The Motor Vehicles Act came into being in 1988. This Act required insurance plans for all motor vehicles on Indian highways. In addition, vehicle owners are required to carry a license, registration, and vehicle insurance at all times while driving.
As of 1st October 2020, Indians must obey an updated set of rules that have altered the original guidelines set out in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules of 1989. These new rules allow digital copies of documents to be considered valid, making it easier for law enforcers as well as customers to carry, present and track their documents.
All of these changes have been listed below.
- As per the new regulations, you will be able to save your documents on your mobile device. This will keep you from needlessly bearing the luggage of your physical documents. Now, if a police officer asks for your driving license or other similar documents, you should show them their soft copies.
- As there will be no physical inspection of the vehicle records. If the driver's license is to be revoked by the traffic official, it will be done through a portal that would be modified consecutively.
- As per the official notice, the driver's conduct will be observed. The identification of the police officer would also be changed in the portal. The records will be updated on the platform any time a driver or vehicle is examined.
- Driving license and other records, such as registration certificates, etc., can be stored online on the Digi-locker or m-parivahan governments.
- Handheld communication devices, such as smartphones, can be used for route navigation by ensuring that the driver's attention is intact when driving.
- Those found in breach of the traffic laws will be fined under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989. This will prevent the vehicle from getting frequent checks to ease traffic on the lane. The e-Challenge will be given via the Government's digital platform to those found to violate traffic laws.
- After the driving license has been canceled, the offender will have to return to the digital portal.
When will the Digital Copies be Valid?
Digital copies will only be considered valid when your license has been issued through a government portal and is hence accessible through government portals like Digi-locker and M-parivahan. Here we have explained in detail the use of both these platforms.
About the Digi Locker Platform
Digi-Locker is an Indian online digitization service. This is offered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Government of India, under its Digital India initiative. Digi-Locker provides any holder of the Aadhaar cloud account with access to authentic documents/certificates such as driving licenses, car registrations, academic mark sheets in digital format from the original issuers of those certificates.
It also offers 1GB of storage space for each account to upload scanned copies of legal documents. Users need to have an Aadhaar number to use Digi-Locker. To sign up, you need to enter the Aadhaar number and the one-time password sent to the Aadhaar-registered mobile number. A related facility for e-signing documents is also in operation.
The program aims to minimize the use of paper records, reduce administrative costs, ensure the accuracy of e-documents, ensure safe access to government-issued documents, and make it easier for citizens to obtain services. The digital locker of each user has the following parts.
- My Certificates
- Digital Records: This includes URIs of documents issued by government departments or other entities to the customer.
- Uploaded Documents: This subsection lists all documents uploaded by the user. Each file to be uploaded should be no larger than 10MB in size. Only pdf, jpg, jpeg, png, BMP, gif file types can be uploaded.
- My Profile: This section shows the full user profile as available in the UIDAI database.
- My issuer: This section shows the names of the issuers and the number of documents released by the issuer to the customer.
- My Requester: This section indicates the names of the requesters and the number of documents requested by the requester from the customer.
- Directories: This section shows the full list of registered issuers and applicants along with their URLs.
About M Parivahan Platform
Created by NIC, the m-Parivahan app can be used to conveniently access important documents such as driving licenses, car registration certificates, car insurance validity, among other items. The app also has a virtual RC and DL function, which is considered a piece of authentic evidence. In other words, you don't need to use the physical records for any of these.
There is also a DL mock test feature in the app for those who want to apply for a new driving license. Accessible on both Android and iOS systems, it's easy to set up and use. For instance, the app allows users to verify the basic information of any vehicle by entering the registration number without registering themselves. It saves unnecessary keying trouble in your info. The m-Parivahan app has some other utilities. For instance, you can use it to locate the nearest RTO, carry out any tasks related to RC and DL, and more.
Benefits of Using Digital Copies
- No need to carry physical copies anymore - Every day, hundreds of drivers get challaned despite having valid driver's licenses because they forget to carry it with them. This move will come in handy for everyone as it makes your wallets lighter. It also reduces the risk of your license getting lost. Just like what happened with Nikhil when he was driving from his office to home and was stopped by the Traffic Police for the usual inspection. The officials asked for the required documents but Nikhil did not have the physical documents to show. Then he realized he has digital copies of all the required documents on his phone. Hence, he showed the digital copies to the officials hence reached home without paying any fine or challan.
- Easy and reliable - The process of using digital licenses is very easy and reliable. The platforms that the government recommends are easy to set up, available for both Android and iOS, and can be accessed from anywhere. This makes the process common and easy for the drivers and the government authorities who do not have to print plastic cards anymore. It also reduces the possibility of losing the license card due to carrying the card every day everywhere whenever you drive.
- Officers don't have to go through all the details - Another added benefit of the digital licenses is that it makes the process easier for the police. This is because they don’t have to go through all the details to verify whether the document provided to them is valid or not. It is understood that if the license is available at a digital platform governed by the government of India, it has to be valid.
- Safer during the ongoing pandemic - As the digital licenses can be shown through mobile phones, there is no direct contact while checking the license controlling the spread of COVID-19, which is an essential step in controlling the pandemic and nursing the nation back to health.
These new rules under the digital India mission are a good start to make the regulation of traffic hassle-free and more efficient. What remains to be seen is how quickly the masses can adapt and adopt this new amendment. But one thing is for sure: if the masses adopt this, there will be no looking back, and it will pave the way for further enhancement of the Indian Traffic system.