Finally, RTOs in Mumbai may go online

In a long-delayed move, the transport authority is looking at setting up an online system which will allow submission of documents and payment of fees over the Internet to root out the rampant corruption and inefficiency in the current system

The human interface is what makes a visit to the Regional Transport Office all the more irksome, as a lot of time, and money, is consumed even for minor processes. If things go as planned, however, there could be a transformation in the entire system of working at RTOs.

People wait outside the Tardeo RTO. Chaos and confusion normally reign at these transport offices. File pic
People wait outside the Tardeo RTO. Chaos and confusion normally reign at these transport offices. File pic

The state Transport department is looking at the option of going online, wherever personal interface with the common man is involved. It would simply mean that the whole process of buying a form, filling it and attaching important documents and then going to the RTO personally, would be eliminated.

Presently all those going to an RTO have to keep coming back to the transport office at least a couple of times. There’s always a missing document which has to be submitted, or some formality that is yet to be completed. “We had a meeting with certain organisations whose business and working is mainly online,” said a Transport department official.

The department has had meetings with nationalised banks and agencies who ask for submission of personal documents and photo ID proof before enrolling their customers. Officials added that they would come up with a system wherein people can do every transaction online filling forms, scanning and submitting documents and paying fees over the Internet.

The idea is to move towards complete computerisation of all systems so that every transaction at these transport offices can be conducted online.

For the people
When the Borivli RTO was recently inaugurated, senior transport officials said they wanted to ensure that people don’t have to travel to these centres for routine transactions. Processes like applying for learner’s licences and taking appointments for the same have already gone online at various RTOs.

In the long run, barring activities like registration of new vehicles or checking physical fitness of automobiles, which require physical inspections, the rest of the processes can go online “This will bring respite to people who are harassed by, and have to pay bribes to, officials and agents sitting outside various RTOs,” said a Transport official.

The department is already facing an acute shortage of manpower to the extent of 40%. The officials agree that once everything goes online and all details get printed on a single digital card, the processes for getting and renewing licences and a host of other activities can be conducted over the Internet.

The authorities have already started the process of computerisation of data at various RTOs. This will be a massive improvement over the current state of affairs.

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