The Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2016 proposes to make Indian roads safety with heftier fines and penalties for those breaking the law. While it will soon be very expensive to disobey traffic rules in the country, so will acquiring a new driving license or renewing an existing one. The amendment bill proposes to hike the fees for issue and renewal of a license on all vehicle types.
The bill proposes to hike the cost of issuing a new license from the current ₹ 320 up to ₹ 1200 for private vehicles. The increment is nearly four times the current fees. Similarly, the cost of acquiring a learner's license will cost ₹ 150 for each class of vehicle, instead of current fee of ₹ 30. An additional charge of ₹ 50 for conducting the learner's driving test has also been proposed.
Renewing your existing driving license is going to get expensive as well with the bill proposing to hike the cost from the current ₹ 50 to ₹ 200. Applying for an international driving license will cost ₹ 1000, twice the current cost, under the amendment bill. Opting for a new license in the smart card format will cost ₹ 400, up from the current cost of ₹ 200.
Furthermore, the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill also allows states to charge additional fees for conducting driving tests for each class of vehicle, which is expected to increase up to ₹ 300 per class of vehicle. This means that applying for a driving license for a light motor vehicle (LMV) and two-wheeler will cost a total of ₹ 600. This figure is in addition to the cost paid for issuing the new license. At present, states charge a cumulative ₹ 50 for conducting the driving test.
It isn't just acquiring the license that is going to get expensive, the amendment bill will also result in driving lessons getting costlier, since the license issue and renewal fees for driving schools will be hiked to ₹ 10,000, from the current fee of ₹ 2500.
While the hike is understandable, the government needs to take equally concrete steps in applying more stringent norms at Regional Transport offices (RTO). The outlets are known for massive corruption with respect to issuing licenses across the country and the same needs to be curbed on a large scale. Moreover, there also needs to be a concrete decision taken in regard to unauthorised agents that dictate norms outside the RTOs. After being approved by the Union Cabinet, the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 9, and will move to the Rajya Sabha once approved.