Streamlined Process: Latest update on new plastic licences in Zimbabwe

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

The Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) in Zimbabwe is in the final stages of decentralizing its services to Zimpost offices across the country. This move aims to streamline the process of collecting licence discs for prospective drivers upon the successful completion of their driving competency tests.

Under the new system, individuals will be required to specify their preferred Zimpost office for licence disc collection during the application process. Once the licence is ready, Zimpost will notify the applicant through a text message, indicating the availability of their disc.

Engineer Theodius Chinyanga, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, confirmed the ongoing decentralization efforts. He clarified that applicants will still need to visit the nearest VID depots for biometrics and the initial driver’s licence application process.

The VID has made significant progress in reducing the backlog of driver’s licences, with 2019 professional licences cleared and normal licences for January 2019 processed. Priority is given to applicants with a valid certificate of competency, first-time VID visitors, and those who have lost their metal licences.

To enhance security and prevent forgery, the government recently introduced plastic driver’s licences to replace the traditional metal licence discs. These new plastic polymer licences, widely used in other Southern African Development Community countries, are instantly printed with embedded security features and are machine-scannable for authentication. Temporary paper driver’s licences were issued in the interim before the introduction of the plastic licence discs.

The VID’s decentralization initiative will allow prospective drivers to collect their licence discs from designated Zimpost offices, streamlining the process and improving convenience. The introduction of plastic driver’s licences aims to enhance security and authentication measures, ensuring the integrity of the licensing system.

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