The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) will, from November 7 this year, introduce a new driving licence and a new vehicle registration smart card.
The new licence takes the form of a smart card that contains a contactless chip loaded with the owner’s bio-data and the driver’s personal information.
The authority is optimistic that the two would weed out fake licences and vehicles with fake roadworthy certificates from the system, as well as cut out middlemen, popularly known as ‘goro boys’, from the licensing regime.
A breakdown of the cost of the new licence shows that the authority had added GH¢91 to the existing charges.
Therefore, a new driving licence will now cost GH¢257; replacement of an expired licence, GH¢155; licence upgrade, GH¢345; replacement of lost driving licence, GH¢205 and conversion of a foreign driving licence will cost GH¢445.
According to the DVLA, the new licence makes use of the latest technology for secure identification and printing and it could easily be integrated with other systems and has an improved guarantee for securing data and card.
Printing of the licence would not be outsourced as the DVLA has now acquired its own printing machines for that purpose.
The Deputy Director, Driver Training Testing and Licensing, Mr Kafui Semevo, introducing the new driving licence and vehicle registration smart card at a media briefing in Accra on Tuesday, said as part of the roll-out plan, holders of unexpired licences might have to wait until their licences were due for replacement, to apply for the new one.
There would also be a gradual withdrawal of the PVC driving licence from the system.
However, persons who apply for the new licence after the launch date would be issued with the new one.
He assured the public that the driving licence information could be verified with simple smart devices, information retrieval would be made easier and enforcement of traffic law would be enhanced.
“Improved process auditing would be made to ensure compliance from staff in order to improve review and credible driver database,” he added.
He said as part of the exit plan, all outstanding licences would be printed and published for collection.
In June this year, the DVLA announced that more than 34,000 driving licences issued since 2008 were yet to be collected by applicants.
Out of the number, the 37 DVLA offices in Accra alone had 11,167 licences that had not been collected.
Mr Semevo said the list of persons who were yet to collect their licences would be published to encourage collection.
“All persons with the genuine case of unprinted licence would be recaptured and issued the new licence,” he said.
Difficult to clone
The Director, Driver Training Testing and Licensing of the DVLA, Mr C.W. Musah, acknowledged that in the past few years, the authority had to confront debilitating challenges, including the faking of driving licences.
In June last year, the Accra Regional Command arrested 15 people they suspected were behind the printing and issuing of fake driving licences to unsuspecting victims.
The suspects were believed to have in their possession a software capable of printing licences similar to the ones printed by the DVLA.
Mr Musah said such arrests inspired the new licence which would be difficult to clone.
He said additional features had been added to the smart licence to enhance road safety.
“There are fields on the licence that indicate clearly whether a particular driver should drive an automatic vehicle only and also persons who should be driving with the aid of glasses.
On the new vehicle registration smart card, Mr Musah said, it made it easier to store all pieces of information that were originally stored on the paper vehicle registration certificates, as well as forms A and C.
“It is expected to enhance the registration process because the application and processing could be done online. It simplifies the transfer of ownership of motor vehicles registered in another jurisdiction and eliminates the need to compose transfer letters,” he added.