From next July, new driving licenses (DLs) and (RCs) issued by all states and union territories will be uniform in look, colour, design and will have the same security features.
The 'smart' DLs and RCs embedded with microchips will have QR codes. They will also be enabled with the near-field communication (NFC) feature, just like that of Metro and ATM cards, so that traffic enforcers with hand-held devices can easily access details stored in the cards.
The new DL will have details of a driver's declaration to donate organs and mention if he/she is driving a specially designed vehicle meant for the physically challenged.
"The feature of emission norm for the vehicle will be specified on the RC to help carry out the pollution under control test objectively. Currently, a person carrying out the test asks the owner about the details," a road transport ministry official said.
About 32,000 DLs are either issued or renewed across the country daily and nearly 43,000 vehicles are registered or re-registered.
So, when anyone goes for renewal or re-registration, the transport authorities will issue the new DLs and RCs so the old ones will get replaced gradually.
An official of the road transport ministry, which has already started the process, said the enforcement personnel will have multiple options, from keying in the DL or RC numbers in their handheld device to inserting the smart card in the device or read the QR code to get access to all details of a driver. The NFC feature will help quick detection of the card details as soon as the DL or RC smart card is touched or placed close to the device.
"It will directly give access to the URL having details of the particular vehicle or driver including past records as stored in the central database of Vahan (for vehicles) and Sarthi (drivers)," said another transport ministry official.
He said adding the cost of all the features won't be more than Rs 15-20 per DL or RC and hence the states can easily get this done within the given time frame.