interviewBy Brenda Yufeh Nchewnang-Ngassa
Jacob Aben Tegum, Service Head in Charge of Automobile and Motorcycle Training at the Ministry of Transport explains the change to electronic driver's license.
What do people require to get an electronic format?
If you have a paper driving licence, the first thing to do is to find out if the licence has its number at the Ministry of Transport Press Print System. If it exists in the ministry's system, that individual should compile a list of documents and submit to the Department of Road Circulation at the Ministry of Transport or Regional Delegations of transport, in order to obtain an electronic driving licence.
If your paper driving licence is not found in the Press Print System of the Ministry of Transport and it is 15 to 20 years old, a commission created at the central and regional levels of the ministry will take care of such cases. The commission will examine and see if you can be given a computerised driving licence, request that you bring a "written statement" or if you should go back to a driving school.
What measures have been taken by the Ministry to ensure that the conversion process is hitch-free?
Numerous measures have been taken at the central and regional levels. Several meetings have already taken place and the Minister of Transport has informed the public through radio and the print media on the importance of getting paper licence converted before March 1. All regional delegates have received instructions from the minister to create commissions which will receive complains from those who have problems in converting their paper driver's licence.
Regional delegates are sensitising the population on the issue before the deadline. At the moment police and gendarme officers on road control do not seize documents from those who still have the paper driving licence. But from March 1st punishment awaits such people.
What will happen to those still using the paper driving licence after March 1st?
After March 1, those still using paper licence in circulation will be punished because it is a sign that they are now driving illegally. The paper licence will be completely seized from circulation, the car will be impounded and penalty charged.
The Ministry of Transport had announced the driving licence with points by January 1st, 2014. Does this mean that the computerised driving licence being issued out now is the driving licence on points?
This year, the driving licence with points will go operational maybe in six months because as of now, the process is still on going. We are getting experts to work on this and maybe in the next six months, the document will be ready for validation. Those changing from paper to electronic licence are given a normal electronic licence and not a driving licence with points. Those obtaining driving licences for their first time will be given the electronic format and until when the Point Driving Licence goes operational that people will be given the driving licence with points.