Zimbabwe Introduces New Plastic Driver’s License.

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The Zimbabwean government has introduced the new standard plastic driver’s license linked to a database that will replace the metal licenses. The new permit will be scannable and meet the international standards of SADC, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the East African Community.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona launched the new licenses this morning in Harare which will be issued with effect from today. The new licenses will be issued after seven days once an applicant has either passed or applied.

One benefit of the new plastic licenses is that they can be promptly printed, contain security elements that make them hard to fabricate and can be scanned so that checks can be performed right once to certify the validity and identify any legal issues.

Those who pass the Zimbabwe driving test at one of the VID facilities across the nation are given a temporary paper license right away. A few months later, they receive a metal license. South Africa and other countries in the region already use plastic licenses also known as plastic polymer licenses.

The ministry highlighted the advantages of the new license in a statement.

“The benefits are that it eliminates the issue of Temporary Drivers Licenses and clears the current backlog of drivers without licenses. The new license system uses cutting-edge digital technologies, ensuring convenience for both license holders and law enforcement officials. A validity of five years ensures driver’s credentials and photos are updated regularly, enhancing the document’s authenticity.”

“A License issued in one member state is valid for driving in 25 countries without conversion. Citizens can now obtain, renew or obtain a license in an easy, quick, and secure way. It also consolidates the Defensive Driver’s License into the Professional Driver’s Permit information on a single card. Creates an updated electronic database of drivers as well as professional drivers,” the ministry stated.

The new license will majorly reduce the presence of unqualified drivers using counterfeit licenses who pose a risk to road safety. According to the ministry, “The information regarding the professional drivers (public vehicles) will now appear on the driver’s license card. It also has enhanced security features that significantly deter counterfeiting. It accommodates different sizes of vehicles during testing e.g. truck and trailer.”

The new license is valid in 25 countries in SADC, COMESA, and EAC regions without conversion and can be obtained through VID offices and collection can be from the nearest post office. 

However, the old metal disc remains valid until when the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development announces the phase-out date

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