How to renew or get driving license in minimum time in Punjab Pakistan

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Recently I have gone through the process of renewing my driving license from Rawalpindi Traffic Police office. During the process, I took time and tried to figure out how can this process be followed in a way that in minimum time one can renew or get new license.

One thing is important here, although I had gone through the process of getting my driving license renewed, however, in same queues there were people who were following exact same process to get new driving license. So basically, the process of renewing driving license is exactly same as process of getting new license, after the driving license test have been passed.

Also, although I have followed the process in Rawalpindi Office, the process is exactly same in other cities of Punjab including Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Jehlum and other cities. So these tips basically remain valid if you are getting new license or renewing your license from any city of Punjab Pakistan.

I have in fact shot a video about this topic and published it on youtube, so let me first share the video with you here first and than I will also post the detail as text, if you prefer to read. In fact their are more than one videos, but lets tackle this one by one. So following video guides you on how you can save time while getting driving license from any traffic police office in any city of Punjab.

So, the process of saving time while getting or renewing your driving license in Punjab Pakistan goes like following.

While coming to Traffic Police Office:

  1. Try not to bring your own car, there is normally too much rush and parking issues outside traffic police offices, as there are hundreds of people who will be busy getting their license, or renewing it. So better to use Uber, Careem or a Taxi while reaching to the traffic office.
  2. Reach real early in the morning like between 8 to 9 AM and never after the 9:30. As soon as the operational hours start, rush increases to too much, so if you are late, you will have to wait in long queues. So best time to reach is something like 8:30 AM.
  3. You need to bring “Two to three Passport Size Photographs” and few “Photocopies of you CNIC (ID Card)” with you. Also, if you are renewing, never forget to bring you old/expired driving license.

After Reaching Traffic Police Office:

  1. Information Counter – Go straight to information counter and ask them how much postal tickets you will have to paste for new or renewal of driving license. They are different for new license and also for renewal of license they are different based on how much time have passed since your old driving license have expired.
  2. Forms Purchase – Now go straight to forms purchasing counter and purchase the forms for new license or renewal of license.
  3. Tickets Purchase – Now Buy the tickets from the tickets counter, if post office counter is not there inside traffic police office, skip this step for now, as next step is very important and urgent due to a reason I am going to reveal next.
  4. Medical Test / Form – From the forms file you have purchase on step 2 of the process, only fill the medical page of form, paste a photo on this form and run for the queue for medical. Do not worry about filling rest of form for now. As doctor who does medical normally leaves at 11 AM, so it is very important at the moment to get medical done as soon as possible. While you are in queue for medical, normally you get chance to sit on benches, so you can fill rest of form during this time. Medical test itself is not much intense, they just see you both arms and legs for any disability and also than then test your eyes by asking you to read letters on a far away board. If passed doctor will sign the medical page of form and will give it back to you, meanwhile, he will also charge Rs. 100 from you as medical fee.
  5. Run to forms submission counter before 11 AM – As at 11 AM sharp they close the forms submission counter, so its important to get all the forms filled, photos pasted. And submit them before 11 AM on forms submission counter. After 11 AM they only call everyone who have submitted form, to data entry counters. So if you failed to submit form before 11 AM, you will have to come next working day for rest of process.
  6. Data Entry Counters / Picture / Courier Fee – After you have submitted the forms, now you will have to sit on any chairs or benches there and soon someone will call your name to come to specific data entry counter. In Rawalpindi Traffic Police office there were about 5 data entry counters working on same time, so that everyone was being called very soon after they submit the form. This number can differ in other offices in other cities. Anyways, after you reach the data entry counter, the computer operator feeds your data into a computer, for renewals he/she compares the data to any old data available and updates it if needed. Also, on same time your picture is taken with a webcam, this picture will actually end up on your driving license. The other pictures you pasted on form are only just for record. On same time the computer operator confirms your current address and charges you a courier fee (for me it was Rs. 180), as your process is complete now and your driving license will be shipped to your home via courier

Its very recent development that Traffic Police offices have now started delivering the new or renewed driving licenses to home. As I was told that my driving license will be ready in 2 weeks, so I was waiting for two weeks to complete, so that I can go and pick my driving license, to my surprise, driving license came to my doorstep via courier. At this moment I realized that on data entry counter money charged was actually the courier fee. I actually have shot a youtube video about this driving license home delivery surprise, so if you are interested, you can watch below.

