Uganda signed a Joint Venture Agreement with Veridos GmBH of Germany to form the Uganda Security Printing Company (USPC) Ltd that will be responsible for the supply of all Government security documents; Passports, National IDs and Driving Licences, among others.
Uganda owns 51% while Veridos owns 49% of the shares in the company.
Works and Transport ministry signed a contract with USPC on 15th October 2020 for the design, production and issuance of driving licences.
The contract for the current service provider (Face Technologies) for the issuance of driving licences on behalf of the Government ended last year in May 2020 but extended to 28th February 2021to give the incoming service provider (Uganda Security Printing Company) sufficient time to prepare for the takeover given the COVID19 challenges.
In the past three months, customers upcountry have not been served at their convenience as the driving licence issuance offices were closed to give the incoming service provider USPC time to refurbish the offices and also install the new system.
According to the contract between the Ministry and USPC, the design, production and issuance of driving licences, the software including all its source code and licences are a property of Uganda.
The new driving licence card design has taken into consideration all the ISO requirements and the Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP) which aims at having a harmonised card for the three regional blocks of East African Community (EAC), SADC and COMESA.
Drivers with the new card will be able to drive through any of the member countries with less restrictions.
“One of the major ISO requirements is an Issuers’ Identification Number (IIN) to identify the document’s Issuing Authority as ministry, for our case,” said minister Katumba Wamala.
In conjunction with UNBS, the Ministry applied for and was issued with an IIN (63893000) by the American Bankers’ Association in January 2021.
It is worthy to note that Uganda is currently the only country complying with this requirement in the East and South African region.
In addition to the existing 1 and 3 year validity of the driving licence, the Ministry is introducing a new 5-year validity regime for driving licences.
This will relieve drivers and reduce on the frequent visits and expenditure in renewing licences.
The ministry will also be introducing the Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) for drivers of commercial vehicles who drive for a reward.
These are drivers of passenger vehicles that carry more than 8 passengers and goods vehicles that carry more than 3,500 Kg of cargo.
“This aims to ensure that we professionalize the driving industry to increase our drivers’ competitiveness on the international labour market,” Katumba noted.