Mansoor Ahmed, who lives in Gachibowli in Hyderabad could not hide his smile, when a traffic police officer stopped him at Begumpet, while he was on the way to his office, and asked for driving licence (DL) and registration certificate (RC). He simply took out his smartphone and showed the documents saved in a mobile app. Ahmed, who had been fined twice last month for not carrying the complete documents, said, “Carrying all the necessary documents in a mobile app that can be easily accessed online and offline is a great relief for people at large.”
In order to reduce the burden of physically producing of vehicle documents like DL, RC to enforcement authorities, the transport department of government of Telangana recently launched a mobile app called ‘RTA m-Wallet’ and officially declared it as valid during any enforcement drive undertaken by the police. The app allows a user to download digital copies of vehicle documents which could be shown to the police and RTA authorities when demanded. “The idea is not to provide one more mobile app to the people. Basically the goal is to move towards digitalisation and provide a paper-free ride experience to the citizens,” Sandeep Kumar Sultania, transport commissioner, government of Telangana told FE.
But the question remains, is it really a paper-free ride for people? Perhaps not, as other than DL and RC, other two key documents—insurance policy documents and pollution-under-control certificates—are yet to be fully integrated with the m-Wallet application. Senior officials at the transport
department said that for the integration of these two documents work is already in progress, and soon, it will be part of m-Wallet. An official informed that there is a slight delay in the government getting information from the insurance service providers. The latest insurance related data will be
updated soon on the app.
To use the application, one needs to download it from Android or from iOS platforms. Once a person registers with an email address and phone number, all the records in the database corresponding to the registered phone number automatically get fetched into the account and more could be added by simply pressing ‘Add new’ button. In fact, a user can add multiple vehicles owned by him and fetch transport related documents in a single app. Documents once downloaded will be saved permanently and could be used when the phone is offline. Interestingly, when they share the vehicle with their friends and family members, the government has integrated a ‘RC share’ feature that allows the user to share the RC with family and friends which can be used in their respective apps.
So far, the RTA m-Wallet app has been downloaded over one lakh times on the Android platform. Currently it ranks 71 in top apps on Google Play Store for India and it is the only government app in top 100. Since the launch on March 30, 2016, more than 2,83,814 vehicles have been registered, over 1,80,651 DLs and 2,42,831 RCs have been downloaded.
A close analysis of the application on the Google Play Store points out some common anomalies. While many people appreciated the government effort, several other have apprehensions. Although the state of Andhra Pradesh has bifurcated into Telangana and the residuary Andhra Pradesh, there are a lot of people whose car RC belongs to Telangana RTA but have a DL issued by the authority in residuary Andhra Pradesh. They are still wondering how to get best out of this innovative app, as only the data from Telangana RTA is available in m-Wallet.