Read the text above carefully and/or watch both videos above, you will understand how you can save lots of time and effort while you will be at any traffic police office in Punjab Pakistan for new driving license or its renewal. So, it is few minutes investment here to read through and to watch videos, will save you lots of valuable time at driving license office. Also share this post with your loved ones like family, friends or anyone interested in going traffic office, so their time is also saved.

Also, than later on while I was analyzing the process in my thoughts at home, I figured that this process can be further optimized by traffic police authorities so that more time of people is saved. For example, everyone had to make payment on four places, like while buying forms, while buying tickets, for medical to doctor and than finally while getting data entered to data entry counter as courier fee. So, the point is why not convert all this to one payment via a deposit instead of paying on four places and specially instead of purchasing the postal tickets from Post Office. There were few more thoughts, so I also shot and published a video about this as well on youtube, which you can watch below.

So, hope you have learned much about this process from this post and videos included into this. Do Like us on Facebook and follow on twitter from the options on right side of this page. Also, do share your thoughts and experiences in comments section below.

One needs that special temperament to get things done from Pakistan Government offices – Part 2: Driving license renewal

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city traffic police rawalpindiYesterday, I shared my experience about getting life time token for my car, how many queues I gone through, what difficulties I had faced and finally we had concluded with how that process could be made simple and can be real time saving for millions of people who go through the same situation daily.

Today, I will share my experience of driving license renewal from the very next day, from Rawalpindi City Traffic Police office situated at Peshawar road Rawalpindi. This again was exhausting and very much complicated, which could have as simple as they come.

As I reached outside of Traffic Police office at about 9:20am, I was told that I have to get in that queue in front of that window to get the visiting pass to enter the traffic police office territory. Window was single one, lines from two directions coming in, one for people who were getting the passes after giving them their National Id card, other who were getting the Id cards back after coming out of office and were getting the cards back. Now as window was single but lines were two, same person was handling both things it was chaos at the end everyone on end of line had their hands inside of windows with either id card or the visiting card of police. So I got in the line as I had to get a pass, it was out side of office with no shade from sunlight on hot sunny day, however after 30 people I finally reached the counter and got the pass to get in the office. So I wasted 45 minutes already just before entering inside office. On gate they just checked my pass then checked me I am not carrying any weapon or explosives and I was sent in.

Inside I had to purchase a driving license renewal file from a little stall where they were also filling the forms for illiterate people or the people who didn’t knew English. By the way I just got the file with forms, one for driving license info, second to be filled by doctor. I gone inside office, as I was told that I have to attach the tickets so I asked a police man who told me after seeing my card that I will have to bring those tickets from a post office the required worth was 2200 for me as my renewal was pending from two years.

As there were no sitting areas/spots in the office, so first thing I did was I gone out of office, got in car switched on the AC of my car on really hot day, by the way car was parked on road side due to no parking area at all, so I filled the form there and headed for a post office to purchase tickets, where they directed me to go to either city’s main branch or another branch where I could get them. I choose near one first, so headed to it, luckily I found that tickets are available, here too I had to go through queue of about same thirty to forty people. As I was nearing the end of queue, we were in the area where sun was shining bright over our heads, we were sweating but that government employee on the post office counter was on phone was on phone with his relative trying to convince him that he is busy and couldn’t come today but the man on other side of phone seem to be unconvinced, so this chat ran for over 10 minutes, we were sweating meanwhile. By the way as he got off the phone, I got my tickets soon, but again searching and getting the tickets took me more than an hour.

Now I rushed back again into the traffic police office, as I had not returned the visit card yet, so I got in easily, rushed for medical test facility on roof of office, here again queue of over 40 people was there, standing outside of room, again sun was shining on us until we reached on half of the queue, meanwhile I found out that same info I filled inside the form I have to fill on cover of the file as well. At this point I spotted a water cooler, which was on half of queue, it was off and was good platform to put the papers, meanwhile being in same queue, so as soon as I reached it, I filled the fields remaining on file cover. Here I was confused, why I need to fill all this information again and again, as its already in the database of traffic police, as it was just renewal of my driving license. Even if they were wishing to take this info for updating the database, they would never have added the fields like my date of birth and father name as they would stay the same always. Also what was the point of getting same info on file cover and the papers inside. By the way I finally reached my turn to be tested medically, I was invited into a big room with one table and couple of chairs. First a policeman checked my form, got Rs. 100 from me, gave me invoice then doctor asked me to read the lowest line on a nearby board. I did that and he signed me as medically tested. I had left the blood group field empty, I thought they would test my blood group, but they never bothered and in a breeze, without any standard procedures, I was clear medically for driving a car. They never even bothered testing me for color blindness, which I am not by the way, thankfully to Allah.

