Smart Card Driving Licenses in Kerala 2023

The Kerala government will roll out driving licenses in the form of smart cards today. Transport Minister Antony Raju said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will launch the smart card system made using PVC PETG. The smart cards that come with seven security features are designed as per the norms of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, said Minister Raju.

The security features are serial number, UV emblem, Guilloche Pattern, micro text, hot-stamped hologram, QR code and optically variable ink, most of which are available in an Aadhaar smart card.

Soon vehicle registration certificates and related documents will be turned into smart cards, he said. Kerala had recently tried the smart card system at a select few locations under the Motor Vehicles Department on an experimental basis. ‘Smart’ after 22 years CM Pinarayi Vijayan said Kerala was the first state in the country that attempted to introduce smart cards for driving licenses in 2001.

“Several steps had been taken back then. But due to frequent changes in motor vehicle rules and some court proceedings, the plan was delayed,” said Pinarayi. The court proceedings the CM mentioned went on for 22 years at the High Court until the state got a favourable ruling the other day.

The state government had signed a deal with a private firm 22 years ago for making smart cards. The state cancelled the contract following an alleged disagreement over the tariff, but the firm moved the High Court. The case prevented the state from signing a deal with any other company, including the state government-owned KELTRON and Kerala Books and Publications Society.

The Kerala government has started issuing smart license cards for motor vehicle drivers. The smart license card, which will replace the existing laminated cards, has seven security features.

Launched jointly by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Transport Minister Antony Raju on April 20, smart card is being highlighted as one of the most secured driving licenses in the country.

The card has a hologram of the Motor Vehicle Department’s logo, India’s map with an Optically Variable Ink, microprinting, invisible UV image, Guilloche pattern, QR code and serial number. The 85 mm x 54.02 mm size card is made using PVC PETG.

Existing license holders can convert their driving license into smart cards by filing an online application through ‘Replacement of Driving License’ option in Sarathi software and paying a fee of Rs 200 with postal charges. As per reports, the discounted price will be available only for a year, after which the license holders will have to pay Rs 1300. Launching the license, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the smart card was launched considering the fact that it is widely used as an identity card. He said that Kerala had launched initiatives to turn licenses into smart cards some years ago, but it got delayed due to legal hurdles.

The card has been issued as per the norms of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Transport Minister Antony Raju said that the vehicle registration certificates too will be converted to smart cards from May.