Punjab government is finally gearing up to fulfill its two year old commitment. The provincial government previously announced its plans back then that it was going to replace vehicle registration books with automated smart cards.
The Excise Taxation and Narcotics Control Department intends to introduce Automated Registration Cards (ARC) by November of this year.
The Taxation department had invited bidders for this purpose in April this year. The bids are now being evaluated based on their technical and financial criteria. The department will complete its evaluation by the end of this month and will award the contract as soon as possible.
2 Million Smart Cards Annually
Bidding documents have revealed that the department requires applicants to be capable of publishing at least 2 million cards per year. Technical requirements include counterfeit resistance, durability and secure storage of personal data. Each card will be valid for at least five years after being issued.
Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, announced the automated card service back in March 2015. However, the project saw limited progress during this time. Until now that is.
Benefits for Car Owners
The automated card will bring several benefits for car owners. The reduction in its size will end the hassle of keeping a registration book and carrying it around. The smart cards are more convenient that way.
These automated cards will come with a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip for verification of car details including chassis number, registration number, token tax expiry date, etc.
The Department of Excise & Taxation issues over 2 million registration books every year. The current stock of books will last until November this year, therefore, it can be assumed that these will be replaced by cards after the current stock of books finishes.