As per an order issued by the central government, Aadhaar card will become mandatory for issuance of fresh driving licences or for renewal of the same. This rule will come into effect starting October 2017. The idea behind the move is to eradicate the issuance of multiple driving licences across different states. It will help the government to enforce traffic regulations more effectively as drivers won’t have multiple driving licences to fall back on, which isn’t an uncommon practice in India.
Linking Aadhaar card to the driver’s licence will enable the government to maintain a centralised database (known as Sarathi). Regional Transport Offices (RTO) from all over the country can log on and instantly check whether the applicant of a driver’s licence has another one in any other part of the country. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has already uploaded almost all the data available in RTOs across the country on to the common database.
The Union Road Transport Ministry is currently briefing the state governments about the changes that will eventually be incorporated in the process of issuing a driver’s licence. This briefing also talks about citizens who do not have an Aadhaar card issued to their name. In that case, he/she will have to submit multiple documents, although it is unclear what those additional documents will be.
State governments across the nation have come up with hefty penalties for breaking traffic laws and regulations. One such penalty in many states is the confiscation of driver’s licence for a few months or indefinitely, depending on the severity of the law broken. This move will will surely force citizens to take traffic laws a lot more seriously once their licences are linked to Sarathi.