Digital Driving License

The age of digitization is well and truly upon us. In a move towards the welcoming the role of technology and digitization towards bringing convenience and comfort to us all, the Government has decided to accept the digital copies if licenses as true and valid – as good as carrying the license itself.

 

What is the purpose of a driving license?

The main purpose of the driving license is to act as an identity proof and be able to confirm the identity of the person and their ability to drive the vehicle. This proof can now be shown in a physical as well as digital manner.

The digital driving license retains the key aspects of identity confirmation by keeping in place on the records – the driver’s photo along with their information such as name, address, date of birth etc.

 

Digital Driving License in India:

The Transport Ministry of India has sent out a statement to all the states and the traffic police departments within the states to now accept the digital copy of the driving license and car registration at par with the physical copies of the same that was needed to be carried around.

Under the Infirmation Technology Act, 2000 - these digital documents must be stored in the mParivahan or DigiLocker apps available to be treated as genuine and be recognized by the traffic police as genuine. If the driver of the vehicle does not carry the digital documents within these apps then they can be rejected as a valid proof.

To enable this the ministry of transport has first amended the Central Motor Vehicles Rules in November 2018 – to include that all-important documents that have been by law required to be kept in the vehicle at all times will now be accepted in the digital format. These documents include the driving license, the registration papers of the car, the PUC certificate (pollution under control) as well as the Insurance and any other permits that may be required. 

It is important to note that the digital documents have validity only when carried though the mParuvahan and Digilocker Apps that the Ministry of Road and Transport have provided through NIC which is the National Informatics Centre.

The two applications developed by the NIC for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. are

- ‘Vahan’ for vehicle registration and

-‘Sarathi’ for driving licences.

The website where these are available is the “Parivahan Seva” website, and these apps will compile all data in the State and National Register relevant to vehicles and drivers and have it available at one place. This will include the details such as personal information of the driver, licenses validity and challans due.

Features of Digital driving license and others:

  • Real-time availability of information – on all important documents such as Registration Certificate, Driving License, fitness and permits, active insurance would be available on the mobile app by simply keying in the driving license number or vehicle registration number. 
     
  • The related eChallan app is available to traffic police only – which lists all information and details about the driver and the vehicle that the officers may need to confirm the identity and the ability of the person to drive. They can also check if all requirements related to the vehicle have been complied with in the eChallan App.

 

  • The relevant apps such as the mParivahan App can be downloaded through mobile app stores and the important documents can be stored on the apps and downloaded to permit offline verification as well for times where there may be no internet connectivity.

 

Challenges of Digital driving license:

Even though the digitisation of documents benefits both the people as well as the officers – it has met some resistance from state authorities. Some complaints have been received by the ministry about state government officials refusing to accept the digital documents as completely valid.

In time though the digitized authentication is likely to help the traffic authorities implement the traffic rules and safety regulations with conformity and ease with minimal monitoring.

The convenience of Digital Driving License:

The convenience of the digital driving license is not limited to either the motorist or the traffic authorities but will benefit both sides. The traffic authorities will have the benefit of complete records at their fingertips and the people will not be bound by having to carry physical documents. The system will create a manner of monitoring that is transparent and easy as well as quick.

  • Convenience to Traffic police:
  • Drivers records at their fingertips
  • Real-time information of all compliances
  • No need for document handling
  • Ease and speed of sharing information over the entire country.
  • Can identify any privileges granted to vehicle or driver
  • Convenience to the issuing authorities for new licenses or updation of driver or vehicle information
  • Convenience to vehicle users:
  • No need to carry the physical documentation
  • Proof of identity is usable for various other reasons
  • Proof of age wherever required
  • Online authentication is possible
  • Ease in other processes such as Car Rental, hotel bookings, etc.
  • No worry of damaging the all-important physical copy of the important documents.
  • Can stay updated on all important data related to themselves and their vehicles.

The step of digitization is a crucial one in moving ahead into tomorrow's world and is best embraced by government and people alike. Points such as safety of data and aadhaar linking will remain to be tested another day. But for today it's a bold new world and your phone can be your key to your vehicle even.

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