New Delhi: With an aim to link mobile numbers of vehicle owners with its Vahan database, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed to make it mandatory to link the same for services related to registration, pollution certification, renewal etc.

The ministry collects and stores data as part of the procedure to issue vehicle registration certifications (RC) and driver licenses (DL).

If accepted, the proposal will come into effect from April 1, 2020. The government has asked for public feedback on it within 30 days.

According to reports, for services related to vehicle registration, mobile numbers were not being formally captured. It was only registration of new vehicles that mobile numbers were being used for one-time password (OTP) authentication. However, the numbers were not being stored in the government’s databases.

Now, if the ministry’s proposal is accepted, it will become mandatory to link mobile numbers with the Vahan database. Vahan is one of the two web-based databases used by the government to store data related to licenses and registrations, with the other being Sarathi. Both are currently operating in all 28 states and nine union territories (UTs) of the country.

The proposal to link mobile numbers to Vahan came after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) observed that a large number of vehicles on Vahan do not have mobile numbers.

Recently, the government also made it mandatory for all vehicles to have FASTags by December 15, the earlier deadline for which was December 1. FASTags are prepaid rechargeable tags for automatic toll tax collection, meaning that there won’t be any need to stop vehicles at toll plazas to pay toll tax.