Uganda: The computerized driving permit, including appearance and security features; requirements and procedures to obtain, renew, and replace (2018-May 2019) [UGA106304.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Overview

According to Uganda's Ministry of Works and Transport, the Ministry started issuing a driving permit with "enhanced security features" on 23 April 2018 through Face Technologies (Uganda n.d.a). However, NTV Uganda (NTV), a Ugandan television station, reports that the computerized driving permit was introduced on 29 June 2018 (NTV 29 June 2018). The Ministry of Works and Transport's website for the computerized driving permit states that Face Technologies is a South Africa-based company contracted by the Ministry of Works and Transport "for the '[d]esigning, [p]rinting and [s]upply of [c]omputerised [d]riving [p]ermits'" (Uganda n.d.b). According to an article published on 9 November 2018 by 256 Business News, a Ugandan business news website, the Ministry of Works and Transport did not renew its contract with Face Technologies and was preparing to take over the responsibility of issuing driving permits from Face Technologies at the end of 2018 (256 Business News 9 Nov. 2018). Further and corroborating information on the status of Face Technologies' contract with the Ministry of Works and Transport could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2. Requirements and Procedures to Obtain the Computerized Driving Permit

The Ministry of Works and Transport indicates that new drivers applying for a driving permit must first request a learner's permit by submitting the following:

  • Valid national ID for Ugandan nationals;
  • For other applicants from the East African Community (EAC) [1]: valid national ID or passport;
  • For non-EAC members: valid passport, visa valid for at least one year, work permit, dependent pass [2] or student pass;
  • Fully filled-out driving permit application/medical form (Form UCDP1) obtained online from government websites or from a Face Technologies office. A sample of the application is attached to this Response (Attachment 1);
  • "Payment slip" of 30,000 Ugandan shillings (UGX) [approximately C$11], payable to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA);
  • UGX 30,000 , payable in cash at the Face Technologies offices (Uganda n.d.c).

After the applicant's biometric data, fingerprints, and facial image are recorded, the learner's permit, valid for three months, is issued (Uganda n.d.c).

Upon completing driver training at a "licensed driving school" and passing a driving test, the applicant can obtain the computerized driving permit by submitting:

  • The stamped learner's permit;
  • "Payment [s]lip" of UGX 150,000 [approximately C$54] (for a 3 year permit) or UGX 55,000 [approximately C$20] (for a 1 year permit), payable to the URA (Uganda n.d.c).

The computerized driving permit will be processed and issued after the applicant is "verified" (Uganda n.d.c).

The Ministry of Works and Transport's website for the computerized driving permit indicates that, as of 1 July 2018, upon submission of the above documents to a Face Technologies office, the Kampala office should issue the computerized driving permit in one hour, while offices outside of Kampala should issue the permit within forty-eight hours (Uganda n.d.d). The same source notes that Face Technologies has offices in Kampala, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Mbale, Jinja, Gulu, and Arua, and also operates "mobile stations to bring services closer to the people" (Uganda n.d.d). As cited in a September 2018 article by New Vision, a Ugandan daily newspaper, the Commissioner of Transport, Regulation and Safety stated that the government is "'creating mobile units that can come to [people’s] premises to issue the driving permits'" (New Vision27 Sept. 2018). Further information on mobile stations, including where they operate and processing times, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

3. Requirements and Procedures to Renew the Driving Permit

According to the website of the Ministry of Works and Transport, in order to renew a driving permit, the applicant must submit the following documents:

  • Expired (original) driving permit;
  • Valid national ID;
  • "Payment [s]lip" of UGX 130,000 [approximately C$46] (for a 3 year permit) or UGX 50,000 [approximately C$18] (for a 1 year permit), payable to the URA;
  • UGX 80,000 [approximately C$28.50], payable in cash at the Face Technologies offices (Uganda n.d.c).

