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Zimbabwe launches expiring driver's licence disc

by Staff reporter
19 Jun 2023 at 12:36hrs | Views
Government has finally launched the new standard plastic driver's licence linked to a database that will replace the metal licences.

The new Zimbabwean licence will be scannable and meet the international standards of SADC, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community.

In the region, South Africa and some other countries already use plastic licences also known as plastic polymer licences.

At present, those who pass the Zimbabwe driving tests at VID depots countrywide were immediately issued with a temporary paper licence before obtaining the metal licence a few months later.

One of the advantages of the new plastic licences is that they will be printed instantly and have security features that will make them difficult to forge, as well as being scannable so checks can immediately confirm the authenticity and reveal any legal issues.

The plastic discs will now be issued with effect from today.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona launched the new licences this morning in Harare.

The new licences will be issued after seven days once an applicant has either passed or applied.

In a statement, the ministry recently clarified the advantages of the new licence.

"The benefits are that it eliminates the issue of Temporary Drivers Licences and clears the current backlog of drivers without licences. The new licence system uses cutting-edge digital technologies, ensuring convenience for both licence holders and law enforcement officials. A validity of five years ensures driver's credentials and photos are updated regularly enhancing the authenticity of the document.

"A Licence issued in one member state is valid for driving in 25 countries without conversion. Citizens can now obtain, renew or obtain a licence in an easy, quick and secure way. It also consolidates the Defensive Driver's Licence into the Professional

Driver's Permit information on a single card. Creates an updated electronic database of drivers as well as professional drivers," the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, the new licence will significantly reduce the presence of unqualified drivers using counterfeit licences who pose a risk to road safety.

"The information regarding the professional drivers (public vehicles) will now appear on the driver's licence card. It also has enhanced security features that significantly deter counterfeiting. It accommodates different sizes of vehicles during testing e.g. truck and trailer.

"Is this a SADC Driver's Licence? This new licence is valid in 25 countries in SADC, COMESA and EAC Regions (including Zimbabwe), without conversion. Is it available in all Provinces? Yes, it can be obtained through VID offices and collection will be from your nearest Post Office. The acquisition of new driver's licence has been decentralised. When is it being launched or coming into effect? It will be launched/ come into effect on June 19, 2023. Does it mean there will be a Re-Test after five years? -No re-test will apply. Once you are a licence holder your photo and biometrics will be updated every 5 years. A vision test will also be conducted during renewal. -Validity of 5 years ensure driver's suitability regarding health and vision; as well as updating of credentials (including biometric). For those on the backlog, its validity will be from the date the new plastic licence is issued. For public service vehicle drivers' the old rules will apply."

The ministry further said, "Are the old metal licence discs going to be phased out and replaced with plastic? -The metal disc remains valid, but the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development will announce the phase-out date in future. Do I have to get a licence to put a trailer behind my car? For old licence holders no. The ministry is developing capacity in test yards to accommodate this aspect but as of now, no. Is this new driver's licence secure? -Yes. It has numerous security features that will enhance its credibility. -It will also eliminate the presence of unlicensed drivers.

"What is a QR Code? -It is a machine-readable code that will be used to verify the credentials of a licence holder. After applying for a DL card / passing my road test where do I collect my licence? -On the application, you have to state your preferred Zimpost Agency near you. How do I know my licence is ready for collection? -A text message will be sent advising you that the licence is ready for collection. Please ensure that you provide the correct mobile number on the application."

Last week, Minister Mhona said the Second Republic was committed to formulating robust legal, policy and administrative mechanisms to improve road safety performance in line with the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1.

Source - The Herald