Mangaluru, Apr 08, 2019: The regional transport authority (RTA) has been told to tighten the rules for obtaining driving licence (DL) following an advisory by the Centre to ensure adherence to rules regarding age and residence of the applicants.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has written to transport secretaries and commissioners in all the states following sporadic reports of fake DL scam and questions over the duplicate passports (one person having multiple passports).
“It has been brought to the notice of this ministry that the driving licences are being issued by the registering authorities to persons who have neither resided in the state nor attended the classes in a driving school within the aforesaid state,” last week’s letter states.
Officials in the Regional Transport Office (RTO) said the possibility of fake DLs were less as all applications for DL were being processed online through Sarathi portal. “The online set up helps in removing or merging duplicate licence. It will take some time before older DLs can be streamlined,” an official said.
In January, in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the MoRTH had cited a study by the National Informatics Centre which found that there was a “possibility of duplicate licences.”
“Out of total 6.70 crore available as on January 2015, 16.72 lakh were found to be possible duplicates. This information has been shared with the respective states for further action,” it said.
Sarathi, part of national database on driving licences and vehicle registration, allows aspirants to apply for DL and attend the tests at the jurisdictional RTO. However, the menace of the middlemen and agents is still rampant at several places.
The Transport Research Wing of MoRTH has said that drivers’ fault was the single most important factor responsible for road accidents, accounting for 84% of accidents on all roads in the country in 2016. The ministry has been stressing on need to check fake driving licence.
The official said the state transport authority will have to tighten the rules further, to check the menace of brokers who have been accused of facilitating DL to even those applicants who don’t attend the necessary tests.