If you’re a long-time holder of an Indian driving licence, you’ll probably appreciate how far we’ve come from the days of the old booklet-style driving licence. According to a recent report by The Times of India, driving licences and vehicle registration certificates issued from July 2019 will carry a uniform look, design, and colour across all states and union territories in the country. They will be uniformly sized cards that come with a few security features as standard.
The new ‘smart’ driving licences and registration certificates will come with a microchip embedded in them. This admittedly was a feature that existed previously as well. However, they will have two new features: they will be NFC-enabled and will come with a QR code printed on them. Expected to look more like an ATM card or a Metro Rail card, they can easily be read by traffic enforcers to get details about a vehicle or its driver.
Apart from these new changes, the new driving licences will contain information about the driver’s blood group and a special declaration by the driver if they choose to donate their organs. The licences will also contain a special note in case the driver is driving a vehicle especially designed for the physically challenged. “The feature of emission norm for the vehicle will be specified on the RC to help carry out the pollution under control test objectively,” said an official in a comment to The Times of India. Vehicle registration certificates will carry not only the chassis number but also the emission norms it’s supposed to comply with.
According to many reports, over 32,000 driving licences are issued or renewed every day, while 43,000 vehicles are being registered on a daily basis. Reports also say that the cost to make these cards would increase by Rs 15–20 per card. The new ‘smart’ driving licences and registration certificates should allow for a more convenient and paper-free motoring experience in the country. One thing’s for sure though: the new driving licence, with its new NFC chip and all, is becoming less and less photocopiable.