DVLA Digitalize License plans in limbo

As the new Smart Drivers’ License is expected to be launched on the November 7, 2017, issues coming up suggest the plan might be halted for a while.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has said that it is collaborating with the National Identification Authority (NIA) on the introduction of its new driving license and vehicle registration smart card.

However, Members of the Ghana Drivers and Car Owners Association are planning to embark on a nationwide demonstration to kick against the implementation of the New Smart Driver’s License.

The General Secretary for the Ghana Drivers and Car Owners’ Association, Michael Nana Kunadu said the issuance of the new license is skewed towards computer literates and hence will not favour them.

“If you have not been to school, if you are not educated, if you don’t have a certificate you cannot acquire a driver’s license in this country. That is what the DVLA is telling us”

He added, “Why can’t they think of any other way to help us instead of always changing driver’s license and causing commotion here and there, we are pleading with President Nana Akufo-Addo for him to find a way to talk to the authorities of DVLA before they go ahead with the issuance of the new licenses because it is going to worry most of us drivers”.

According to Mr Kunadu, after a careful study of the new system, the association came to the conclusion that it will not only create severe inconveniences but will also derail work and plunge their operations into unwarranted costs.

“We find this move not only as a money-making venture to some self-seeking individuals but also a move that will totally subject us to police intimidations and therefore call on all stakeholders in the transport sector to kick against this proposal”.

Mr Kunadu warned that should government fail in stopping the DVLA, the association shall embark on a nationwide strike followed by series of demonstrations until their demands are met.

“If they do not heed to our concerns and they go ahead to roll out this new license on the 7th of November, we the drivers are going to go on a nationwide strike on the same day and no car will work and then the DVLA will see how embarrassing that will be for the DVLA”.

But, Deputy CEO of the Authority, Kwame Appiah Kubi was optimistic that the introduction of the new system will among other things reduce revenue leakages normally associated with the application of driver’s licenses.

“We have to digitize, which is also part of government’s target that we remove the human interface from the system. It’s there that this issue of “gorro” boys” will be removed, he said.

“Dwindling revenue is also going to be improved, that is why management came out with this policy of digitizing almost all our services so that it will be easier for people to access our services,” he added.

Speaking about some features of the new license, Appiah Kubi stated that it has a contactless Chip; to promote good storage of bio-data and personal driver information.

He pointed out the license will also have that State of the Art- Technology; making use of the latest technology for secure ID printing that can be easily integrated with other systems of the DVLA.

“It will have improved Security. It comes with improved and guaranteed security of card and data, as well as a unique design that depicts the rich culture of the country,” he said.

According to the Mr. Appiah Kubi the move is borne out of the important need to have a portable device that would store all pieces of information that were originally stored on the paper of Vehicle Registration Certificate as well as the Form A and Form C.

“While the information of vehicle owners will be more secure and better protected, it will also make it relatively easy for DVLA officers to retrieve vehicle documents and this will ultimately have a positive impact on the authority”.

It is expected to enhance the vehicle registration process because application and processing could be done online.

It simplifies the transfer of ownership of motor vehicles registered in another jurisdiction and eliminates to compose transfer letter(s).

It enables frontline officers of the Authority to determine the information of vehicle owners during the registration process in cases where vehicles were previously registered in another jurisdiction.

Also, according to the Director of Driver Training Testing and Licensing of the DVLA, Alhaji C.W. Musah, it is important for the two bodies to cooperate in order to prevent the duplication of cards.

He added that, a synchronization of efforts of the two entities will help prevent the issuance of fake drivers’ licenses as well.

“The drivers’ license can be linked with other documents, but the license, by international regulations, is not comparable with other documents. If there are other national documents as in other jurisdictions, you can always link your driver’s license to those jurisdictions, and the licenses we are producing now will link with those jurisdictions. It will help us do a lot of corrections,” he said on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday.

“There are people who have got multiple documents and the same identity.

When the National ID comes on, we’ll be able to verify whether that person is really who they claim to be and whether they are in the national ID system. We’ll be able to pull from the biodata and process it. It complements each other so we are working hand-in-hand.”

The new license will contain a contactless chip loaded with the owner’s bio-data and the driver’s personal information for secure identification.

It will also make use of state-of-the-art-technology; for secure ID printing that can be easily integrated with other systems of the DVLA.

Acquiring the new driver’s license will attract an additional GHC91 separate from the present charges on all other services including replacement (GHC 64 + GHC 91 = GHC 155), new license (GHC 166 + GHC 91 = GHC 257) and transferring a foreign license to Ghanaian one (GHC 364 + GHC 91 = GHC 445).

“It will have improved security. It comes with improved and guaranteed security of card and data, as well as a unique design that depicts the rich culture of the country,” the Deputy CEO of the Authority, Kwame Appiah Kubi had said early on.

Persons who apply for a drivers’ license will now be able to obtain it within a period of two to four weeks.

Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed

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