RTA would momentarily issue RCs sans electronic chips and driving licences.

Hyderabad: The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) may temporarily resort to issuing driving licences (DL) and certificates of registration (RC) without the chip inserted starting in the first week of December due to a shortage of electronic chips.

According to reports, difficulties importing the electronic chips that are contained in licences and RCs from overseas are to blame for their shortage.

The usage of PVC-made electronic chip integrated smart cards for drivers was adopted by the transport officials to prevent the use of false or duplicate driving licences and RCs. A driver's licence that has been augmented with an electronic chip to record the holder's personal information, including biographical and biometric data, is known as an electronic driver's licence (eDL, electronic driver licence, or electronic driving licence).

But according to information obtained, during the past two months, officials either entirely ceased issuing cards or just issued fewer cards. The decreased import of electronic chips, mostly from China and Japan, is directly blamed for this. In addition to China import restrictions, the Russia-Ukraine war has also started to affect supplies.

It has been reported that there are around 5 lakh driving licences or registration certificates stacked up at several regional offices waiting to be granted.

According to sources, the transport department administrators had previously requested permission from the State government to issue the piled-up cards without the electronic chip and had obtained a favourable response.

As a result, the RTA officials have opted to issue drivers' pending licences and registration certificates (RCs) on regular PVC cards without electronic chips until the chips are once again accessible, which is likely to be in two to three months.

On the other hand, there is a substantial risk of identity theft and card fraud when driving licences and RCs are issued without the security feature found in electronic chip smart cards.

Officials insist that this is only a temporary solution and that smart cards will soon be made accessible.

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