Digital driving licenses

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Digital driving licenses

A few years ago, the Ministry of Works and Transport contracted Face Technologies to design, print, and supply computerized driving permits. These new permits, in the form of a card that can be easily carried in a wallet or a pocket, are a far cry from the old booklets that were issued before, and are difficult for crooks to forge. They came into effect late last year.

However, it would seem that smart card driving licenses are now replacing the card-type driving licenses being issued in Uganda. In Kenya, drivers will soon be introduced to smart driving licenses after the National Transport and Safety Authority indicated that the process had began and 500,000 licenses will be produced in a year.

The new licenses, which look pretty much like an ATM card, will have high security features and a microprocessor chip that will contain the driver’s biometrics. The biometric data includes blood group, thumb and finger prints, retina scans, signatures, photographs, and other personal details.

This data can only be read by special mobile hand held device which means it cannot be tampered with.

The most important advantage of the smart card driving license to the driver is that he or she does not have to worry about the card getting torn or wet. With this kind of card, it is easy to track down drivers who frequently commit driving offences. The smart cards will be fitted into a POS device that can read the details of the card, and the offence committed by the driver.  

To curb forging of driving permits, as has been happening with the booklets, the smart license after issue can be validated on the go by a traffic officer with a POS device. Also, its security features can be seen with the naked eye.

The greatest change these smart card driving licenses will have is that they will effect a behavioural change in Kenyan drivers. First, if one is sure that he or she cannot forge their license details, they will endeavor to remain on the right side of the law. This will mean proper use of the road by motorists.

With proper road use, this will cause a huge impact on road safety and decrease on the number of people who die daily in road accidents due to reckless driving, over speeding, and drunk driving.


Published on: 2018-09-05