Benin, Ghana adopt biometrics for driver’s licenses, vehicle registration
Two West African nations are making a national ID an essential part of driving. The Republic of Benin has rolled out what authorities call a secure and durable biometric driver’s license which or may not replace an ID card for holders. In neighboring Ghana, the country’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) says biometric capture and the national ID card will be among the requirements needed for the registration of vehicles from January 2023.
Biometric driver’s license rolls out in Benin
The new biometric driver’s license has been launched thanks to collaboration between the National Agency for Land Transport (ANaTT) and the National Agency for the Identification of Persons (ANIP), reports Afro Impact. The new plastic card replaces a three-part paper document, but its use overlaps with the national ID card. Applicants need to already have a national ID.
The acting director general of ANaTT, Alain Hinkati, and the representative of ANIP, Cyrille Gougbédji, said at a recent press conference the new credit-card format of the driver’s license does not come with any additional costs. This is despite the validity of the credential being extended to 10 years.
Beninese seeking to procure a driver’s license must henceforth be able to provide their personal identification number, other administrative documents and a certificate showing the blood group of the applicant (standard in Francophone countries), the officials announced.
“This biometric license card is equivalent to a national identity card. There will be no need for the holder to go and get the national biometric identity card again. However, for digital uses that go beyond the size of the driver’s license card, the citizen may need the national biometric identity card, which is an electronic smart card,” said Gougbédji as quoted by Afro Impact.
Old driver’s licenses still in use will remain valid until their normal expiry, the officials noted, adding that a long transition period shall be given for the complete switchover to the new format, after which further action will be announced by the competent authorities.
Ghana includes biometrics capture for vehicle registration
According to a statement from Ghana’s DVLA referenced by My Joy Online, the new vehicle registration formalities will be completed in two stages, with biometric capture of the vehicle owner expected to be done in the second stage of the process.
This will begin from 3 January, 2023, per the statement, and the Ghana Card will be the primary ID document to be included in the application file.
All those with official authorization to carry out the vehicle registration exercise on behalf of others are also required to present their national ID cards for verification, the news portal indicates.