BENGALURU: Many who have passed their driving licence tests and those who have applied for renewal of their existing cards haven’t received their licences yet. The reason is that the vendor who supplies smart cards that are embedded with a chip on which the DL is printed is facing a shortage.
Also, the transport department is working on a plan to migrate from the existing smart cards to ‘new age smart cards’. These new-age cards will be uniform across the country and are said to have additional information about the cardholder and have QR codes that the enforcing authorities can scan for authentication.
“I had applied for a driving licence and took the test. The transport department claims they provide DLs in ten days. But it has been nearly a month and I have not received my DL yet” a youth said.
BV Raghavendra, Convener, Sarige Chalakara Sanghatangegala Okkoota, said, “Earlier, we used to get DLs in just a few days. But over the last few weeks, many of our auto and cab drivers who have applied for fresh driving licenses and those who have got their DLs renewed have not received them yet. When our drivers enquired with the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), officials told them that the dealer who was supposed to supply the smart cards to them had not done it.”
Transport officials said they are working on a new-age smart card, which will also have numbers to be contacted during emergency situations.
The delay in issuing DLs has led to confusion among those who have cleared the test as they don’t have clarity if they can ride/drive. Sources from the police department too maintained the situation is confusing to enforce if the driver has cleared the test and hasn’t received the licence yet because of the delay in getting the DL. A police official said that anyone driving without a valid licence will have to cough up the fine, irrespective of whether they have cleared the test or not. He said the licence holder must get on the road only with a valid licence.
When TNIE took up the issue of delay in issuing DLs with Transport Commissioner Yogeesh, he said, “Whoever takes up the DL test should get the licence at their doorstep in a matter of few days. They will also get messages about the dispatch of their DLs to their registered addresses. There may be some instances where some may not have received the cards. But there is no shortage of smart cards.”