Renewal of transport docs must from Oct 31
The Centre has decided not to extend the validity of expired transport documents such as driving licences beyond October 31 and has advised state transport departments to clear the backlog of applications within a month.
State governments, however, can offer further extensions at their level if they deem it fit, people aware of the matter said. The Delhi government has already decided to extend the validity of expired transport documents till November 30 provided they were issued by the city government.
The Union ministry of road transport and highways has already extended the validity of the transport documents that expired on or after February 1, 2020, seven times to ensure that the movement of goods and passengers was not impacted due to the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdowns and restrictions.
In an October 11 letter to transporters who requested the relaxation when the first national lockdown was imposed on March 25, 2020, the ministry said the relaxation granted last month to extend the validity of expired documents till 30 October was going to be the last one. Officials clarified that the current relaxation, which covers driving licences, registration certificates, fitness certificates and all permits, does not exempt people from driving vehicles with valid pollution under control certificates.
Driving without a valid licence attracts a penalty of ₹5,000, while the penalties for other invalid documents are ₹5,000 (registration certificate), ₹10,000 (permit for commercial vehicles), ₹2,000-5,000 (fitness certificate for goods vehicles).
Due to the pandemic, the ministry extended the validity of all transport-related documents for the first time until June 2020. The validity was subsequently extended to August 2020, December 2020, March 2021, June 2021, September 2021, and October 31, 2021.
The ministry said due to the continuous extensions, there is a long backlog of applications awaiting clearance for renewal of such documents. “States and union territories (UTs) have also been advised to complete all the pending services in mission mode and a time-bound manner to achieve this,” the letter said.
The letter added that state governments have been advised to “put extra resources” to complete the processes related to pending cases of renewal and reissue of documents such as fitness permits, DLs, RCs, etc. within one month.
Also, states have been told to implement regulations such as online processing of documents, dealer point registration, online national permit for goods and passenger vehicles, contactless or faceless services through Aadhaar authentication to minimise the requirement for citizens to visit transport department offices and reduce physical interactions between citizens and officials.