Driving licence, RC book in smart card format

Tenders invited for computerised management system

The driving licence issued by the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) in the form of book and plastic cards to motorists and the Certificate of Registration (or RC book) to vehicle owners in the State will be replaced with microprocessor chip-embedded smart cards soon.

Smart card format for Certificate of Registration

Sixty nine lakh vehicle owners in the State will have to convert the RC of their vehicles into the smart card format and 75 lakh driving licence holders will have to go in for smart card licence. The Transport Commissioner has invited tenders for implementing the computerised management system for issuing the driving licence and the RC in the form of smart cards.

The smart card, which can be read by law-enforcement agencies across the country, has a provision for including the fingerprint of the licence-holder. This will prevent the holder from taking the driving licence in any other State when his licence is cancelled. Designed as per the specifications of the Smart Card Operating System for Transport Applications (SCOSTA), the smart card will have a capacity of 64 KB.

Smart card features

The smart card, which has the same dimensions as a credit card, will have a visual zone and a machine-readable zone. The visual zone will have the name, photograph, age, and address of the driving licence-holder, and the machine-readable zone will have the fingerprint, complete history of the holder, and provision for making endorsements.

The smart card retains information in electronic form and is capable of controlling access to and allowing modification of that information. The integrated circuit within the card holds information in such a way that it can be easily, accurately, and securely accessed by authorised persons or agencies through the use of a ‘reader' or data-processing equipment. MVD officials will be provided with hand-held machines to enable them to read the smart card during inspections.

A smart card-holder will have to go in for new RC and driving licence when there is change in the name or when the hypothecation is cancelled.

Apart from making the RC and the driving licence more durable, the smart card will enable the MVD to reduce the time taken to issue certificates and making the entries tamper-proof. Tax payments, fitness, hypothecation, and pollution control certificates can also be incorporated.

The attempt is to introduce the smart card at the earliest after completing the formalities, a top MVD official told The Hindu. The last date for receiving the tenders is August 31. Ninety-five per cent of the driving licences in the State till date had been digitised, he said.

The current market rate for a smart card is Rs.35 and a motorist will have to pay a little more for the cost of setting up the machines. The firm that bags the order will be given the data from the MVD for including it in the card, and the card will be distributed through the Regional Transport Offices.

Earlier attempts to introduce the smart cards in 2002 and 2005 were not successful. The bids were cancelled in 2002 after the Union government revised the standards for issuing the driving licence and the RC in electronic format, and a non-governmental organisation challenged the move to implement it. In 2005, the Bangalore-based Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) bagged the contract for the smart card by quoting Rs.190 for a card.

Provision for including fingerprint in smart cart

The last date for receiving tenders is August 31

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