Mumbai: Digitalisation process for obtaining licence driving away applicants?

Driving licence fall in applicants
Representational pic

Following the introduction of e-registration process for getting driving licences in Mumbai, it was expected that the number of people applying for the same would go up. But, that hasn’t been the case. Instead, the number of driving licences issued across the city has dipped rather drastically. This, even as the number of online appointments for driving tests have risen.

According to a report in timesofindia, the number of licences issued in Mumbai in 2014-15 was 30%-40% lower in comparison to 2013-14, when the manual system was in place. Transport department officials told the paper that the online process is transparent, and hence many are shying away from it, which wasn’t the case earlier.

An RTO official explained to timesofindia, “Earlier, many people would, with the help of touts, get licences even without giving the test. This is not possible in the online registration process. Also, the RTO has been directed not to be lenient to applicants, so hose who fail the tests are not given the licence.” He added that earlier a learner’s licence could be obtained without even visiting the RTO.

A few Mumbaikars, speaking to timesofindia, however, stated that the process of online registration is ‘cumbersome’, which may be the reason for fall in the numbers.

The transport department informed the paper that 19.46 lakh applicants received permanent driving licences across Maharashtra in 2013-14 while only 16.66 lakh did so in 2014-15.

In the online process, a tout doesn’t come into the picture. “You can take an appointment and visit the RTO with the documents. After the biometrics is done and fees paid, you have to give a test for 20 marks without any prompting from tout or agent. Sixty per cent marks is the requirement for clearing the test and we have found that close to 25% did not clear the test and were failed,” an official explained to timesofindia.

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