The Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) has issued fresh guidelines to be strictly adhered to by all motorists seeking renewal and or acquisition of clearance to drive in Uganda.
This follows the take-over of the issuance and production process from the South Africa-based company- Face Technology to the Uganda Security Printing Company (USPC) that will be superintended over by the government in conjunction with Veridos.
The Face Technology contract was expected to end in May last year but was extended to February 28 to allow for proper transition to USPC whose offices will be hosted at stations that previously housed Face Technology in upcountry areas.
Currently, the USPC is charged with printing of all government security documents including passports, National Identity cards and now driving licences.
The minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala, said effective March 1 all applicants will be issued with a driving license replacing the computerised driving permit.
These will be issued at the Uganda Railway Corporation offices in Kampala as opposed to the previous process that required applicants to go to Kyambogo offices.
Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday, Gen Katumba said the process will be seamless and hence old ones will only be renewed after they expire.
“Those that have a driving licence from Face Technology, just keep using them and when it expires, we shall renew it that time. There is no need for a stampede to rush for renewing,” Gen Katumba said.
He also revealed that a special enquiries desk would be set up at the various stations that previously housed Face Technology offices to accommodate USPC to handle challenges and complaints that could arise in the transition process.
Asked about the safety of the details that have been under Face Technology, Gen Katumba said: “The data which Face technology had is very safe because it has been handed over to us.”
He insisted that Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) offices in Kampala will provide enough space to accommodate numbers that may flood in.
“We did a very nice check out and URC has space for now and it will be enough. But we are also in the process of constructing a one-stop centre where all these management of vehicle issues will be done. So by the time the Standard Gauge Railway comes in, we shall have no inconvenience at all,” Gen Katumba said.
The commissioner for Transport Regulation and Safety, Mr Wintsone Katushabe, indicated that the Driving Licence will have three security layers to guard against the forgery.
The first layer will be composed of features visible to the plain eye, second will have features which can only be detected by an infrared machine while the third layer is forensic reasons and is only known to government.
“The forensic a features are not for the public. If we have any suspicion that you have forged this card, we subject it to detailed investigation to verify. We are going to have card verification devices to this effect,” Mr Katusabe said.
Payments, process of renewal
Contrary to the old process, the new approach will see applicants make all payments in the bank in one place before proceeding to the issuance facility for the licence.
“The fees will remain the same. The only difference is that you will pay once and proceed to the facility to obtain your driving licence,” Mr Katusabe said.
All persons with an internationally recognised permit will have up to six months to ply Uganda’s roads as they are issued with new one.
“You can only drive here for six months and after that you are required to convert to the new one. It has to be valid to be converted. It will be up to the licensing authority to either subject you to road testing or not,” Mr Katusabe said.
Charges for renewal
1st time applicant