For most Indians owning a vehicle, especially those with two-wheelers, negotiating potholes and the traffic policeman is a daily prayer.
The former for their own personal safety and the latter for their ability to spring out of nowhere and flag you down for a perceived offence. And, forgetting to carry original documents such as a driving licence or vehicle ownership papers can escalate the offence to the next level and often end up in heated negotiation.
Henceforth, law abiding citizens have a way out as the Centre has allowed a certified digital locker or an app that one can be downloaded onto the mobile phone to help store such documents. When a copy of your licence on DigiLocker is shown to a traffic policeman who wants to inspect your driving licence, rest assured, it will be as good as verifying an original without having to carry it on your person. No other physical proof is required.
The enforcement official will also have the app to seamlessly verify documents from the National Register of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which contains data of licences and documents issued by all states.
What is DigiLocker?
The DigiLocker service was launched last year by the government to enable citizens to store a range of official documents on the cloud. The inclusion of driving licence and vehicle ownership documents expands the scope of the service and makes it easier for those carrying such official documents every time they step out of their homes.
DigiLocker provides 1GB of storage space in which users can store identification cards issued by multiple authorities, education certificates, PAN cards, driving licence as well as vehicle ownership documents and is part of the NDA government’s Digital India push to curtail the use of physical documents, which is seen as a needless duplication and waste of time.
On September 7, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, launched the integration of DigiLocker with the Driving Licence and Vehicle Registration system of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The system will not only eliminate corruption, but is also a step towards realising the prime minister’s Digital India drive. It will be at par with the physical certificates and documents as per the IT Act, 2000. Air travellers can also use this at airports as valid identity documents.
This brings huge relief to millions of road users as well as frequent air travellers.
The DigiLocker integration will cover a data base of 19-crore digital vehicle Registration Certificates and 10-crore driving licences available with the ministry. This computerised data has been mined from Road Transport Authority offices across States.
Soon, more such documents can be added to effectively reduce the burden of carrying a host of original documents on one’s person, useful in cases from proving one’s identity to remembering their PAN number at short notice.
These documents when viewed through DigiLocker will be deemed valid by the inspecting authority across India.
IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was also present at the launch, said there were already 21 lakh registered DigiLocker users in the country.
How to enrol?
Download the DigiLocker Android app from the Google PlayStore on your mobile phone and link your phone number with it. It is currently only available on Google PlayStore. Once downloaded, access the Issued Document section and then go to DL/RC. DigiLocker requires Aadhaar card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India for authentication.
With the addition of just two services, such as driving licence and vehicle ownership documents, the ministry expects to quantum-leap the number of users, which is expected to be in several millions in the next few months.