I headed to the counter where I had to finally submit the file, two people were in line, it was encouraging, I sat on a nearby chair out of the free from about 5 chairs there. By the way there I pasted the tickets of 2200, which were in denominations of 100 each, 22 tickets on the form. Literally there was no legitimate space of pasting single ticket on form, but I saw people pasting them on the field names and remaining empty spaces on fields I did the same, finally after getting spaces filled, I pasted few as overlapping the lower ones by not hiding the amount of lower tickets. Two passport size snapshots of me were required, yes I had them with me, along with a copy of NIC, so I headed to supposedly the final counter for form submission.

After waiting in queue as it was my turn, I gave the person my forms, he asked me what would be the value of two notes/bills of currency if you,paste them together, he then told you can’t paste the tickets on the other ones, as due to space as I told earlier i had overlapped half of ticket as the amount of lower ticket was visible. I had seen this happening in different offices. By the way I was told to remove those tickets and paste them separately and it even any of tears apart in anyway, i will have to purchase new ones. So here tickets of about 1600 were in jeopardy, I got off the counter, sat down and luckily removed them easily, as instead of ticket’s gum, i had used the gum stick which was not dried yet. So then i separated all those removed tickets and pasted on all nooks can corners of form wherever some space was available. Meanwhile, again queue was became 6 to 7 people, I restarted from last of queue and reached to counter again. Here my forms were taken along with photos, photo copy or NIC and also old license was confiscated. I was sent to next counter where a person will give me a receipt that will later be used to get my license.

On reaching this counter, and after waiting for couple of minutes I got the receipt, also i came to know that this person only filling the space of computer printer, he was just manually writing the reference number on small printed piece of paper, the number which was search and found out on previous counter. He was also entering an entry on a register again I don’t know when, whole system is computerized and driving license will be called computerized driving license, why on earth this person is making entry on register.

Now this thing came with big surprise and shock, when he gave me receipt, he told me to go to camera room and get your photo captured inside our system. I was shocked because as per requirement I already had attached two recent photographs on form, they would have either dropped them or this picture taking final step. Now I started search for this camera room, it was on very other side of office, outside the gate to area of office where I was.

Now this camera room was another stupid funny story. It was on end of a 3 feet wide gallery with a number of rooms. About 100 were waiting outside camera room. Some names was being called and people were going inside to get pictures taken.

When I made a move to submit my receipt which was previously given to me, a person intercepted and told no this is computerized system, your name from that room came here via this online system and you will be called. As the person was came the for renewal like me, I didn’t believed him as I knew, our government offices’ computer systems are not mature enough. I soon found out, I was correct and I told this person as well be go forward and do submit his receipt as well.

Now we were denied and told that a person will come out of room and will collect the receipts as the old people are dealt with. Now another kind of wait started outside of room, now luckily sunshine was not hitting us directly but it was hot day. We were sweating yet again, also there were no sitting place, on about entrance of this 3 feet wide gallery we were waiting for man to come and collect the slips. And when I call we, I meant me and other people who came there for same purpose. Meanwhile we were told that camera is gone out of charging so they stopped taking the pictures at that point.

Everyone at this point was presenting their own story, some were saying even a little kind of thing need hour to charge, someone was saying they could have had two cameras, one was saying they would have hooked it to computer, i told him that its already hooked and is not chargeable. They need to charge battery with external charger, but he argued and told me that batteries are only to be used outside.

I knew the camera exactly cause I have one too with me, it was from Canon EOS series, most probably it was 550D which is a semi professional one. It charges with battery taken out and put in a canon external charger. So instead of putting people on wait they could have had an extra battery, so one could be on charger and other can be in camera all the time. This genuine battery from canon costs nothing more then four to five thousand rupees and there ones available on prices lower than that. So they would have had one alternate.

By the way about after 40 to 50 minutes they started taking the pictures again, now from this point again after lots on difficulties and mismanagement it was my turn. My pic was taken and I was free at least from inside office. Here one notable thing was, there were couple of other people there with same name as me, so I had to call my reference number many time myself so they don’t mix my name and bio data with another person. Soon, my this fear was true as well I saw a person there, who waited for his license to be printed a month and as he had collected it at that time, he was telling the officials there, that you have mixed my bio data with another person, picture was his, name was his, but other info was not. So they were retaking his picture. By the way I made sure my info is not mixed with anyone and I headed to outside of main gate. Now I had to get my id card, here again there was chaos, even a fight happened in front of me between the person inside the window and one like me outside, he even called him inside and they gone beating each other. By the way waited here for 20 to 30 minutes and now I was free at about 1:30 pm. So this whole process wasted my more than four hours, it could have very simple. Then again I will have to visit after 30 days to get my card, Allah knows what will happen to me then, also I will have to drive without any doc but with a receipt for a month.

