The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will reintroduce the Motor Vehicles Bill in the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, reports Business Standard. The 2016 version of the bill, which is when it was first introduced, will be reintroduced with the year changed to 2019. The bill seeks to bring aggregators in its fold, reportedly makes Aadhaar mandatory for getting license and registration, and also proposes digitisation of processes. The bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament after Union Cabinet’s approval.

The amendment, which proposes discarding the permit law in public transport, was first announced during Union Budget 2016 and was also passed in the Lok Sabha in 2017, but was pending in the Rajya Sabha.

What does the amendment bill change?

  1. Makes Aadhaar mandatory: The proposed amendment will reportedly make Aadhaar mandatory for getting licences and registration certificates under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
  2. Aggregators as intermediaries: The bill seeks to regulate taxi aggregators which it defines as a digital intermediary or marketplace. It proposes that state governments will need to grant licenses to vehicle aggregators on the basis of central government guidelines. Aggregators will also be required to comply with the IT Act, 2000.
  3. Digitisation of processes: This is proposed to make the registration process uniform across states. Some of the most notable changes suggested by the bill is offering electronic services:
    • Electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety: The bill inserts a new section 136A which mandates state governments to ensure electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety on national and state highways, and urban roads. It also directs the central government to make rules for the electronic monitoring and aid system through installation of speed cameras, CCTV cameras, speed guns, body wearable cameras and other such technology.
    • Use of electronic forms and documents:
      • Issue or grant of licenses or permits: The bill suggests that a licencing authority may issue a learner’s licence in electronic form under central government guidelines
      • Receipt of money (including fines): Receipts and payments of money should be done digitally
      • Forms or applications: The bill proposes that forms, applications or any other documents with any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the central or state government should be done electronically
      • Change of address: Users should be able to change addresses on licences digitally
    • Automated testing: The bill mandates automated fitness testing for the transport vehicles with effect from 1st October 2018. This move aimed at reducing corruption in the Transport Department while improving the road worthiness of the vehicle. “Provided further that no certificate of fitness shall be granted to a vehicle, after the 1st day of October, 2019, unless such vehicle has been tested at an automated testing station,” the bill reads.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016: