This year, India will introduce a unified driving license format throughout different states. No more trying to convince a cop that your license is a valid one in a tongue you would struggle to speak while on a trip.
It is tough and has happened to everyone who has been on a road trip in India.
Once I had to convince a popular self-drive car rental service that the driving license I have is valid and was issued in Delhi before the authorities changed it to a different format. It took me half an hour and multiple phone calls to customer care.
This is a problem that gets resolved with a unified format. Indian government realized that the driving license formats varied vastly in different regions of India, even though the license issued is valid throughout India.
The initiative will be coupled with the efforts to have a central repository of the driver’s information.
The Problems It addresses
No more convincing a cop that the license you have is a valid one. A unified format builds to a quicker verification by the authorities and helps in easy identification.
It will help in reducing the forgery of the document and will introduce a layer of security. It will also help in enforcing proper road laws. Imagine getting the driving license blocked for a rash driving ticket. Digitally, with a central repository, it would be possible anywhere in India.
It would be easy to bar people and easier still to credit someone for good driving.
We like to look at it from an identity perspective. Apart from it being a document that allows you to drive motorized vehicles on a public road, it served as a valid identifier. The introduction of a central system helps in improving an individual’s identity.
Imagine the good and ease it could bring for technology companies. The ride-hailing apps and companies struggling with KYC (Know Your Customer) laws would be able to identify an individual with an image of their driving license.
The Future It Guarantees
It is also a part of the Digital India initiative by the Indian Government. Digilocker has helped build a platform where your documents could reside digitally without a physical presence. DigiLocker marked the start of authenticity for every document issued by a government organization.
The ‘documents’ word in itself is at risk of obsoletion.
The future in India for individual identity identifiers is looking bright with the unified format. The introduction of Aadhaar marked the first steps towards a digital identity. It is still the most advanced identity system India has seen yet. Driving License will add a layer to it. Individuals will have their driving histories online and can access it.
It is a system that will mark as a start of true digital identity for the future Indians.
A unified driving license format serves a critical purpose in the grand scheme of things. It would inadvertently get coupled with our Aadhaar cards and mark the solidification of the already existing digital identity framework.
It is precisely what the Apple Card did to Credit Cards. It made having credit cards, the physical cards, obsolete.
Imagine not having to carry a card or a document altogether. We are heading into such a future and it will become a reality faster than we thought it would.
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