KICUKIRO - The government is yet to issue new electronic driving licenses that will replace the old ones that are currently in service. The issuing of new driving licenses is in line with the process of issuing new electronic National Identifications.
Addressing hundreds of traffic police personnel about the issuing of new electronic driving licenses yesterday at hilltop motel, Remera, the Secretary General in the Ministry of Local Government, Eugene Barikana said that there are different types of driving licenses in circulation some of which are issued from neighboring countries while others are forged. He stressed that the process if issuing new driving licenses is well organized, and would cut down the misdeed.
“The new driving licenses are hard to forge and we will make sure that no Rwandan is using a foreign license,” said Barikana He also said that the purpose of the new licenses and national IDs is to ensure updated data about all nationals.
He called on the Police to play a major role in transforming the society’s mindset towards the issuing of new electronic identifications.
Initially, there was an idea of combining the two (Driving license and national ID) in one electronic card but the government preferred to separate them.
Asked the reason why the two identifications were separated, Barikana said that there was still lack of enough equipment that would be used in the process.
“If we had combined the cards, then we would put a device in that card that would identify the information on the card and this also would require us to have high-tech machines that would read the card,” said Barikana.
He also added that another reason that stopped them from embedding the driving license into the national ID was the international road safety declaration of which Rwanda is party to.
The declaration states that the driving license is an independent document that should not be rejoined or embedded in another document.
Barikana said that Rwanda’s vision is to have all information and data concerning an individual in one card. A source told The New Times on condition of anonymity that should Rwanda decide to go ahead and join the two cards, it will have to withdraw its signatures from the declaration.
Currently, its only Malaysia that has embedded the driving license into the national ID but the country has not signed the declaration.
Meanwhile, the cost of the new driving license has stunned the general public; unlike other identifications, the new electronic driving license will cost Frw50,000. While an electronic driving license has been put on a very high price, the new national ID is costing only Frw500.
Currently the only identification that cost as much as the new driving license is the passport, while other Identification documents range from Frw100 to Frw3000. However, Barikana still believes that the cost of the new driving license is low.
“If you look at the investment the government has put in to have this high-tech and up-to-date driving licenses, it is too much. We had to cut its cost to the lowest amount possible which is Frw 50,000 otherwise it would be extremely very expensive,” Barikana said.
In a related development, the head of Traffic Police, Superintendent Robert Niyonshuti said that new electronic driving license would be issued to only those who already have the old licenses. He also said that over 70,000 new licenses would be given.
This implies that the government would generate a total cost of over Frw 3.5 billion. The registration process for the new driving license will kick off next month on July 7, in Kigali City and proceed to other provinces.
Niyonshuti said that new licenses would be issued after the general public get their new ID cards so that the numbers are indicated on the new driving licenses. The process of registration will be carried out by the police and is expected to take one month in every province.