NEW DELHI :
A government move allowing exemption of those holding expired vehicle documents such as driving licence, fitness certificate and registration certificate from prosecutions is set to end on December 31. So, if any of your vehicle document has expired or is about to expire, it is better to apply for its renewal soon.
The exemption, that has been in place for nine months, was introduced owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the country, sparing drivers with expired vehicle documents from challans. This is set to be lifted on January 1, 2021, unless the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) gives directions to extend it further. Those found with expired driving licence will be charged a penalty of ₹5,000, as per the amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot held a meeting to review the application process of all transport-related documents. He told Hindustan Times that DLs and RCs can be renewed now as the provision is fully operational at all the 13 RTOs (regional transport offices) of the state. He also requested for people to renew their documents by applying online.
In order to prevent a backlog of applications and avoid long waiting periods for appointments, Gahlot said that he had directed the State Transport Department to relax the rule in particular cases where an applicant is mandated to go only to a motor licensing office (MLO) located near the address mentioned in his application.
Online application process
One can apply for renewal of driving licence online by visiting parivahan.gov.in and clicking on 'driving licence-related services'. This will be followed by clicking on 'DL services', after which the applicant would need to type out the DL number, fill out other details, upload documents and make a payment so as to book a slot to visit the nearest RTO.
At the RTO, the person's biometric details will be checked and documents will be verified, post which the driving licence will be issued. The process is similar to that of renewing RCs.
Long waiting period
The waiting period to get an appointment at an RTO for renewal of DL ranged from two to 60 days as of Sunday, as per the records of the State Transport Department and reported by HT. This is post online application submission.
Special commissioner (transport), KK Dahiya, was quoted as saying, “This month, the rush to get DLs and RCs has increased . But it is manageable as each of the 13 RTOs is capable of processing 200 renewal requests every day. Also, the process of renewal is far easier than getting a fresh document."
He explained that the reason for the rush was that under the amended MV Act, DLs, if not renewed within a year of their expiry date, are deemed invalid. Thus, a motorist will have to start from the scratch, by applying for a learner’s licence and appearing for all the tests again. Earlier, one could renew a DL anytime within five years of the date of expiry.
Gahlot said that the number of slots to be booked per day per RTO will be increased to pre-Covid times and the the transport department has already been asked to analyse demand in the month of January and fix the number of slots accordingly. “Directions have been issued to ensure that the waiting period should not be more than 45 days in any zone. I have asked the transport department to decongest some of the busy RTOs by shifting applications to the less crowded ones," he was quoted as saying.