Though the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) had earlier said that issuance of new driving licences would start after the festive season, no preparation has been done towards the matter.

It is highly unlikely that DoTM will resume the service any time soon. Stating that the responsibility to issue licences had now been handed over to provincial governments, Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general of DoTM said, “We made the earlier announcement since we thought new COVID-19 caseloads would slump a little after the festive season, but the pandemic is not going to be over anytime soon and we can’t risk having huge crowds while renewing and distributing licences.”

He added that it would not be possible to begin issuing new licences in the near future.

“The department will hold meetings with provincial governments regarding this issue and create a work procedure accordingly,” Hamal said.

“As COVID-19 infection is spreading rapidly in the Kathmandu Valley, we have no option but to follow the government’s protocol and wait a bit longer before we start the process of issuing new licences,” he added.

Before the service was halted, the department was issuing around 3,500 to 4,000 forms per day to licence-seekers.