Conventionally, driving licences were only issued in the old book format with several pages of information. Often, with regular use, the pages of the booklet used to come apart and had to be stuck again. To make things better, modern driving licences were issued in the form of a card that we were able to carry without any hassles. Now, smart card driving licences are slowly replacing the traditional card type driving licences.
What is a Smart Card Driving Licence?
- A Smart Card Driving Licence (SCDL) is a tamper-proof Driving Licence in form of a plastic card with an embedded microprocessor chip of 64 kb memory which will have all information about the driving licence -holder stored in it.
- Though not applicable in all Indian states yet, this Smart Card driving licence is a far superior than the normal driving licence as it holds the licence holder information on one single card.
- All the biometric data of the applicant like their blood group, thumb & fingerprint, retina scan, body markings, etc., are recorded on the smart card DL and is also held by the RTO / RTA office.
- For this purpose, the RTO department of each state (where these type of licences are issued), has special software installed that can read the embedded information in SCDL. The biggest advantage of this Smart Card driving licence is that one no longer has to constantly worry about the driving licence tearing, getting cut, getting wet, etc., making it easy to carry in one wallet itself.
- Another useful advantage of this Smart Card type DL is that it will help the transport department maintain and safe keep the data of licence holders, which can be helped to track and trace any defaulter with the help of their biometric data.
Advantages of a Smart Card Driving Licence
- The Smart Card Driving Licence will store all details of the holder including signature, photographs, biometrics and personal details. As these details will be held in electronic form readable only by special devices, there will be no way to tamper these details or fake identity.
- The State Transport Departments that offer Smart Card Driving Licences will also offer mobile hand - held terminals to traffic policemen who will be able to decode the information held by the card in a jiffy.
- The information carried by the smart card including the date of issue can only be modified. Information carried by the Smart Card Driving Licence cannot be erased which provides for a permanent audit trial.
- Smart Card Driving Licences will prevent the issuance of fake registration certificates and bogus driving licences.
- The data in Smart Card Driving Licence is stored in an optical strip that is designed to prevent unauthorized access and tampering of data.
- The Smart Card Driving Licences are expected to positively impact road safety since the driving licences cannot be tampered and all information will be recorded. It will also enhance efficiency in law enforcement.
Eligibility for Smart Card Driving Licence
The eligibility for getting a Smart Card Driving Licence is same as that of getting a conventional permanent driving licence. For your reference, the eligibility criteria for getting a Smart Card Driving Licence is given below.
- The applicant must be aged at least 18 years to apply for a Smart Card Driving Licence for motorcycles with gear & for motorcycles with an engine capacity exceeding 50 CC.
- For motorcycles with gear and for motorcycles with an engine capacity of up to 50 CC, the candidate must be at least 16 years old to get a Smart Card Driving Licence. In case the applicant is aged less than 18 years, he must also obtain a letter of consent from parent or guardian.
- The applicant must have at least completed 8th standard and must be at least 18 years old to get a Smart Card Driving Licence for commercial heavy vehicles and transport vehicles.
Form for Applying for Smart Card Driving Licence
The form for a smart card driving licence contains three parts:
- The visual inspection zone: here, the applicant information such as name, address, date of birth, vehicle class and type and signature are to be entered in this section.
- The machine readable zone: Here, the chip serial number and driving licence details such as date of issue, applicant name, issuing authority details and licence validity are to be entered in this section.
- The Central Motor Vehicles Rules: endorsements, fines, disqualification and period 9if any), settlement review and date (if any) details are to be entered in this section.
Smart Card Driving Licence Fee
The smart card driver licence will be issued to applicants upon the payment of the application fee of Rs. 200.The applicant will have to make the payment at the time of submitting the documents and application form for Smart Card DL.
Documentation for Smart Card Driving Licence
When applying for a Smart Card Driving Licence, you must submit the documents given below. Keeping the necessary documents handy will not only speed up the Smart Card Driving Licence application process but will also make it hassle free. Here is a list of documents that you will require to get your SCDL.
- Completely filled application form for Smart Card Driving Licence.
- Medical Certificate - Form 1 A and 1 which is to be signed by a certified Government doctor (if applicable).