The same source states that if the applicant fails to renew the driving permit within five years from the date of issue, the permit is considered "lapsed" and the applicant will need to apply for a new driving permit (Uganda n.d.c).

The Ministry of Works and Transport indicates that driving permits issued prior to 23 April 2018 will remain valid until their date of expiry (Uganda n.d.a).

4. Requirements and Procedures to Replace a Lost Driving Permit

According to the Ministry of Works and Transport website, in order to replace a lost driving permit, the applicant must submit the following:

  • Valid national ID;
  • "A newspaper announcement of the lost permit";
  • "Police report of the lost permit";
  • "Payment [s]lip" of 130,000 UGX (for a 3 year permit) or 50,000 UGX (for a 1 year permit), payable to the URA;
  • 80,000 UGX, payable in cash at the Face Technologies offices (Uganda n.d.c).

5. Possibility to Obtain or Renew the Driving Permit from Outside Uganda

According to the website of the Ugandan High Commission in Ottawa, the High Commission certifies Ugandan driving permits (Uganda n.d.e).

Information on the possibility to obtain or renew the driving permit from outside of Uganda could not be found among the sources consulted within the time constraints of this Response.

6. Appearance and Security Features of Driving Permit

A copy of the Ministry of Works and Transport's public announcement of the computerized driving permit issued since 2018, including a sample of the document and details of its security features, is attached to this Response (Attachment 2). According to the same source, the security features of the computerized driving permit "have been enhanced to conform to the current international standards and to minimise forgeries" (Uganda n.d.a).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Notes

[1] The East African Community (EAC) is "a regional intergovernmental organisation of 6 [p]artner [s]tates: the [r]epublics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda" (EAC n.d.).

[2] A dependent pass is issued to the "relatives (wife, husband, and children) of a Ugandan or a non-Ugandan on valid permit living and/or work[ing] in Uganda"; the dependent pass holder is not permitted to work in Uganda (Uganda n.d.f).

References

256 Business News. 9 November 2018. "Face Technologies Loses Uganda Driving Permits Contract ." [Accessed 13 May 2019]

East African Community (EAC). N.d. "Overview of EAC ." [Accessed 9 May 2019]

New Vision.27 September 2018. John Odyek. "Driving Permits to Be Issued by Mobile Units ." [Accessed 13 May 2019]

NTV Uganda (NTV). 29 June 2018. "Uganda Launches Computerised Driving Permit ." [Accessed 9 May 2019]

Uganda. N.d.a. Ministry of Works and Transport. "Public Announcement ." [Accessed 9 May 2019]

Uganda. N.d.b. Ministry of Works and Transport, "About Us.". [Accessed 9 May 2019]

Uganda. N.d.c. Ministry of Works and Transport. Uganda Computerised Driving Permit Application Procedures . [Accessed 9 May 2019]

Uganda. N.d.d. Ministry of Works and Transport. "FAQs.". [Accessed 13 May 2019]

Uganda. N.d.e. High Commission in Ottawa. "Driver's License Certification ." [Accessed 15 May 2019]

Uganda. N.d.f. Ministry of Internal Affairs, Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control. "Dependant Pass ." [Accessed 22 May 2019]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Automobile Association of Uganda; Face Technologies; Uganda – embassy in Washington, DC, High Commission in London, High Commission in Ottawa, High Commission in Pretoria, Ministry of Works and Transport.

Internet sites, including: The Crime 24; Danish National ID Centre; ecoi.net; EU – Public Register of Authentic Travel and Identity Documents Online; Factiva; Keesing Technologies – Documentchecker; Nile Post; SautiTech; Uganda – Uganda Revenue Authority; Uganda Legal Information Institute; UN – Refworld.

Attachments

  1. Uganda. N.d. Ministry of Works and Transport. Application Form for Driving Permit . [Accessed 22 May 2019]
  2. Uganda. N.d. Ministry of Works and Transport. "Public Announcement ." [Accessed 9 May 2019]