The government seems to be really pushing to make Aadhaar a crucial national document. After PAN cards and mobile phone numbers, the 2 digit number will now be needed for driving licenses, the Time of India reported.
The ToI report says the government aims to make Aadhaar mandatory for all driving license applications and renewals. The plans will be put in effect by October this year, ToI reported, quoting sources.
The move is purportedly to counter the issuance of multiple licences under different Regional Transport Offices to the same person. The current method involves manual cross-checking of an applicant's details, and Aadhaar's biometrics are expected to make the verification process easier.
If the application does not have Aadhaar, he/she would have to submit a number of other documents, the report adds. It, however, does not mention whether existing driving licenses that are not up for renewal would need to be linked to Aadhaar. This development follows reports that it will become mandatory to link Aadhaar with PAN cards and mobile phone numbers.
The controversial Finance Bill 2017, passed by the Lok Sabha last week, makes Aadhaar compulsory for filing Income Tax returns. The bill also has a provision that would make PAN cards invalid if they are not linked to the holder's respective Aadhaar number.
For mobile phone numbers, the Department of Telecommunications has ordered telecom operators to verify all postpaid and prepaid SIM users in India with their respective Aadhaars.
The verification, which was ordered by the Supreme Court (it did not, however, specify that Aadhaar must be used), must be completed by February 6, 2018. Any numbers not linked to Aadhaar will be illegal post that date.
Interestingly, the Supreme Court has, in two separate orders, told the government that it cannot make Aadhaar mandatory for citizens to avail any services or benefits.