Here is what i propose about making the process super simple,

  1. Combine all the counters to one hall, removing the need to stand in multiple queues.
  2. Remove the need to fill unnecessary forms, Customer reaches to counter 1 and presents his current/expired license. A representative checks his online record, collects money, instead of sending him to post office for tickets and sends to next counter for medical.
  3. As medical is super simple like know, the doc gives a clean chit or rejects, whatever and collects his money.
  4. On next counter pic is taken and camera people must have one extra battery šŸ™‚
  5. On next counter a person prints a new card of presents, like they instantly print at metro cash ‘n’ carry. Or ok tells me to come on certain day to get card.

And on each of above steps a computer record is updated. That is all people would be with much more time and it would beĀ  with much time other than wasting number of hours.

I have shared and made all this effort to prove that processes here could be made simple with few simple steps, its not rocket science, government must think about lessening the worries of people with these small modifications.

Do share your opinions about this, do follow us on Facebook and twitter from options on right side of this page, to keep yourself informed. Do read part 1 for another similar story, that is linked in start of this post above.



One needs that special temprament to get things done from Pakistan Government offices – Part 1: Life time token for car

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You would have heard/experienced that in Pakistan to get things done, you need to go through long queues. Ok, getting in a queue and getting things done after some wait no so bad, because ultimately it would be your turn and you will get free. But unfortunately this is only true for Private sector Organizations etc in Pakistan. When you have to get something done from government offices, for just single simple thing, you have to go through long queues, not one not two but some times as more as ten also you must have that specific temperament and patience to get things done from Pakistani government offices.

excise and taxtion punjabLet me share my two recent experiences. This Monday I decided get life time token for my car, this token or tax, whatever you call it, was long due, so I decided get it done. I reached excise and taxation office Rawalpindi, now after entering they didn’t had any people or help desk who/which could guide you about the process. There are random small room with long queues, not even queues in fact, many people and everyone trying to get things done first. After entering its like chaos, everyone have their own problem, to get your stuff done you need to first find people who have similar issue like you then you may find some guidance. I tried few, but no success, then I decided to approach a guard who was already telling someone something, through it was not in his job description apparently but he directed me to window.

Luckily that window (lets call it window A, as we will come back here many times) had very few people waiting in queue but as I expected the person serving at that window A was super slow, after all he was government employee and some people were visiting him from inner side of room, he was also busy talking on phone and giving services to some exclusive people from inner side, which is biggest irony of Pakistani offices. However, after waiting for several minutes in queue it was my turn. When I told the person that I have to get token done, he told me to go to photocopier, get a form and fill it. Nothing more than that.

So I reached the copier and asked him for form, he asked my name and instead of giving me a form told another person to fill and give a form, I decided otherwise, but when i looked at form it was as vague as they come with no instructions and several grids with no labels. Actually, the old payed tax had to be entered in those grids, in theory they will add up and get minus from ten thousand and you will have to pay rest amount, that is just the theory, things turned out different, but we will come to that later.Ā  So person at once started tearing apart the token receipts from the registration book, as I intervened, he told these have to be attached to this form, which by the way was not mentioned on the form. So I let him continue with the filling of form, he then started filling 540 instead of 1490, from the receipts, at that point I was told that only this portion of amount will be subtracted from to be payed 10000 instead of the payed 1490 each year. Then he skipped some of the years and their amount, on asking I was told, as that red receipt is not there, its amount will not be counted as payed, but registration book was clearly telling the story with all those stamps and signatures of each year with the amounts payed. It was strange but I did let it go and continued to the process.

Where by my calculation I was expecting that I would have payed more than 7000 and with minor payment of couple of thousands, I will be done, the copier ended up with something like 2300 already paid, then he sent me to room 2B. No this time I am not making it up like the previous “window A”, room 2B really existed, although it was not clear from where they started the counting, as room 2B was in front of main entrance.

