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Explained: What is the Delhi government’s ‘faceless’ transport initiative?

The Delhi government has launched an ambitious "faceless" transport initiative. What is it, and how will it work? How will it impact applicants?

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: August 13, 2021 7:30:04 am
A policeman locks the MLO office of Transport department at the launch of faceless facility at Delhi Transport department, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021. Earlier, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal locked the same for a symbolic representation. (PTI Photo)

The Delhi government has launched an ambitious “faceless” initiative by locking down four Regional Transport Offices (RTO), the one-stop destination for all transport department services ranging from driving licences to transfer of ownership of vehicles.

In a symbolic move, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday locked the main gate of the IP Estate RTO, saying it will provide people freedom from long queues, brokers, middlemen as 33 out of 35 major services offered by the Transport Department can now be availed from the comforts of home.

What is the initiative about?

The RTO offices, where crucial transport-related services are offered, had over the years turned into dens of corruption as the nexus of middlemen and officials covered everything, ranging from issuance of learner’s licenses to change of address in registration certificates (RC). The “faceless services” scheme seeks to eliminate any scope of corruption by ending the need for people to visit the RTOs.

How will it work?

The guidelines developed by the Delhi government say that Aadhaar-based verification will be relied upon in dispensing the services online. A separate provision for those not having or willing to share their Aadhaar details has also been kept. For example, an applicant for a learner’s licence will have to file an online application using an Aadhaar number by visiting the portal – transport.delhi.gov.in. Upon entering the Aadhaar number, an OTP will be sent to the Aadhaar-linked mobile number of the applicant. The verification of the documents will be done automatically as the application developed by the government will draw details from the central Aadhaar database. There will be separate provisions for making payments and making digital signatures. In case of learner’s license, e-licenses will be issued instantly after taking the test online.

What about those not willing to share Aadhaar?

In such cases, they will have to upload the required documents along with uploading photo and signature as per the requirement of individual service, state the guidelines issued by the Transport Department. Similar procedures will cover foreign nationals also, it adds. A person can also dial 1076 and avail the doorstep services facility of the Delhi government as part of which a representative will come and help them with the application process.

What are the services that are not being offered as part of the “faceless” initiative?

The two services for which a person will have to visit the RTO are the driving test for getting a licence and vehicle fitness certificates. Driving tests in Delhi are carried out at 13 fully automated centres. Meanwhile, the pilot of the “faceless services” was launched in February. Between February 19 and August, 3.42 lakh service requests have already been processed.

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Once applied online, how will an applicant receive the documents?

The delivery of documents, be it licences or permits, will be done through speed post. They will be also uploaded online, the link for which will be sent to the applicants through SMS. People will also have the option to get the documents delivered through the doorstep delivery services by dialling 1076. In case of any queries or grievances, one can visit http://www.transport.delhi.gov.in to log complaints, dial 1076 or use the WhatsApp chatbot @ 8588820000.

How long will it take for processing of applications made online?

All the faceless applications will be processed within a period of seven days, according to the guidelines, which add that the motor licence officers will be responsible to look into the complaints on priority basis and each complaint should be resolved within a period of three days

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