JUST IN: Zimbabwe finally ditches old metal licences for high-tech plastic cards

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Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona shows the sample of the new driver's licence during a media briefing in Harare

Zimbabwe is moving to replace current metal driver’s licences with new plastic polymer cards in line with regional standards. The Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) plans to issue the new plastic discs from June 19 after launching the national driver’s licence system.

Transport Minister Felix Mhona confirmed the plan, saying the Second Republic is committed to improving road safety performance as part of the National Development Strategy 1 goals. In January, a national road safety indaba resolved to introduce speed limiting devices, vehicle tracking systems and a government-monitored bus tracking system.

The minster said they are committed to improving enforcement through technology to record violations and enforce traffic regulations consistently with NDS1’s goal of modernizing the economy through ICT. The new national driver’s licence system will also allow an electronic database of licensed drivers linked to relevant stakeholders.

The 13 categories of the new licence conform to UN conventions and international standards. The categories will include combinations of vehicle and trailer as well as accommodate different vehicle sizes to ensure drivers are tested on an appropriate vehicle.

The plastic licences will be printed instantly with security features and scanable to immediately confirm authenticity and reveal legal issues. The plastic discs will replace the current process where drivers get a temporary paper licence before obtaining the metal licence months later after passing their test.

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