HA NOI — Issuance of new high-security driver's licences with digitised personal information will begin nationwide next month, according to the Ministry of Transport.
The project will be piloted in northern Bac Ninh Province and central Da Nang City beginning next Monday.
Deputy minister of transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said the change was designed to synchronise the issuance of driving licenses, prevent counterfeit documents and improve the management of traffic violators nationwide.
He said the new license would be printed in Vietnamese and English and would be valid in all members countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Transport of Goods and People.
The licenses will include a profile photo, personal information including full name, birthday and address, expiry date and a code system to differentiate and digitised information and features about individual drivers.
Deputy general director of the Viet Nam Road Administration Nguyen Van Quyen said based on this digitised system in the country's network, all departments of transport and police would be able to verify drivers' personal information when re-issuing driving licenses or conducting criminal investigations.
"This new driving license also helps police officers to look up a driver's history of traffic violations."
Statistics of the Ministry of Public Security's Traffic Police Department show that more than 1,500 forged driving licenses were confiscated last year, down from 4,300 in 2010, mainly in the northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Hoa Binh, Lang Son and central Nghe An.
Deputy general director Quyen said this nationwide system would help transport companies to check and manage their drivers.
Nguyen Van Hop, director of Hop Hoa Transport Company said it was very difficult for transport companies to verify the personal information of drivers printed on the current driving license during the recruiting process because they couldn't always tell if a license was legitimate.
"I usually recruit my drivers based on my experience and a driving test. But sometimes my instincts have been wrong.
"I hope that with this change, I can easily recruit well-qualified drivers to ensure the safety of my passengers."
Nguyen Manh Hung, head of the Viet Nam Transport Association said changing the form of driving licenses was necessary at this time because the current format was not water or heat resistant, wasn't valid in other countries and was easily faked.
Quyen said current driving licenses were still valid and did not need to be renewed until their expiry dates. New licenses would be issued in the place of damaged documents or those that had expired.
The cost of a new license will be VND150,000 (US$7.1).
He said the administration was focused on training its staff to get used to the new issuance technology to ensure the whole network would run smoothly. — VNS