Drivers’ license fees increased ten folds, raising concerns among drivers

10 October 2018

Road Transport Administration Department (RTAD) has announced that fees for drivers’ license be increased starting October 8th 2018 in its effect.

The RTAD claimed that the former fees related with driver’s license were designated in 1997 and so the over 20-year old license costs are not up-to-date. Thus the department announces to charge the license fee which is 10.59 fold the former fee.

While calculating the fee, the department claimed to consider the factors including the consumer price index (CPI) and minimum wage and employee salary data, and has switched the most reasonable amount.

While there are people who agree with the new regulation, there also are some who are not happy with it.

Ko Khon Kyaw Naing, a taxi driver from Thaketa Township said, “I just extended the license in 2017. I think it should increase because it was just a small amount of fee we had to pay before. When I applied for “L” license for trainee driver, it was only 950 kyats. I hold the ‘D’ driving license and I had to pay like several thousand kyats… I don’t quite recall. But now it’s increased. Now a friend of mine is now taking the test at the RTAD and now I am waiting for him here. He is changing from “C” license to “D”. So the new regulation will be effective for this. Yeah… I think it should increase as the regulation and fee is long time ago. And it’s very small amount. Some people would blame on the government as they don’t understand that well about tax and stuff.”

U Aung Thet, a taxi driver from Sanchaung Township, holding “D” license commented, “Considering the current economic situation, it’s too much.  The jump in fee is too big. It should increase only to certain degree. It’s not that big of a problem if the time is good. But this is too big of an increase. We drivers are challenged by oil price jump and other reasons. For me, I have to extend the license next year… so it will be effective then. I hold “D” license. Formerly, it was 10,000 kyats and now I will have to pay 60,000 kyats…. So it’s for 3 years.”

U Win Shein, “C” license holder and taxi driver from Kyimyindaing Township complained, “For the taxi drivers like us, it’s not that big of a burden. But for grass-root level people and employee who have to rely on the license, going hand to mouth, this is too much for them to pay. Whether he is driving for company’s car or truck, it’s a big burden on them. Another thing is that their salary don’t increase despite the increase in the license fee. It should not be that much. We are not saying “don’t increase the fee” we just want them to reduce the amount to half or so. It’s true that this is right way of taxing. For us, the holder of “D” license, we have to pay 75,000 kyats for three years. But mostly we don’t save for the license fee as we are hand to mouth. So when the time comes to pay for the license, it’s paid in full at once and it becomes a burden.”

The RTAD has announced the fees for respective driving license on its facebook page.

Arker Kyaw