- Application Fees
- Copies of passport size photographs
- Age Proof - any one document from the below given list:
- 10th Class mark sheet
- PAN Card
- Transfer certificate from any school (with date of birth printed on it)
- Birth Certificate
- Address Proof - any one of the below given documents
- Aadhaar Card
- Ration Card
- House Agreement
- Recent utility bills (gas bill / electricity bill or telephone bill)
- In case you reside in other city, you can submit a copy of recent utility bill plus the rental agreement as address proof. Alternatively, you can also get a letter from your employer stating that you reside in this city.
Online Process for getting a Smart Card Driving Licence
Thanks to the online facilities introduced by various state RTOs, the process of applying for a Smart Card Driving Licence has been simplified to a great extent. Here is a brief description of the process of applying for a Smart Card Driving Licence that can be used for reference.
- Visit the transport department website for your state from where the online application form for Smart Card Driving Licence can be obtained . The required form must be downloaded and filled in correctly.
- Find out the list of documents that you must attach with the application form for your profile. You can refer to the list of documents given in the previous section.
- Refer to the table of fees and charges which will be outlined in the RTO website to find out how much you will be paying towards Smart Card Driving Licence.
- You must visit the RTO in your area to apply for the Smart Card driving licence. You can also book an appointment online with the concerned RTO in your city/locality to get your smart card driving licence.
- Once at the RTO Office, you must first get your documents checked / verified by the concerned officer and then proceed to pay the fee at the counter. following this, you will be required to give your bio-metrics at the counter where your photograph, fingerprints, and other personal details will be recorded for the database. With the help of recent changes in the process, you can also verify the information being fed into the database for factual correctness. Applicants will be allowed to cross check the information which they have provided and can point out in case of any errors.
- You must then take a driving test and successfully complete the test to get a Smart Card Driving Licence. The SCDL will be sent to the registered address via speed post.
Offline Process for getting a Smart Card Driving Licence
You can also get a Smart Card Driving Licence directly at the RTO without any hassles. Follow the steps given below to apply and get a Smart Card Driving Licence.
- Check if your state has the Smart Card Driving Licence facility. It is relatively easy to convert your existing Driving Licence to Smart Card Driving Licence - all you have to do is visit the RTO, fill an application form, pay the fee and record your biometric details.
- If you hold only a Learner Licence and if you are applying for a permanent Driving Licence, you must get the application form for Smart Card Driving Licence and fill it completely.
- Attach photographs wherever necessary and also attach the supporting documents like address proof and age proof. Submit the application form and choose a slot to take your Driving test.
- Be present at the venue on the date and time that you have selected to take your Driving Licence test. If you pass the test successfully, you biometric details like fingerprints, signature and photograph will be taken to be recorded in the Smart Card Driving Licence.
- The Smart Card Driving Licence will be sent to the registered address via speed post.
FAQs on Smart Card Driving Licence
- I have a driving licence that I got 5 years back. Is it mandatory for me to get my driving licence converted to Smart Card Driving Licence type?
No, it is not mandatory to get your driving licence converted to Smart Card Driving Licence type. If you wish to get a SCDL, you can apply for it at the RTO.
- I wish to convert my existing driving licence to Smart Card Driving Licence. What should I do?
To convert your existing Driving licence to Smart Card Driving Licence, visit the RTO which issued your Smart Card Driving Licence and submit an application for the same. You will be required to attach your valid driving licence and pay the fee before you get your biometrics captured.
- I hold a valid Driving Licence and I am applying for a Smart Card Driving Licence. Will I be asked to take the driving test again in this case?
No, if you hold a valid driving licence, you can get it converted to Smart Card Driving Licence without having to take the driving test again.
- How do I know if the RTO in my city offers the Smart Card Driving Licence?
You can enquire with the RTO to know if they are offering a Smart Card Driving Licence. Also, you can check the same on your State Transport department website.
- What is the validity period of Smart Card Driving Licence?
The Smart Card Driving Licence is valid for a period of 20 years from the date of issue or until the holder attains the age of 50 years, whichever comes earlier. After the validity lapses, the holder can renew the Smart Card Driving Licence.