The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) will today launch a new driver’s licence and a new vehicle registration smart cards.
The new licence, also a smart card, contains a chip loaded with the owner’s bio-data and the driver’s personal information.
The introduction of the two has been met with opposition from some driver unions and groups the authority suspects to be middlemen.
That notwithstanding, the DVLA is optimistic that the launch will do away with 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 DVLA will charge GH¢91 more than the existing fees for obtaining a driver’s licence.
A new driver’s licence will now cost GH¢257; replacement of an expired licence, GH¢155; licence upgrade, GH¢345; replacement of a lost driver’s licence, GH¢205, and conversion of a foreign driver’s licence will cost GH¢445.
According to the DVLA, the new licence had made use of the latest technology for secure identification and printing and it could easily be integrated with other systems and had an improved guarantee for securing data and card.
Printing of the licence will not be outsourced, as the DVLA has now acquired its own printing machines.
As part of a roll-out plan, holders of unexpired licences may have to wait until their licences are due for replacement to apply for the new one.
There will also be the gradual withdrawal of the plastic card driver’s licence from the system.
However, persons who apply for the new licences after the launch date will be issued with the new one.
Difficult to clone
The Director, Driver Training, Testing and Licensing of the DVLA, Mr C. W. Musah, speaking on the system in an interview, said in the past few years the authority had to confront debilitating challenges, including the faking of driver’s licences.
In June last year, the Accra Regional Police Command arrested 15 people the police suspected were behind the printing and issuing of fake driver’s 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 included 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,” he said.
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 on the forms ‘A’ and ‘C’.