Issuing of Driving Licence (DL) and Registration Certificate (RC) in smart card format is set to commence all over the State by next year.

A tender has been floated to identify a private player to implement the scheme in all the 58 Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) and 49 Unit Offices in the State. Smart cards are already being issued in three RTOs, namely Chennai South, Cuddalore and Sivagangai, for the past two years.

The tender document stipulates that the private operator will function on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model for five years. The operator will have to come out with a ‘plan of action' to convert existing DLs and RCs (a little more than 1.4 crore) into smart cards, that incorporate biometric features, within the five-year period.

Transport Commissioner M.Rajaram said that conversion centres will be set up where motorists can surrender their existing DLs to get a new one in smart card format. There will be two centres each in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore and one each in all the remaining districts. While the licence application fee will be the same, applicants will have to pay an extra Rs.200 for the smart card RC.

The new system will greatly reduce the waiting time at RTOs, said a Transport Department official. “Enforcement will also get a boost as violations can be recorded on the smart card. Details of any individual, along with violations, can be accessed through a centralised State-wide database. Duplication and tampering will be extremely difficult.” In order to ensure inter-operability of smart card based DLs and RCs across the country, a standard specification called SCOSTA (Smart Card Operating System for Transport Application) has been developed.

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