The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) recently released a notification allowing certain services can now be availed completely online via Aadhar authentication, including driving license and Certificate of Registration. This means people will no longer need to visit regional transport offices (RTOs) for services such as vehicle registration, learner's permit, renewal of driver's license, duplicate RC and more. According to a report from TOI, the Maharashtra state government is considering to allow aspirates to give learner's license examination from home or doing away with the exam.
A senior RTO official told TOI that according to a recent notification from Transport Ministry, the state government is considering an Aadhaar-based authentication for 18 RTO-related services, including procurement of a learners' license.
Sanjiv Bhor, the deputy RTO in Pune, told TOI, “While details are still awaited, we have learnt that the idea is to let examinees appear for tests from home. As their Aadhaar numbers will be linked with online appointments, the examinees will not have to come to the RTO office for learners' license examination. They will get a one time password (OTP) to access the link and appear for the examination. If they pass, they will receive a license online, which they can download.”
Another RTO official suggested making the permanent license more stringent. He said, “If learner license test is done away with, the test for securing permanent license will be tougher and will include a theory examination and a simulator test before the final driving test. The road transport ministry will share details with the RTOs regarding which option will be implemented. From now on, while providing documents for a learners' license, one should also submit a copy of the Aadhaar card for linking the number.”
Transport and traffic activists are strictly against doing away with learner's test permanently. Ranjit Gadgil, programme director, Parisar, said that both tests are essential. He told TOI, “The two tests are different in nature and both are essential for ensuring that a person who obtains a license has the qualities that will make him/her a safe driver. The learner's test is required to ensure that the applicant has adequate knowledge of rules and regulations and knowledge of documents to be kept with him/ her while driving or riding a two-wheeler. The driving test, on the other hand, tests on-road skills -- both ability to control the vehicle as well as safe driving habits.”
The government aims to streamline the entire process and make these services completely hassle-free and contactless for Indian citizens. Presently, the ministry of transport is offering about 18 contactless services. MoRTH said in the notification, "This will reduce the compliance burden on citizens, helping them to avail these services in a hassle-free, contactless manner. This will also reduce the footfall in the RTO office, which will further increase the efficiency of the RTO offices as well."