Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, does not believe in mincing words not even for political gains. Gadkari, who is navigating the Bill to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, feels the political parties should realise that the proposed changes are for everyone’s good and does not benefit any one segment of the society.

“We have answered all the concerns being raised by the Opposition. No where are we trying to undermine the powers of the State government or the Regional Transport Offices,” Gadkari said adding “today one out of every three driving licence is ‘bogus’ and this is what we can eliminate with the help of centralised register as proposed in the Bill.”

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017, was passed by the Lok Sabha and is currently pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill provides for centralised register of driving licences, which has not gone down well with the Opposition. According to the government, the centralised mechanism will help to carry out reforms in the driving licence testing process and eliminating duplicate licences.

Elaborating on how the centralised register for licensing will help, he said: “What happens today, a person holds multiple driving licence one each in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and in Delhi. If MP licence is suspended or cancelled, then the individual uses UP licence. This can be resolved with the help of a centralised register, which will contain name, Aadhar number etc. As soon as one does some mischief for getting duplicate licence from some other place, his/her name along with Aadhar number will pop up.”

Gadkari said the Centre has assured States over key issues, including that the States’ power will not be clipped and that they will get the due amounts raised from centralised permits.


The Bill proposes vehicle registration to be done through electronic mode only. “But, the States will be free to the fix the charge, which will be deposited in the State’s treasury. Only thing we are saying is that all details to be compiled and process to be completed electronically,” Gadkari said.

On concerns over National Permit, he said, “At present if a truck has to travel from Delhi to Mumbai, then it will require permit first for Delhi-Uttar Pradesh, then Uttar Pradesh-Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh-Gujarat and finally from Gujarat to Maharashtra. What we are suggesting is that there should be a single window clearance and the charges of different States, will be deposited in their accounts.”

Curb corruption

Gadkari also emphasised that all these measures will curb corruption and bring more convenience to the people without stepping on the States’ power. He also said the National Transport Policy will be voluntary and States are free to adopt it or work on their own. He hoped that the Bill will be passed during the Winter Session of Parliament.

While the Road Ministry does not maintain centralised data regarding fake or duplicate driving licences, according to an analysis done in January 2015, on National Register for Driving Licences by National Informatics Centre, it was found that there is a possibility of duplicate licences.

As on January 5, 2015, out of the total 6,70,16,851 driving licence records available, 16,72,138 records were found to be possible duplicates, spread over 7,99,923 clusters. The percentage of probable duplicates stands at 2.5 per cent as per this exercise. This information has been shared with respective States for further action.

National database

The National Database on Driving Licenses and Vehicle registration has already been created. NIC, which has been entrusted with the design, development, computerisation roll-out and maintenance of the VAHAN and SARATHI project across all the states and Union Territory Administrations, has achieved almost 100 per cent success in terms of deployment of core scheme/product for Vehicle Registration (VAHAN) and for Driving Licenses (SARATHI) across the country.

Subsequently, to consolidate the database, State Register for all the States and National Register were established. Almost all the sites in 36 States/Union Territory Administrations are connected. More than 20 crore vehicle records and 10 crore driving licence records are available in the National Register Repository.

State Transport Departments and enforcement agencies have been provided access to data in the National Register to facilitate instant verification of all driving licences/ Registration Certificate and the digitalised data is also made accessible through mobile by sending SMS from their registered number.