Aadhaar-driving licence linking to reduce RTO crowds: Official

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Mumbai, Feb 9 (PTI) The Centre's decision to link Aadhaar card with driving licence and vehicle registration certificate (RC) will considerably reduce crowds at Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) and make them free of agents and touts, a top Maharashtra government official has said.

Transport Commissioner Avinash Dhakane, talking to reporters at his office here on Monday, said the Union government has issued a draft notification about linking driving licence and RC with Aadhaar, a unique 12-digit identity number assigned to residents of India.

'The Government of India has already issued a draft notification for Aadhaar linkage. Once that happens and Vahan and Sarathi systems get linked with Aadhaar, crowds at RTOs will reduce to 20 per cent (from current level),' he said.

Post-these changes, only a few people will have to visit RTOs for work related to driving licence and vehicle fitness, among others, the transport commissioner said.

The Aadhaar linkage will eliminate the need for visiting RTOs and submitting documents, he said.

Officials said the move will also curb forgery and end the menace of duplicate driving licences.

According to Dhakane, at present the 50 RTOs spread across the state have footfalls of about 1.50 lakh daily.

This number will go down below 40,000 or even more once Aadhaar card is linked with driving licence and RC, he said, adding the move will also make RTOs free of agents and touts.

Many people prefer to get their work done through RTO agents and touts, who charge hefty amounts, leading to corruption and depriving citizens of better services, according to activists.

In 2014-15, the then transport commissioner, Mahesh Zagade, had announced a ban on the entry of agents and touts inside RTO premises, but the change did not materialise on ground due to various reasons.

Maharashtra has a vehicle population of nearly 3.5 crores and over 20 lakh new vehicles get registered annually.

Also, the state has already issued over 3.5 crore permanent driving licences and around 10-15 lakh new ones are issued annually.

According to transport department officials, recently they launched a provision of digital signature for obtaining learning licence, which has a validity of six months.

People can authenticate their documents by digitally signing them.

A senior official said the department has already received over 700 learning licence forms signed digitally since the start of this month. PTI KK RSY RSY