Smart driving licence from next week

DoTM aims to fully implement the new system across the country in three to five years

Kathmandu, November 30

Service receivers renewing or obtaining new driving licences from Bagmati Zonal Transport Management Office will get smart driving licences instead of manual ones starting December 6.

Launching a chip-based smart driving licence today, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has said that it is all set to distribute smart driving licence from Bagmati as a pilot phase programme, which will be expanded across the country in the near future.

The Bagmati Zonal Transport Management Office will start issuing smart driving licence once they migrate the data to new software, which is expected to be completed within this week. The DoTM has targeted to convert all existing driving licences to new smart driving licences within three to five years.

According to DoTM, around four million driving licences have been distributed across the country so far and the Bagmati Office alone has issued 60 per cent of the total driving licences issued till date.

The chip-embedded smart driving licence was launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar during a programme organised by DoTM in its premises here today.

The smart driving licence is expected to prevent forgery and enhance systemic revenue collection.

DoTM has started implementation of smart driving licence under the grant assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Information and Communication Technology Development Project with grant assistance worth $25 million.

DoTM has developed the required software, trained human resource and already procured 160,000 chip-based cards with South India-based Madras Security Printers from ADB’s assistance and it is said that the government will allocate required budget each fiscal to procure the smartcards and train human resource to successfully implement the programme.

The ADB grant has provided support to DoTM, its 13 zonal transport office (except Karnali) and two service centres in the Kathmandu valley.

Speaking at the programme, Director General of DoTM Chandra Man Shrestha expressed commitment to implement the smart driving licence within stipulated timeframe.

The government and ADB had signed an agreement for ICT Development Project on May 23, 2008.

The DoTM has said that it has managed the provision of online application and people would not need to queue for hours to submit the forms to get the new licence. However, the service receivers would need to visit the respective transport management office to provide their electronic signature and photos for the biometric card.

In a smart driving licence, a chip — with all necessary and relevant information that is easily retrievable — is embedded in the card.

Speaking during the launch ceremony, Kenichi Yokoyama, the country director of ADB, said that the country’s transport management has taken a step towards smart governance along with the launch of smart driving licence.

“The centralised system with biometric data does not only save time and increase efficiency in processing procedure for Nepali citizens, but also contributes in supporting the government to provide a secure system, efficient data management to minimise fraudulent practices and systematic revenue collection,” he said.

Yokoyama identified timely procurement of additional smartcards and mobilisation of efficient and adequate human resource as the major challenges to bring the new system into

full operation.

However, the DoTM has said it also plans to issue smart bill books (vehicle registration books) in the long run.