Driving licences now just an app away

Pindi police launch new, one-window automated system

Obtaining a driving licence used to be a chore. An applicant had to go to the driving licence office early in the morning and wait in line to collect the token and then to appear before an officer would conduct the rest of the process.

Now, the traffic police in Rawalpindi has introduced a new one-window operation to provide licences without any human intervention and it has also offered a technological solution to the long waiting lines - book an appointment beforehand using a mobile application.

Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Ahsan Younus, while speaking to The Express Tribune, termed the inauguration of the one-window operation a ‘milestone’.

He elaborated that the Rawalpindi is the first police department in the country to launch an actual automated, one-window operation. He added that separate counters have been established for women, senior citizens and people who are transgender. Noting that the new system places transparency at its centre, Younus said that applicants will not need to fill any kind of paper-based forms when seeking a new or renewing an expired license.

The CPO added that by introducing an automated system, they hope to eliminate the age-old practices of using influence to intervene and get documents processed out-of-turn - which impacted the efficiency of the overall system.

Elaborating further, the city police chief said that motorists will only need to bring their original computerised national identity cards (CNICs) and the requisite fees for the service they wish to avail.

“Applicants will not be required to bring any photographs or paper nor will any official be able to send them to any other branch with the automated system in place,” he explained, adding that all activities are now computerised.

To ensure transparency, the driving test activity will also be recorded.

“Road users can obtain a license in a transparent manner and without any delay,” he said, adding that the entire process will be carried out in a good and hassle-free environment.

To solve the complaint that people have to wait in queues for hours on end, Younus said that now, applicants can download the Rawalpindi Police Citizens Contact mobile application from which they can just book an appointment for a new licence or renewing an existing licence and then just show up at the stated time. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2020.
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