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Aadhaar to be mandatory for driving licence, vehicle registration: Gadkari

LiveMint logoLiveMint 31-03-2017 Jyotika Sood

New Delhi: The Union cabinet on Friday decided to link issue of driving licences and vehicle registration to Aadhaar, as part of a host of changes it plans to effect to the Motor Vehicles Act.

The amendments will form part of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, said after the cabinet meeting.

“The government is proposing an all-India register for vehicles and driving licences to ensure no duplication is done. Besides, measures like making vehicle registration and driving licences Aadhaar-based will help to check registration of stolen vehicles. The move will also help in portability—i.e. transfer of vehicle registration from one state to another,” he said.

The use of Aadhaar, the unique number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, is becoming all-pervasive in a country where it is already being used to better target beneficiaries of some government subsidies and welfare programmes.

The Finance Bill 2017 cleared by both the Houses of Parliament made it mandatory for filing of income-tax returns as well as for obtaining and retaining the permanent account number (PAN).

On 25 March, the department of telecommunications directed all mobile phone service providers to reverify existing customers—prepaid and postpaid—using their Aadhaar numbers and biometric details.

They were told to complete the exercise by early next year.

Aadhaar-based e-KYC would also be mandatory for customers procuring new SIM cards.

Gadkari said the cabinet had made 13 changes, 16 amendments and rejected three suggestions of the parliamentary standing committee on the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

A refreshed Bill, incorporating all the changes, will be moved in the Lok Sabha next week, he added.

“We have not accepted the proposal of the standing committee to carry on registration of vehicles only through RTOs,” he said.

Instead, the government has proposed registration of vehicles by automobile dealers as it will help to reduce corruption and make life easier for people.

The Motor Vehicles Act is a three-decade-old law that has outlived its utility on several fronts.

The proposed law specifically targets traffic offenders with stringent penal provisions.

It has identified priority areas for improving road safety.

Stricter penalties are proposed for high-risk offences such as drunken driving, dangerous driving, overloading, and non-adherence to safety norms by drivers (such as use of seat belt, helmets).

PTI contributed to this story.

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