Next time you approach regional transport offices (RTOs) in the city for a new vehicle learning licence, permanent driving licence or a renewed or duplicate driving licence, you need not stand in long queues at cash counters or carry photocopies of the documents.
You can approach the RTO office for a driving test armed only with a printout of your form and the original documents needed to procure a licence.
The procedure to obtain a driving licence is now a cashless one, owing to SARATHI 4.0, the upgraded version of the software system used as the database of driving licences. The Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) is currently adopting this upgrade at all RTOs across Maharashtra.
In Mumbai, residents of the eastern suburbs will able to enjoy this facility first. The Wadala RTO will be the first to adopt the new web-based version of the system that was developed by National Informatics Centre.
“SARATHI 4.0 will be implemented at the Wadala RTO in Mumbai on January 4,” said a senior MVD official. He added that it would take a few months for the remaining three RTOs in Mumbai to switch to the upgraded system, owing to issues with broadband connectivity.
After successful trials at the Kolhapur RTO, the Aurangabad and Panvel RTOs too have switched to SARATHI 4.0.
Currently, people can book an appointment and fill the form for a driving licence online. There is also a facility for online payment.
The system is expected to curb the ongoing practice of getting multiple licences from different locations, as the data of each driving licence will be saved on a server in Delhi, instead of only at specific RTOs.
“The new online form is easier to fill, compared to the earlier PDF,” said an official.
A 10mbps broadband connection is necessary for the new system to function smoothly and hence, BSNL and MTNL have been asked to lay new lines
Currently, internet of this speed has been provided to 21 of the state’s 50 RTOs