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Use e-license and e-RC book rather than smartcards

According to recent news item:

All driving-licence holders and owners of motor vehicles have to obtain smart cards within two years. There are nearly 76 lakh motor vehicles and nearly 65 lakh driving licences issued by the 55 regional transport offices. These will cost Rs. 200 each and Transport Department will be supplying 1,000 reader to traffic police and enforcement personnel.

The whole idea of smart cards is to store data related to the person or vehicle. Why not make the same data available over network (web/SMS/MMS via mobile) to whosoever needs it? Then we can do away with the smartcard and the readers all together. This is essentially e-license and e-RC book approach. Who-so-ever wants it can have a printout of the e-license/e-RC book which can have bar coded info. Many mobile phones today have applications which can fetch data by scanned bar-code using camera. In fact, for RC-book, it can be a simple sticker on vehicle, so that police can easily get data by scanning. People can also store their e-license on their mobile phones and get reminder SMS for renewal etc. Even if printout is not available, the police should be able to check the validity of license by entering the driving license number or other keys. To verify a person, they can just match the photo in the database with the real person.

Of course, driving license also serves as an ID, but we will anyway get national unique ID soon and till then, any other governmetn issued ID like voters ID should be sufficient. Or RTO can just issue a simple ID photo card which will be much cheaper than smartcard.

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