A step towards Digitization: Soft-copy of document is enough if caught for traffic violations



New Delhi

As we live in the era of digitization and considering the provisions of Information Technology (IT) Act, the road transport ministry has asked the traffic police and state transport departments not to insist on original or hard copies of documents like driving licence, registration certificates and insurance papers for verification.

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The department will allow people to carry these documents in a mobile app DigiLocker or mParivahan which means traffic police will be able to access the detailed information of driver or his vehicle by scanning the soft-copy of his document. Also they will be able to record the violations related to drivers and the vehicles via logging into their central database using their handsets. The app will be connected with Aadhaar and residents can upload the driving licence and registration certificate on the app. It would be treated as original certificates.

The DigiLocker platform has now the facility to pull a citizen’s driving licence and registration certificate by way of its integration with the ministry of road transport. These digital copies available on Digilocker are mandated as original document as per the IT Act 2000. However, it does not apply to cases where driving licence and registration certificate are seized by law enforcement authorities as per Motor Vehicles Act and Rules.

At present, residents need to carry their driving licence and registration certificate while riding their two- and four-wheeler to display it during checking by traffic police.

There are cases have been noticed that the original documents get lost by traffic police when they take them away for violations such as speeding, ignoring the signals or using phones while driving. People have to lodge a complain against their lost documents when traffic police are unable to trace them.

According to the road transport ministry’s advisory, offences of drivers or vehicles are anyway reflected in the electronic database of Vahan and Sarathi through the eChallan system and so “there is no requirement of a physical seizure of such documents”.

The ministry said the electronic records available on DigiLocker or mParivahan are deemed to be legally recognized on a par with the original documents as per provisions of the IT Act, 2000. It added the documents available in the “electronic form” are valid under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and be treated on a par with the certificates issued by the transport authorities.

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While the DigiLocker app is available on all phones, mParivahan is available on Android phones but not on phones which run on Apple’s iOS platform. Ministry officials said mParivahan will be available on Apple phones in the next 7-10 days.

The facility is not for commercial and heavy vehicles. The users have to download the app from Google Play Store and it has the capacity to upload document up to 1GB.

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