Despite the Union government’s claim that the Aadhaar cardcan be used as an identity and address proof for important transactions, it is being witnessed that neither passport offices nor banks or even telecom service providers are accepting the card.
Although the district in-charge of the Aadhaar project says that no service provider should deny accepting the Aadhaar card as identity proof, the reality is that Aadhaar cards are not being recognised as a valid ID proof.
City-based passport agent Urmila Karne said that the Ministry of External Affairs, in a directive, stated that all passport seekers could provide their Aadhaar card as proof of address and photo identity, but only as a secondary option.
“The bank statement is the most important document which the ministry seeks, while going through passport applications. The PAN and voter’s identity cards are the other necessary identity and address proofs. Therefore, we also tell passport seekers well in advance not to depend on the Aadhaar card for identity proof, which they assume would be sufficient for any service provider,” said Karne.
Not just this, an amendment has not yet been made to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1984 (Rule 4) of including the Aadhaar card as address proof to secure a permanent driving licence.
“We received the directive from the state transport commissioner to start accepting Aadhaar as an address proof. An additional order, however, were also sent stating not to depend solely on it, and other documents like the PAN or voter’s identity card should be taken as an address proof,” said deputy regional transport officer of Pune, Sanjay Dhaygude.
He added that unless the amendment is made to the Motor Vehicles Act, he couldn’t accept the Aadhaar card as an address proof to furnish a permanent licence.
The Aadhaar card has also not yet assumed significance as an address or identity proof for telecom services. A customer of one such telecom service provider told MiD DAY that when he changed his mobile account from prepaid to postpaid, he was denied the transfer after he submitted an Aadhaar card as identity proof.
“The Union government assured citizens that if they submit an Aadhaar card, then they don’t have to provide any other identity or address proof. The 12-digit unique identification number on the card will check the bogus use of documents. However, whenever I submit it, the service provider asks for other identity proofs with it. What is the use of the Aadhaar card if it’s not useful as an identity or address proof?” said the customer, on condition of anonymity.
The state IT secretary Rajesh Aggrawal agreed that service providers are presently not accepting Aadhaar cards. He, however, assured that it would be the sole identity or address proof required in the near future.
“In the coming four to five months, one by one all the service providers will start accepting the Aadhaar card as the only proof of identity. The private service providers would not be an exception to this,” said Aggrawal.
District Aadhaar in-charge Apurva Wankhede said that no service providers should deny accepting the Aadhaar card, as sole identity or address proof.
“The card has a biometric technology which is another reason why it should be treated as the most important identity or address proof,” said Wankhede.