More than 4,000 taxi drivers may lose their licences if they are unable to give their address proofs.
In a bid to check the rising number of unlicensed taxi drivers, the transport department is replacing the metal badges that drivers carry with photo-identity driving licences. However, many drivers are facing difficulties since they don't have sufficient address proof.
A taxi driver found to be driving without his photo-identity licence or with an expired badge could be prosecuted.
"We have asked the RTOs to consider drivers who have badges. There are nearly 4, 200 drivers who have failed to procure the photo-identity driving licences. In the past five months, only 800 [drivers] have been able to provide proper residential proof," said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union, adding that the RTOs should demand residential proofs from new drivers.
However, sources in the RTOs said the rules had become stringent and even existing taxi drivers carrying a badge needed to have valid address proof to get the new licence.
"The traffic police complain that the notices sent to most taxi drivers never reach them since they don't bother to update their addresses on the licence," said an RTO official on condition of anonymity.
V Pandkar, regional transport officer for eastern suburbs, said, "The idea is to put an end to taxi drivers driving without valid licences. Hence we are demanding valid residential proofs.”
The transport department has already started accumulating the latest information on taxi and autorickshaw drivers and feeding it into their system.
Meanwhile, the transport department recently auctioned 4,000 dead permits belonging to black-and-yellow taxi drivers. There are nearly 18,000 such dead permits and the department is intending to slowly auction as many as possible.