Information recently made available to 247ureports.com through principal sources within the Federal Road Safety Corps [FRSC] reveal that the new improved security features imbedded in the new driver’s license of the federal republic of Nigeria has been approved for acceptance by the State of Maryland in the United States of America [USA] as a valid driver’s license in the state of Maryland. This information was confirmed by the department of motor vehicles in the State of Maryland following a comprehensive inspection and evaluation of the new security features imported into the new driver’s license being launched by the FRSC.
Already, the new driver’ license has been accepted by other European countries including Australia. Another North American country, Canada is said to be conducting an independent evaluation of the licensing process and the new security features to determine whether to begin accepting the new license as a valid driver’s license in their country.
The new driver’s license, as gathered, was launched to streamline the pervading duplicity in identity and the ongoing fraud within the issuing agencies. Presently, the FRSC created a single data base to house the bio-data of all holders of the driver’s license in a manner to enable complete background checks on would-be drivers or applicants for driver’s license. The data base houses the biometrics including advance methods of collecting and storing fingerprints, passport snap shots, verifiable address and next of kin contact information [phone number]. This information are captured by the new system and scans the entire database of driver’s license to find matches for existing duplicates in the database system. When matching duplicates are found – an alarm is raised. The search for duplicates normally takes less than a minute to a minute to complete.
Impressively, the process for applying for driver’s license [DL] has been overturned to ensure the integrity of the DL. Previously, DL’s are issues ate the various FRSC zones in the country. There are 12 FRSC zones in Nigeria. The new process requires for the entire DL to be issued [printed] at one source – that is the headquarters in Abuja. The application for DL now starts with a visit to the website [www.NigeriaDriversLicence.org] where the applicant will be asked to fill out the appropriate form [renewal/new/re-issue]- and then chose the closest FRSC office to pick up his/her license. From the website, a print out is generated which the applicant will take to the nearest FRSC office of his/her choice. At the FRSC office, fingerprints and other pertinent bio-data are captured electronically and transmitted instantly to the head office in Abuja. The local FRSC then issues a temporary driver’s license which has a validity period of 60days. A fee of N6,000 is paid directly to the Joint Tax Board via electronic means.
The headquarter office in Abuja will instantaneously input the captured data into the main database to scan for duplicates of fingerprints or photographs. When there appears a duplicate, the application is rejected. When there appear no duplicates, the application process is continued to the next level. The license is then printed and delivered to the local FRSC office.
In addition to the streamlined process, the new security features of the license appear to have improved considerably. New features imbedded into the new license make duplication of the license virtually impossible. This is particular to the quality of the material used for the new license. The barcodes at the back of the license are said to be scan-able by the field FRSC operatives while at the various checkpoints along the streets and roads throughout the country. And as gathered, the barcodes contain the bio-data of the holder of the license.
The Chief Executive of the FRSC, Osita Chidoka, is said to have been the brainchild behind the restructuring of the Nigeria Driver’s License program through the improved security features. It is believed the new process will provide a new realistic baseline for the start of a true identification process in Nigeria – for the various security outfits in Nigeria.
247ureports.com also gathered that the Chief Executive of the FRSC will be gradually introducing the point-system for repeat offenders of laws against road safety. With the new driver’s license, it will be possible to accurately record and score each offender in the database with each offense – and when a limit is reached, the offender’s driver’s license is either suspended or revoked.
It was also gathered that the majority of the DL holders are presently not captured in the main database of the FRSC due to the manner the process had been abused by the various FRSC zones. “Most of the licenses on the streets are mere plastic cards” said a top ranking officer of the FRSC who went to say that “as time goes on, the drivers will need to renew their licenses and we will automatically capture their bio data”.
Most importantly, the new process will enable checkmate the prevalence of insecurity in the country.