Expired driving permits given window period

Motorists in Rwanda will no longer need to renew their driving licenses when they expire, police said yesterday.
 A traffic officer checks a driving permit of a truck driver along the Kigali-Huye highway. Timothy Kisambira.
A traffic officer checks a driving permit of a truck driver along the Kigali-Huye highway. Timothy Kisambira.

Motorists in Rwanda will no longer need to renew their driving licenses when they expire, police said yesterday.

The new policy applies to Rwandans and foreigners in Rwanda with permanent residence.

The directive is contained in a ministerial order published in the official gazette on March 6, 2014 determining the modalities of renewal of  the national driving license. It modifies the 2002 presidential decree regulating the general traffic police and road traffic.

The ministerial order was issued by the State Minister in charge of Transport, Dr Alex Nzahabwanimana.

Announcing the waiver in Kigali on Monday, Jean Marie Vianney Ndushabandi, the spokesperson of the Rwanda National Police traffic and road safety unit said the directive became effective on February 1, 2014.

 “The expired licenses will continue to be valid until further notice,” Ndushabandi told journalists.

Previously, licenses were costing Rwf50,000 and were valid for five years.

It is not clear whether the new arrangements will reduce or increase the cost.

John Mutabazi, a taxi who operates around the Kisementi area, Kigali whose license was about to expire  welcomed the news.

“My driving permit was due to expire at the end of this year but if the new order has removed the expiry dates then it is good news for me,” he said. 

Police said the process of acquiring the new licenses will continue as it has been.

Latest statistics show that by February, 2012, 146,776 people had acquired driving licenses since 2009.

The new policy is likely to benefit more people.

Police explained that the new policy is the latest in a series of changes in transport regulations. 

 

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