This rule will come into force from July 2019 and all DLs and RCs issued after this will have the same look, design, and colour. They will also have the same security features such as guilloche printing, micro-printed text, micro-line, ultraviolet florescent colour, hologram and watermark.
New driving licenses will have the title ‘Indian Union Driving License’ and it will come with logos of national and state government; name of issuing authority; issue and validity date; name, blood group and organ donation details of the license holder; emergency number; QR Code; and vehicle category.
Adding details about organ donation in DLs is a good initiative, as it will help save many lives. DLs will also mention details if the vehicle is specially designed for use by physically challenged individual.
RCs will have the title ‘Indian Union Vehicle Registration Certificate’ and come with state and national government logo; name of issuing authority; issue and validity date; type of vehicle (commercial or non-commercial); chassis and engine numbers; and fuel and emission norms (BS-IV/BS-VI).
The smart DLs and RCs will have data stored in microchips and QR Code. They will also have near-field communication (NFC) feature, similar to credit/debit and metro cards. This feature will make it easier for enforcement agencies to access information about the individual or vehicle through hand-held devices and thus catch those not following traffic rules with ease. Data can also be accessed through the microchip and QR Code. The information will be stored and fetched from the central database of Vahan (for vehicles) and Sarthi (driver).
The move to shift to new DLs and RCs will be a mammoth task, as existing systems and programs will need to be upgraded. Currently, around 9.6 lakh DLs are issued or renewed per month across India. In case of RCs, the figures are around 13 lakh per month.
New DLs and RCs will cost around Rs 15-20 more to make, which seems manageable and can be achieved by all States and Union Territories in the country. However, old DLs and RCs will continue to be valid till the validity date mentioned on them. These will be replaced gradually when people apply for new DLs and RCs after the expiration of validity date.