BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) is investigating technical glitches on its TransportBN app and e-Darussalam service after introducing the app’s new digital vehicle and driving licenses.

During a press conference on Thursday, acting permanent secretary Hj Salihin Hj Aspar said the system was still down and could only be accessed periodically, a day after users reported problems using the app.

He said the technical disruption occurred between 5.30pm to 11.45pm and repair works are being carried out.

“The disruption is due to an unexpected technical problem. Overhaul efforts will likely take time for the TransportBN app service to return to normal,” he added.

E-Government National Centre director Mazriyani Hj Abdul Ghani speaks during a press conference on Dec 16, 2021. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Asked if the technical disruptions were caused by a sudden surge in traffic following the release of digital licenses, E-Government National Centre director Mazriyani Hj Abdul Ghani said they have yet to ascertain the cause of the technical issue.

“Currently the team is still investigating the root cause of the problem to rectify the issues because there are a number of inter-related issues that the team is still trying to fix,” she told reporters.

“Testing had been done before. When it comes to technical issues, these unforeseen circumstances do happen that cannot be explained. There are many possibilities, that can be one of the possibilities but we cannot confirm at the moment,” she added.

Digital license to replace use of SMS notifications

On Wednesday, MTIC minister YB Abdul Mutalib POKSSDP Hj Mohd Yusof had announced that digital driving and vehicle licenses will be available on the TransportBN app to replace SMS notifications that were used as a temporary measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the daily COVID-19 briefing, he said applicants who renewed their driving licenses after December 8 will no longer receive the SMS notification and will also receive their physical driving licenses.

The digital license includes details of the driver and vehicle, classification of driving license and period of license validity.

The Land Transport Department (LTD) will still issue physical driving licenses. 

YB Abdul Mutalib further said the virtual vehicle license meant that it will no longer be necessary to display vehicle license stickers.

He said talks have been held with local and Malaysian enforcement agencies on the use of digital licenses.

However, those who intend to travel to neighbouring countries are advised to print a copy of their vehicle license from the TransportBN app. The public also has the option of printing their vehicle license at LTD branches.

To check the virtual licenses on the TransportBN app, users must have an e-Darussalam account.

The ‘Search’ feature on the TransportBN will allow the public to view the status and validity period of driving and vehicle licenses without an e-Darussalam account, he added.

Vehicle licenses, SMS vehicle license or e-receipts applied through the e-government portal, TransportBN app, Talian Darussalam 123 or any LTD branches and post office branches are still valid.

From August 1 to December 13, LTD received 131,254 applications for vehicle license (87,616)  and driving license (43,638) renewal.

The minister said 97 percent (127,415) of applications have been approved, while the rest are still being processed.

Changes in driving license renewal for senior citizens

MTIC also announced policy changes in driving license renewal for senior citizens starting December 16.

Applicants aged 70 to 85 now have the option of renewing their driving license for a period of one, three or five years. They must complete the health declaration form provided by LTD as part of the application renewal process.

Previously, senior citizens aged 70 and above can only renew their Class 3 driving license with a one-year validity. 

For applicants aged 86 and above, they can only renew their Class 3 driving license once a year and must produce a medical certificate issued by a registered healthcare practitioner.