According to the Transport Department statistics obtained by TOI, data suggests that ever since the license issue is digitized, there is a significant dip in the number of driving licenses being issued although the online appointments for tests have risen. The dip in numbers is certainly surprising since new vehicle registrations have been steadily growing.
It is believed that the dip is attributed to two primary causes – digitization of the process and stringent driving tests. While it has been claimed at many instances that earlier, people were issued DLs even without visiting the RTO, the online mechanism, introduced in 2014 has managed to tame the malpractices, to a large extent. Underage drivers, touts and people who have been trying to game the system face tough times in the present scenario. The RTOs have been given mandates to be stricter during the driving tests such that only trained applicants are issued the DLs. Moreover, underage applicants who’ve been issued DLs in the past need to get fresh applications once they attain the age of 18. It must be noted that the improved biometric driven system has been introduced to enhance road safety and encourage trained drivers to take to the fast lane. The new mechanism doesn’t leave room for underage applicants and people carrying fake documents. The online process for license is stringent and transparent where applicants have to be physically present with adequate proofs, take tests and biometrics.
Introduction of Biometric Fingerprint Technology for issuing DL has ensured that the applicant is available physically and their fingerprint needs to be registered using Biometric Fingerprint Scanner. The registration of fingerprint with the database ensures that the same person cannot apply and get another driving licence issued from any other RTO. This has limited the fraudulent cases related to driving licence completely. Owing to the loopholes in the previous system, there have been multiple cases of ID frauds such as issuing more than one DL to a person. Introduction of biometric driven Driving License immediately identifies fraud if biometric details don’t match the applicant profile information. Thus, it also ensures that all cases of violating the rules and challan issued can be stored on the card itself for future and easy references.
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The online appointment process is a welcome change in the age-old license issuing system. However, experts and activists feel that the system is complex for non-tech savvy people. A large base of new drivers belongs to a segment that is only learning computers now and thus, the online system must be linear and be based on easy-to-use software.