quota for that day is finished, the additional applications will automatically be pushed to the following day.”
However, the new system will provide no relief to more than 250,000 people who have passed the trial examination and applied to renew their driving license as the DoTM has been unable to distribute the licenses to them due to scarcity of smart driving license cards.