By the way, room 2B was another kind of horror story, it was small room which looked more like a cell of a prison as it couldn’t have bigger than 5 x 4 feet. It had two empty chairs for employees, one table and remaining capacity was full with the people who were anxious and clue less about where these employees are. About twice many people were waiting outside of room. These unknown absent souls of 2B had to re access the amount to be paid and had to send us further on to the process. Luckily for me, after couple of tens of minutes the people started to scatter, meanwhile a person (an employee) came and said, O lemme search for these people of this room, why are they absent from this room and there is so much backlog to process. Then he gone away, meanwhile one person among the waiting ones told that he himself sits in this room, first I didn’t believed but after a while I saw he was doing whatever he had to do in that room, by standing too far away and signing a registration book by putting it on the boot of a Toyota corolla parked inside office. But thankfully he soon returned to his room, he started the assessment and signing, he was slow at first but I guess like a car he heated up in a while and started to do things faster. Again there was no line everyone was jumping on each other after some further wait he had written three amounts with red pen on my form and signed and send me back to that same “window A” where I started.

Now another interesting part of story begins here, the guy in 2B had written three amounts, firstly, a figure of over 7290 in front of payment to be done column, then two other amounts of first 3000 and then 800 in front of columns marked as tax already paid with two different tax types, the types I don’t remember at the moment. So I looked into wallet, as I was come for expected payment of about over couple of thousands, somehow I produced those over 7290 to be payed amount from my wallet without need to go to bank and approached to “window A” again third time. As my turn came in several tens of minutes after making some entries to computer he asked 11090 Rs. from me. On asking he I was told the two amounts labeled as already payed have in fact to be paid, on asking why they are labeled as paid on form, person had no satisfactory answer about weather it may be a misprinting or something. Same was happening with others, fallingĀ  short of available cash in wallet I asked for debit card acceptance, he smiled and told they don’t have a way to accept a visa or any other debit or credit card. That meant bringing money from ATM, waiting in window A queue fourth time. I did all of that. On payment he stamped my car’s registration book with “Life time token paid”, he asked to get a signature from room 2B, that also meant wasting some more time but I did that and got signature. Now the book was stamped and signatures, dues paid, but there was no mention of sticker yet, which number field was left empty to be filled later on form so, I thought at window A now I will finally be given a sticker, which would be token like red receipt. So I waited again fifth time in window A queue and on giving registration book to person, he told me you are done, I mentioned about sticker number stuff on form, again he told that for yearly token, but form was not really for yearly token. But with the good news of process achieved I headed back to my office.

Remember that second experience I mentioned above in start, well after telling this first one, I have no further stamina to write it here, but I will make up for that, I am marking this one as part 1. I will mention that as part two, that means another horror story tomorrow.

Now, definitely have to come up with some conclusions from this story, so that we can give a point to this post I am coming up with following.

  1. There was no guidance/help desk at excise office, this cost me lots of time :-), this needs to be improved in all government offices.
  2. Processes are to be made simple, I mean if you could make that room 2b guy and “window A” guy together, I would have stand in one queue only once or twice instead of those time wasting whooping seven times.
  3. When your system is computerized, everything finally have to go to computer, why you need guy 2B to make manual assessment, just optimize your software and remove guy from room 2B. By the way, I even saw guy from room 2B making wrong (lower than actual) calculations and asking from person, is he happy, only because either the person was an agent, or he was a connection. If you computerize this formula then that guy 2B corruption will end here.
  4. Having one security guard at main gate only wont work, there is lack of education/literacy in the Pakistani masses, with time they will learn to make queues, until then you could have few people who could just keep telling about make a queue, legendary Urdu sentence “Line main aayen, warna kaam nai hoga”, masses here in Pakistan however are civilized enough that they will make perfect queues when they are told to do that.
  5. Then there are forms, those contain no instructions, either make them more clearer or remove the need to fill them.
  6. Also it would be great if government adopts/supports the modern payment methods like debit/credit cards along with the conventional ones.
  7. Above all, it would have really great scenario, if I would have had to stand in single queue, as all previous record is computerized, on reaching my turn person would have checked old record, could have auto generate an invoice, would have either get payment or would have sent to cashier and could have stamped my book.

For this very simple thing I wasted 6 hours at excise office, this was rather thing of just 20 minutes. Now I am satisfied, with all that my time wasted and with this post we concluded a solution, hope this reaches to someone in power and they could do something about it.

I would definitely come with part two tomorrow, the story about Driving license renewal that was done very next day after this one, Tuesday, we will also conclude that one as well positively, to get something out of that experience. As this does not happened to just me, this is happening to millions of Pakistanis in different government offices daily.

Do share your opinions via comments below, also join/like/follow us on Facebook and twitter from options on right side of this page to stay informed.

Update: Here is promised part 2 of the story, which is about another similar experience, which was Renewal of driving license along with the difficulties and positive conclusion about how the process could be super simplified.