State transport commissioner Avinash Dhakne, who received the General Statutory Rules (GSR) for Maharashtra on Sunday morning, told TOI: “It is a good step and will benefit scores of Indians abroad during the pandemic. Indian students based abroad are facing problems with renewal of IDP, and this will help them.”
This is a welcome step, specially for students stuck abroad due to Covid-19 and want to renew driving permits. As per UN convention, validity of IDP is for a year. Many representations were made online following which IDP renewal norms were revised so that one need not come to the RTO in person.
So far, there was no mechanism to renew IDPs while citizens were abroad. Now, it is proposed that Indian citizens can apply for renewal through the Indian Embassies/Missions abroad, from where these applications would move to the VAHAN portal in India, to be considered by respective RTOs. The IDP will be couriered to the citizens at their addresses abroad, said Dhakne, adding that such couriers will be sent on priority.
“This notification also removes the conditions of a medical certificate and a valid visa at the time of requesting the IDP in India,” Dhakne said.
The fees for renewal will be Rs 2,000, which the applicants will have to furnish online. They will also have to provide proofs with the application—which includes proof of valid driving licence, three copies of passport photographs, proof of nationality and proof of valid passport. “There are countries where visa is issued on arrival or visa is issued at the last moment. The application can now be made without a visa now.”
Ajay Govale, Director of Community Impact at United Way Mumbai, said that if processes are made easier to follow, people tend to follow them more. “It is a good step, and by sending IDP through courier, the government is going out of the way. It’s a good approach,” he said.