Glaring flaws in online driving licence facility

Glaring flaws in online driving licence facility


The current system can be misused by unscrupulous elements

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By Saleem Mubarak 

LAHORE: The Punjab government seems to have launched the much-needed Driving License Issuance Management System (DLIMS) facility in haste as it has certain ‘loopholes’ which need to be plugged. 

Those who have knowledge of digital intricacies say the system, in its present form, can be misused by unscrupulous elements.

Thousands of people want to have the (learner’s) driving licence without hurdles, especially after the recent government crackdown on underage drivers. Sensing the public load, the Punjab government launched the DLIMS a couple of days ago.

The facility has attracted a large number of people who seek online licence while sitting in the comfort of their homes. Many people have lauded the initiative which is meant to save the document seekers from the hassle of long queues at nearby police stations or the traffic police office.

What is required? 

The documents required to get the online license after registration on the portal include: CNIC, applicant’s name, father’s name, home address, blood group, height, contact number, emergency contact number and date of birth.

After submitting the required documents, the aspirant will get a PSID code required to pay the nominal license fee of Rs60 through electronic means.

Also Read Do traffic police have licence to fleece motorists?

LHC leads from the front

On Nov 17 last, Justice Ali Zia Bajwa of LHC directed the Punjab government to book all those driving on roads without having a valid licence.

He issued the direction while hearing a petition to invoke Section 302 in the case related to the tragic car accident which left six members of a family dead in Lahore.

Following the order, the Punjab government launched a crackdown on the violators and found that a majority of the motorists did not have licences. The government set up centres for issuance of learner’s licence and launched an online portal to facilitate the aspirants.

What is DLIMS?

Shedding light on the DLIMS features, the Punjab government documents read, “DLIMS Phase-II automates the processes for driving license issuance, renewal and upgrades. These activities are carried out throughout the province of Punjab. This system provides quick processing service to public and up to date statistics to the authorities by using state of the art technology and equipment.

“The system redefines the issuance process of all types of licenses by using a centralized network.”

The provincial documents claim that it’s a centralized issuance and management system of driving licences which will help reduce vehicle related crimes, create a data hub to facilitate other agencies and enhance the revenue by ensuring transparency.

Flaws in the system 

However, the existing system proves otherwise as the data being collected might be not factual due to system flaws. It's praiseworthy that people are getting their licences without hassle but the fact that the basic driving document can be obtained with the help of fake documents is too glaring too be ignored. 

The system lacks measures to verify the identity of the candidates. 

Many applicants say the DLIMS page crashes frequently and it takes a lot of time to complete the procedure.

Mohsin Ali, an information technology expert, told Dunya News that the DLIMS had flaws and unscrupulous elements could misuse it.

Elaborating on the flaws, he said a licence could easily be obtained with the help of fictitious details. For example, the image of a candidate could be replaced with that of any object or even animal.

In these perilous times, said Ali, more homework needed to be done by the government departments to launch a public facility. The system seemed to have been launched without inhouse testing, which makes it vulnerable to hacking, he said.

“Instead of succumbing to the public pressure, the provincial government should relaunch the system by making it foolproof,” said Ali.

He also argues that when the entire data is available with the government, why it’s not being used for verification before issuing the learner’s license.

Must Read LHC orders govt to arrest drivers without valid licence

What a candidate says…

Jahangir, who works for a private company, says he got his licence by using the online facility for fear of increase in rates. He says it's a good facility and the government must continue it so that more and more people could get the learning licence easily.

He says it will equip people with licences which, in turn, will help prevent traffic violations.

Dunya News contacted caretaker Punjab information minister Amir Mir on his mobile phone for his version on the issue, however, the person who attended the call told this reporter that the minister was at airport and he should contact the traffic police officials.

A traffic police officer, requesting anonymity, said the department neither developed the portal nor was it maintaining it. The Punjab government was in a better position to clear the picture, the officer added.