Thursday, 13 October 2016

Renew Your Driving License in Pakistan in 90 Minutes (Guide)


Nizar Diamond Ali

If the thought of getting your driving license renewed at expiry sends chills down your spine, read on. This is a recent real-life account on how to get through the process in 90 minutes (or less). This personal experience is of North Nazimabad license office and concludes with some after thoughts on how the process can be improved.

Steps in brief
Documents required:

  • CNIC original (for entrance)
  • CNIC copy
  • Original driving license
  • 2 photographs in blue background.

Driving License Fee structure (with approximate amounts)

  • Parking fee – optional – Rs. 20/-
  • Instant photo fee – optional – Rs. 100/-
  • Medical form fee – Rs. 100/-
  • License renewal fee – Rs. 1160/-
  • License lamination fee – Rs. 250/-
  • Total: PKR 1,630/-
  • Tip: Keep change, it will come in handy!

Counters and Their Expected Times

No trip to the driving license office is complete without its fair share of queues. We take a look at the queues you will have to visit, and the estimated time you may end up spending there.

  1. Information counter and filling up of application form – 15 min
  2. Application form photo booth (optional) – 20 min (Rs. 100/-)
  3. Medical fee submission counter – 5 min Rs. 100/-
  4. Data entry counter – 15 min
  5. Medical assessment counter – 15 min
  6. Stamp counter for renewal fee submission – 5 min (Rs. 1160/-)
  7. Lamination counter to receive photo slip – 5 min (Rs. 250/-)
  8. Driving license photo booth – 5 min
  9. Lamination counter to receive the license – 5 min

Total time: 90 mins

Steps in Detail
The best time to get the license renewed is early in the morning on a weekday.

At the entrance, there’s charged parking (Rs. 20/-) and at the main gate, original CNIC is expected to be checked so keep it with you.

Once in, the three-manned information counter greets you. Expect a queue here which gets quickly dissolved if all three windows are operational simultaneously, as the traffic police staff is quite quick in providing the information.

For renewal, you will be guided to get two forms from the forms-counter, one is the application form, and second is the medical form.

Application form can be filled there and then along with required documents mentioned above. Attach two photographs can be tricky since this needs to be in blue background. In case you don’t have it, you can get this done  through an on-site photo booth equipped with a digital camera and printer. The booth operates in load-shedding as well through a generator.

Now proceed to the medical fee submission counter which is the first fee submission counter (and not certainly the last!) which stamps the form as fee-paid.

As the application form is filled, documents are attached and medical fee is paid, get the application pack reviewed at the information counter to ensure there are no discrepancies. All these steps are completed in the outdoors. Rest of the steps are performed inside the building premises.

The next step is to proceed to Data Entry counter and submit your the form at the desk officer. The form is is stacked in a first-in first-out pile. So your form gets the last position in the existing workload pile. At your turn, your name is called so be seated or stand nearby. The data entry staff will confirm the details through CNIC, which includes name, address and phone numbers, and will have you double check it on computer.

You will now be handed your application and medical form over as you proceed to queue up outside the medical assessment room where applicants are called in one by one. A reading test is administered for both the eyes seperately. Then there’s a separate stamp counter where form is checked and renewal fee has to be submitted. The form is then required to be presented at the lamination counter (with lamination fee) which issues an entry-chit required to proceed the license photo-booth. This is mandatory step and not to be confused with the initial blue-background photos which is required for application form. Once this photo is clicked, proceed back to the lamination counter. The lamination counter maintains a register entering the applicants’ names and calls them out as batches of licenses are printed and received from the adjacent data center room. So again, be around as your name is called and you receive your renewed license.

The entire process completes in 90 minutes or less.


  1. Get up early and be there at 9:00 AM or before.
  2. Keep enough change, Rs. 100/- notes are a must.
  3. Go in pair, in case you have forgotten something or need something like change, you can count 4. on a friend’s help.
  4. Keep a pen with you for filling up the application form.
  5. Dress properly and appear tidy – the way you want to look for next few years on your license plastic!

What is good?

  • Traffic police officers are present on ground and manges the queue and floor.
  • The staff at each desk guides the applicants for next step.
  • Staff is quick in processing their assigned tasks.

What can be improved?

Reduce the number of counters (hand-offs) and eliminate redundant steps like photographs on application form

  • Consolidate the fee into 1 amount
  • Train the staff to be friendly (extremely important)
  • Use queue management ticketing system
  • Provide alternative authentication – e.g. use of biometric authentication in absence of CNIC
  • Improve the ambience

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