A new computerised system is set to reduce time spent in queues by driver's licence applicants.
The system, known as the Live Scanning Unit (LSU), is expected to be introduced countrywide after it proved successful at a number of Gauteng pilot sites.
The LSU consists of an eye scanner, finger print reader and a camera.
The process to apply for a new driver's licence or renew an existing licence, is expected to take no longer than about four minutes.
The applicant's signature, which appears on the driver's licence card, is also processed electronically.
Costs for installing the LSU will be carried by the Department of Transport.
Wouter Marais, of the Centurion licensing department, said the LSU is efficient and effective in offering a quality service to motorists.
"The current manual system sees applicants having to go through four separate stations in order to complete a licence application."
"The LSU streamlines the entire operation," he said.
Marais said the Centurion licensing facility has been using the LSU for a few weeks with encouraging results.
Nokeng-tsa-Taemane Municipality, east of Pretoria, is the second recipient of the LSU device, said mayor Jan Boschoff. "We were given the LSU after numerous complaints regarding the issuing and renewal of driver's licences were raised by the public," he said.
Boschoff said the LSU would reduce the number of rejected applications due to faulty photographs, fingerprints or signatures.
"With all the operations now being combined, an across the board standard is maintained. This will significantly reduce the amount of rejected applications due to technical faults," he said.
Boschoff said the LSU is expected to become operational in early December. "Once our personnel have completed the required training, the LSU will be fully operational in about the second week of December," he said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport, said pilot tests were successful and the LSU will be implemented nationally.
"We are investigating the logistics and financial costs of implementing
the system throughout the country at a later date," he said.
* This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on
December 02, 2004