Smart card shortage for registration paper, driving licence worries vehicle owners in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Many motorists across Karnataka are a harried lot because the Centre and the state government have not extended the validity of expired driving licences and registration certificates beyond October 31 when there is a shortage of smart cards.
The private firm providing the smart cards has said the shortage is due to a global semiconductor shortage.
Sources said there is a backlog of nearly two months.
It means that motorists who applied/renewed licences or bought a vehicle/made changes in the registration certificate of existing vehicles will have to wait for a long time for the cards. The Union ministry of road transport and highways (MORTH) had extended the validity of the transport documents that expired on or after February 1, 2020, till October 31, 2021, due to the pandemic.
However, MORTH officials now say they will not give a further extension and the onus is on respective state governments to extend the validity, if necessary.
The Delhi and Kerala governments have extended the validity of expired documents till November 2021 and December 2021, respectively. However, the Karnataka transport department has not given any such extension even though motorists are struggling to get slots to get services for the past few months. Nagesh H, who applied for licence renewal, said: “RTO officials are saying there is a shortage of smart cards. Neither the Centre nor the state is extending the validity of documents. If traffic police catch us, we will end up paying fines.”
According to rules, a fine of up to Rs 5,000 each will be imposed for driving without a valid licence or registration certificate.
J Purushotham, additional commissioner for transport (environment and e-governance), said: “We have resolved all issues related to the delay in issuing smart cards. We are now issuing smart cards in 20-30 days. It will take some time to print the cards and then send them to the applicants, but there are no major delays.”
Delhi-based Rosmerta Technologies Ltd has been supplying smart cards for the last 12 years. In 2009, the transport department switched from paper-based licences and registration certificates to smart cards. Transport department officials said they have already issued a notice to the firm on the delay in providing the smart cards. Rosmerta in a letter to the department said they are finding it difficult to obtain chips to produce the smart cards due to a global semiconductor shortage.

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Sagar Biswas

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