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BRTA implements permanent e-driving licenses

Vaseline 3 months ago

The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has switched to a permanent electronic driving license (e-licence) system, replacing traditional plastic cards.

This shift offers drivers greater portability and convenience, eliminating the need to carry physical licenses. Furthermore, obtaining an e-license is faster and more efficient than previous methods.

The e-licensing system also provides significant cost savings for the government. BRTA officials estimate a saving of over Rs 100 crore by eliminating the production and distribution of physical cards.

BRTA previously issued temporary e-licences. A publication in the Government Gazette, dated March 24, marks the official transition to permanent e-licenses.

“The main advantage of the e-license system is its rapid creation and online accessibility,” said BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad Majumder. “Drivers will no longer have to go to BRTA offices for pick-up.”

“E-licenses can be accessed through smartphones and provide a more portable and user-friendly solution. This initiative will also save the government over Rs 100 crore previously spent on card production,” he added.

The BRTA has implemented robust security protocols to protect e-licenses from misuse. The validity of the license can be easily verified using the DL Checker app available on Android and iOS.

Regarding the use of e-licenses by Bangladeshi drivers working abroad, Chairman Majumder spoke of the ongoing efforts to facilitate adoption.

“The BRTA is prepared to address any concerns from abroad and is committed to securing the acceptance of e-licenses where our citizens work as drivers. Meetings are underway with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant stakeholders,” Nur Mohammad further said.

The Chairman also addressed concerns over access to smartphones and assured that polycarbonate card options will continue to be available for a nominal fee.

“Accessibility to licenses will be ensured for all drivers, regardless of smartphone ownership. Those without smartphones can opt for card licenses for a small fee,” he said.

The shift to e-licensing stemmed from the challenges that current licenses faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and was later exacerbated by the country’s dollar crisis and the global crises resulting from the war between Russia and Ukraine, according to officials.

During the pandemic, delays in importing polycarbonate cards resulted in a backlog of pending licenses, which stood at 12.45 lakh at the peak. With other crises following closely behind, the current backlog stands at 4 lakh.

“These problems with the production of physical cards are a major problem. However, e-licenses guarantee uninterrupted driving services, and because they are permanent, card use will decrease,” says Nur Mohammad.

BRTA earlier signed a five-year deal (till 2025) with Madras Security Printers (MSP) for supply of 4 million polycarbonate cards in July 2020. However, due to various challenges, MSP has supplied only around 15 lakh cards in three years. falls short of the expected 24 lakh.

Chairman Majumder clarified that it is BRTA’s responsibility to pay for the tickets provided by MSP and not to enforce the entire quota. The agreement stipulates that BRTA will pay for the number of cards supplied by MSP until 2025, he added.