More than 700,000 people waiting for trials after filling out online forms for driving license

Published On: March 26, 2021 12:04 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 26: Online form submission for acquiring a driving license that was suspended due to COVID-19 was reopened in the third week of December last year. The number of people filling out online license forms after 10 months of suspension has increased significantly. More than 700,000 service seekers are waiting for the practical test (trial) after filling online forms. However, the transport management Offices have not been able to provide the service as there is no date available for trials till January, 2022.

Namraj Ghimire, director general of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) said that the number of online applicants for driving licenses has reached 600,000 to 700,000. “We have made arrangements enabling applicants to apply online 24 hours a day, so the number of applicants is very high,” he said. “The dates are booked till January next year but we are reviewing the system and are trying to do it ahead of schedule.”

The license exam was suspended for 10 months due to COVID-19. During that period, more than 500,000 service seekers were affected. The number of people buying two-wheelers and four-wheelers increased significantly with the spread of the COVID-19 infection, but the license test was suspended. According to NADA Automobile Association of Nepal, the number of two-wheeler buyers has more than doubled compared to four-wheeler buyers since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. However, there is no coordination between the DoTM and transport management offices as the former is under the federal government while the latter are under the provincial governments.

There is also a problem in the service flow as the number of people applying for licenses is increasing. Bishnu Bhattarai, chief of the Transportation Management Office, Sukedhara, said that the number of people applying for licenses online was high. “The transport office was shut down for almost eight months due to COVID-19, which has led to a huge increase in the number of people seeking licenses,” he said. “There are problems in operating trials due to the high number of applicants.”

Director General Ghimire said that efforts are being made to improve the capacity of the transport offices to conduct daily trials. “At present, only 1,200 trials can be conducted daily across the country,” he said. “We are trying to increase the daily trial capacity to 3,000 by April.” There are four transport management offices in the Kathmandu valley and 11 outside the valley.

Ghimire further added that the number of service seekers who have filled the online application forms will be reduced by mid-July. The department is also preparing to change the markings for the driving license examination. The law is being amended to give licenses to those who score 70 marks by making the integer 100 for the trial. Currently, licenses can be acquired only if applicants pass with 100%.

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