PHNOM PENH —
The government will launch a program to roll out electronic driver’s license applications around the country by the end of the year.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Wednesday during the opening of a new driver’s license center at Phnom Penh’s Aeon Mall that a combination of new infrastructure and online registration would help Cambodians drive legally.
“We are preparing the online system to provide a good service for the people as the government leader wanted, and it is the provision of effective, fast service, and transparent for the people,” Chanthol said. “The transparency is guaranteed. There are nine cameras in the room, every activity is recorded. No any extra money can be paid [in bribes to instructors].”
In January, Prime Minister Hun Sen said motorbikes under 125cc would no longer require a license, meaning most drivers would be exempt from taking a test. The new licensing scheme comes amid public concerns and grumbling over the enforcement of the new Traffic Law after a year-long grace period. The legislation brings large increases in fines, including for unlicensed driving.
Processing new licenses at the centers will take up to 20 minutes, officials have said.
Pin Tith Nitha, 26, a student, said the new service offered an “acceptable price, was fast and it’s convenient as it’s close to my house.”
Leng Oun, 44, who renewed his license at the center this week, said it was a simple process. “Unlike before, the process isn’t complicated. It only took 20 minutes.”
Cambodia is home to about 7 million vehicles, the vast majority of which are motorbikes and scooters, but there are only about 82,000 driving license holders, Chanthol said.
Ear Chariya, founding director of the Institute for Road Safety, welcomed the move to make it easier to renew and gain a license, but said more awareness-raising activities needed to be undertaken.