Bangalore: The transport department in Karnataka has launched 16-kb microchip embedded smart cards to replace driving licenses and vehicle registration booklets in the state.
The state transport department has also decided to make migration to smart cards for motor vehicle driving licences and for certificate of registration for vehicles (RC) mandatory in the state.
However, driving license holders and vehicle owners will have a maximum of two years time to change over to the new smart cards system that would cost them Rs 200.
The new system will enable the state police and the transport department to regularly update details to be stored in the driving licence, which will enable them to terminate a licence in the event of repeated offences.
Besides, the smart card based system would also help the state prevent forgery in licenses and registration booklets, Transport Minister R Ashok said at a function that saw the state Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa launch the microchip embedded plastic card.
The chip stores the details of the driver and owner and can keeps record of traffic violations, conviction and details of road accidents involving the driver and the vehicle.
While five regional transport offices in Bangalore began issuing the smart cards on Thursday, the state government expects the remaining 50 regional transport offices (RTOs) in other parts of Karnataka to start issuing these cards by September.
There are nearly 76 lakh motor vehicles registered in the state, and nearly 65 lakh driving licences have been issued by the 55 regional transport offices.
The Government of Karnataka had in December 2008 awarded the contract for rolling out the project under the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model to a consortium led by the public sector ITI.
According to sources, the consortium including Rosemarta, Mynd Solutions and Team Computers will be responsible for issuing smart cards to one crore driving-licence holders and for one crore registration certificates, besides the hardware needed for rolling out the project across the 55 RTOs.
As part of the e-Governance initiative, state governments in India have been directed to change over to the smart card system based on the solution developed by the National Infomatics Centre (NIC)-Vahan for registration of vehicles and Sarathy for driving licences.
The decision follows amendments to Rule 16 and Rule 48of the Central Motor Vehicles Act and Rules that governs the issue of registration certificates and the issue of driving licences, respectively, in the country.
-iGovernment Bureau & IANS