Big changes coming with new drivers’ licence: Fresh details revealed

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

he launch of Zimbabwe’s new SADC-compliant plastic drivers’ licence card has been hailed as a major step forward, and fresh details are emerging about the game-changing differences the cards will bring.

Transport Minister Felix Mhona revealed the new card will cost just $5, a fraction of the previous metal licence. And most exciting of all, test-passers should get their new card within 7 to 10 days, compared to months-long waits for the metal licence.

An online booking system means applicants can easily schedule their biometrics capture – providing an important security measure to curb fraud. In addition, the plastic licence features scanning and encoding that will instantly verify the licence’s authenticity and pick out any legal issues.

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Minister Mhona expressed hope that abandoning the old metal discs and inefficient system in favour of the new digital technology and plastic licence cards will help eliminate corruption and drastically speed up the application process.

Zimbabwean drivers will also benefit from the licence being fully compliant with SADC standards, allowing them – once a regional framework is in place – to legally drive in other Southern African nations using their Zimbabwean licence.

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The addition of new licence categories to accommodate larger vehicles and trailers, as well as requirements to renew professional driving permits every two years, are other major changes set to improve driver training and competence going forward.

The proactive implementation of an Electronic Learner’s Licence Testing system, translated road rule books, and integration of the new card printing with licence authorities aims to remove human failings from the licence-issuing process.

If all runs smoothly, newly-licenced Zimbabwean drivers could soon enjoy the relief of no longer having to wait several months for a metal licence disc – but instead receive their brand new plastic card in under two weeks.

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