Resumption of issuance of driving licences unlikely in near future


The resumption of issuance of new driving licence, which has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, is unlikely in the near future.

Even though the government has been issuing licence to those who have already cleared trial, thousands of people are waiting for the government to resume licence trial.

“Though we have started distributing printed licence, the distribution process has been affected due to the COVID-19 crisis. In such a scenario, how can we think of restarting licence trials?” wondered Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general of Department of Transport Management.

In the wake of spike in COVID cases, the DoTM is planning to start issuing forms for new licence only after the festive season, he added.

“However, it all depends on how the situation evolves,” he said, adding, “Due to the pandemic, we are working with limited staff. Moreover, licence trials will attract large crowd, increasing the risk of transmission of the virus.”

While Hamal said the department was considering to resume licence issuance after festivals, the department has not begun making any preparation yet.

Even though life in the city is inching back to normal, the number of people contracting coronavirus is on the rise, uncertainty looms over issuance of licence, he added.

He, however, said that the department might implement a quota system for new licence issuance. “If normalcy returns after the lockdown, we may distribute forms for licence in quota system where a limited number of forms will be distributed every day,” he said. Prior to this, the department had been issuing around 3,500 to 4,000 forms per day for licence-seekers.

But, once the licence issuance resumes, service-seekers in Kathmandu will be able to get their licence within a week of clearing their trial. Meanwhile, in districts outside Kathmandu, an applicant will have to wait for at least a month after clearing the trial to get his or her hand on the licence.