Beginning June, applicants will have their driving licences delivered to their doorstep, the state government has decided.
The government has tied up with a Gurgaon-based company offering technology-based transport solutions that will receive applications of candidates clearing their tests from Kolkata and the districts.
The company will process the data into the driving licence in the form of a card the size of an ATM card, fix it with a chip and a QR code and hand it to officials of the postal department for delivery at the candidate’s address.
A trial run of the process has been completed.
Beginning June 1, the company will start its work at its temporary office at the motor vehicles’ office in Beltala, Bhowanipore.
The expected time of delivery of the card is within a week of clearing the final test. An applicant will be charged Rs 200 for the service.
The registration certificate (RC) of a vehicle will be also delivered in the same manner, at the address of the vehicle owner, against Rs 200.
“The transport department has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India Post, under the Union ministry of communications, for delivering these cards by speed post,” said a senior official of the transport department.
“The driving licence will be delivered within a week and an applicant will no longer have to visit the nearest regional transport office to collect it.”
For almost two years now, for a driving licence in Bengal, an A-4 size printout would be handed to a candidate who cleared the final test. In some places, the printout would be laminated but the licence would not come in the form of cards, like earlier.
A legal tussle with the company entrusted to make cards had come in the way of issuing driving licence cards, a senior transport department official said.
“Every day, close to 10,000 driving licences and RCs will be printed at the temporary office in Beltala. Each of these will be fitted with a chip and a QR code,” the official said.
The chip in a driving licence will have the relevant information about the owner, including name, date of birth, blood group, date and the place of issue of the licence. Similarly, the chip in an RC will also have all the details about the vehicle.
Police officers said the chip and QR code will not only show up relevant data about the owner but also help to find out if the card is original or fake.
“There can’t be two licences with the same code. So it will help detect if the card owner is carrying a fake document or a real one,” said a senior officer in Lalbazar. “Many times we have found drivers of commercial vehicles carrying several licences, making it difficult to track them down after an accident.”
The transport department official said a driving licence applicant would receive SMS updates about the status of the licence.