Hyderabad: For the first time in Telangana, the Road Transport Authority (RTA) is including a third column in driving licence applications to allow members of the transgender community to apply for the licence under their own identity.
The new applications will come into effect from June 1, enabling transgender persons to directly approach RTA offices and apply for licences to drive two-wheelers or four-wheelers. The application process will be the same as for men and women — they need to pay the same fee of Rs 150 for learner’s licence and a test fee of Rs 50. The fee is Rs 200 for issuing a driving licence.
According to senior Transport officials, driving licences obtained by transgender persons can be used as proof of identity across the State and it will not specify their gender on the card, just like it does not for others. This will be a big step for transgender persons in their quest for equality under the law with fellow citizens.
Speaking to Telangana Today, C Ramesh, Joint Transport Commissioner (IT and Vigilance), said the move came in the wake of the Centre amending driving licence issuance laws. “The application process for the transgender community will be the same as for others and they need to follow the same procedure like their fellow citizens. This will give them an opportunity to avail the licence and ride their vehicle legally,” he said.
The move will help the transgender community of over 2,000 in the city and around 15,000 in the State. Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samithi president M Rachana said the move would give much-needed social identity for transgender persons. Including a separate gender in government services is another milestone to the community’s identity, she said.