The Narendra Modi government will soon ask state governments to make Aadhaar identification compulsory for a new driving licence as well as renewal of the licence.

The new rule will come into effect from October and is expected to prevent the issuance of multiple licences which are often used to beat the suspension of licence for traffic, criminal offences or for fake identity.

The Union road transport ministry has started work to roll out the measure by incorporating the necessary changes. The issuance of licence is a state subject so the ministry will urge states to adopt this “safe system”.

Presently, the RTOs (Regional Transport Offices) follow a manual system and in the absence of real time data cannot even check if an applicant has another licence from some other RTO.

“Aadhaar will be a single document which will be enough to establish the identity of the applicant. If anyone does not have it, then he/she has to submit several other documents. We are making the necessary changes and incorporating provisions to enable RTOs to record these details. All RTOs will have access to the central database of driving licences (known as Sarathi) to check whether the applicant has got any other driving licence issued anywhere in the country,” a Times of India report quoted a source as saying.

According to official estimates, around 18 crore driving licences have been issued in the country so far.