Over 1,000 driving licences unclaimed

NYARUGENGE - Rwanda National Police has announced that about 1,000 driving licences are piled at the traffic offices in Nyarugenge District waiting for the owners to provide relevant information for effective processing.In an interview, the Traffic Police chief, Chief Superintendent of Police, Celestin Twahirwa,
A driving instructor offer a lesson to a learner in Kigali. Driving permit seekers have decried the delays in processing of licences. The New Times /Timothy Kisambira
A driving instructor offer a lesson to a learner in Kigali. Driving permit seekers have decried the delays in processing of licences. The New Times /Timothy Kisambira

NYARUGENGE - Rwanda National Police has announced that about 1,000 driving licences are piled at the traffic offices in Nyarugenge District waiting for the owners to provide relevant information for effective processing.

In an interview, the Traffic Police chief, Chief Superintendent of Police, Celestin Twahirwa, told The New Times that most of the licence application forms lack credible information, which the owners either did not provide or do not correspond with the ones on their national identity cards.

Driving licences are produced by the National ID Centre, and all particulars on the licence should correspond with those on the National ID.

“We are waiting for them to bring the missing information so that we can process their licences. We cannot process them if we don’t have all required particulars,” Twahirwa said in a telephone conversation.

This follows complaints from applicants, some who claim that they sat for the provisional and practical driving licences, but have spent months without getting their permits.

Several applicants, who spoke to The New Times,on condition of anonymity, said that it is now about three months since they received their results and filled the relevant forms to acquire licences, but are yet to receive their permits.

“I have spent three months waiting to receive my licence. Every time I go there to claim it, they tell me it is still being processed,” one of the applicants said.

However, Twahirwa said that some of the applicants do not understand the procedures “and that’s why they complain”.

Results for the provisional licence examinations are released, at least, within a month of sitting, but the licence is processed within three weeks after the results are released.

“After sitting for the tests (provisional) we, at least, take three weeks of marking, feeding the data in our computers and website,” Twahirwa said.

“But they have to bear in mind that our duties are not only [driving] tests; we have so many other responsibilities whereby at a given time, we change our priorities”.

He explained that some of the applicants’ particulars such as names, ID numbers filled on the licence application forms, sometimes, do not correspond with those on their ID.

“If we don’t get proper information from the applicant, it will take us long before we also process the permit. It is not a question of failing to process them in time; but we also need proper information for us to process them,” Twahirwa stated.

The Traffic Police, in February, introduced the online registration system to ease the process of applying for a driver’s licence.

Those registering to sit for provisional tests send an SMS as ‘ID No-space-District-space-P-space’ to 3126 while those seeking to sit for practical tests send an SMS as ‘ID No-space-District-space-category required-Number of previous licence obtained’ to 3126.

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