Thursday, August 27, 2015

Common ASEAN Driving License vs. Mutual Recognition of Driving Licenses

Today's Jakarta Post reports on an ASEAN initiative to create an ASEAN driver's license:

The Transportation Ministry's director general for land transportation, Santosa Eddy Wibowo, said the common driving license was aimed at facilitating cross border transport between ASEAN member countries. "[The license] will be for all citizens of ASEAN countries. It will be an international standard license at the ASEAN level," Santosa said as quoted by
He further said that in Indonesia, the document will be bilingual, in Bahasa Indonesia and English. "It is our obligation now to translate [the existing Indonesian driving license forms] into English," he said, adding that the same would go for the KIR (vehicle road worthiness test) certificate. "But we should first consult the police."
I have noted earlier that ASEAN already has a mutual recognition agreement on driving licenses. It just doesn't seem to be implemented properly.  Hence creating a common driving license is a reasonable approach to what should be a mundane, yet important issue in cross-border movement of vehicles.

The real question is the infrastructure that ASEAN will establish to verify and keep track of driving licenses.  Sharing information among the ASEAN countries, particularly electronically, has proven difficult over the years, whether dealing with the ASEAN Single Window, self-certification of origin, common visas or even e-mail.  Full connectivity is dependent on improving both the physical and virtual infrastructures of ASEAN.