Last Updated: Friday, 22 August 2014, 14:01 GMT

Nigeria: Federal driver's licence authority; requirements and procedures to obtain and renew a federal driver's licence in the old and new licence systems; differences in obtaining and renewing a driver's licence between 2007 and January 2012; appearance of the driver's licence; Lagos state procedures to obtain a driver's licence (2007-January 2012)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 2 March 2012
Citation / Document Symbol NGA103954.E
Related Document Nigéria : information sur l'autorité fédérale en matière de permis de conduire; les exigences et la procédure pour obtenir ou renouveler un permis de conduire fédéral aux termes de l'ancien et du nouveau système de permis; les différences entre 2007 et janvier 2012 en ce qui concerne l'obtention et le renouvellement d'un permis de conduire; l'apparence du permis de conduire; la procédure dans l'État de Lagos pour obtenir un permis de conduire (2007-janvier 2012)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Nigeria: Federal driver's licence authority; requirements and procedures to obtain and renew a federal driver's licence in the old and new licence systems; differences in obtaining and renewing a driver's licence between 2007 and January 2012; appearance of the driver's licence; Lagos state procedures to obtain a driver's licence (2007-January 2012), 2 March 2012, NGA103954.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50c845da2.html [accessed 22 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Federal Licensing Authority

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), the body established by law in 1988 to prevent accidents and promote road safety (Nigeria n.d.j), includes the Federal Road Safety Corps (ibid.; ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). The Commission is the policy-making arm of the organization (ibid.; ibid. n.d.k), while the Corps is responsible for operations and for implementing the Commission's policies (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the FRSC's senior manager responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization (ibid. n.d.k), the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, explained that the FRSC was also mandated to design and produce driver's licences for all states in the country as well as maintain a driver's licence database (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012a).

However, a solicitor and advocate of the Nigerian Supreme Court explained in a telephone interview that, over time, the FRSC has taken on the power to issue drivers' licences, a function that constitutionally lies with the states (Solicitor 3 Feb. 2012). A coalition of civil society and non-governmental organizations has also reportedly argued that the FRSC's practice of issuing driver's licences is "an aberration of the 1999 Constitution" (Leadership 28 Sept. 2011). The solicitor indicated that the FRSC is being taken to court for assuming a state function and deriving the revenues associated with issuing driver's licences and vehicle licence plates (3 Feb. 2012). In September 2011, the coalition is reported to have "order[ed] the immediate suspension" of the FRSC's plans to implement a new driver's licence until after the case had been heard in court (Leadership 28 Sept. 2011). The solicitor stated that the court date was set for 9 February 2012 and added that the FRSC has gone ahead and implemented the new driver's licence system "even though they [were] waiting to go to court" (3 Feb. 2012).

2. Old System for Obtaining and Renewing a Federal Licence

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an issuing commandant in Ogun state provided information about the "old licensing scheme" which he stated is still in place in Ogun state (Nigeria 29 Feb. 2012).

2.1 Obtaining a Driver's Licence

The Issuing Commandant described the process for obtaining a driver's licence as follows. An applicant completes an application form that he or she also dates and signs (ibid. 13 Feb. 2012). The applicant "must also provide a signature on a signature mandatory card," which is then scanned into a database and displayed on the driver's licence (ibid.). The applicant must provide two passport photographs that will also be scanned into the database and displayed on the driver's licence (ibid.). The applicant must pay "the cashing office" a processing fee of 3,250 Nigerian naira (NGN) [C$21 (XE 17 Feb. 2012)] in cash or by a bank draft (Nigeria 13 Feb. 2012).

In addition to the application form and fee, the applicant must provide proof of his or her identity or name by producing an international passport, a copy of which must be provided to the licensing office, or providing a birth certificate or sworn declaration of age or affidavit (ibid.). The declaration of age or affidavit must be sworn before a court by a family member (ibid.). The applicant must also provide proof that he or she can operate a motor vehicle (ibid.), i.e., proof of a written driving test and proof that he or she has passed a road test from an "approved instructor or driving school" (ibid.). A licensing officer must verify the the results before the applicant submits a copy to the licensing office (ibid.).

Once the application has been processed and the documents verified, the driver's licence is mailed to the applicant's "residential or chosen mailing address" (ibid.). Applicants "can never obtain an on the spot drivers licence because the application must be processed" (ibid.). This includes updating the database and allocating a number to the application (ibid.). The driver's licence number identifies the applicant and cannot be changed (ibid.).

The Issuing Commandant said that an applicant can obtain a licence from a state in which he is not a resident (Nigeria 13 Feb. 2012). He explained the process by saying that sometimes applicants will receive a driver's licence from a different state than the one from which they applied because of the high volume of applications in the first state (ibid.). He added that sometimes states run out of driver's licence cards, so another state will issue the driver's licence (ibid.).

According to the Unit Commander, a thumb print was also required in the old system (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012).

2.2 Renewing a Driver's Licence

The Issuing Commandant indicated that "[n]o new photographs are required to renew a driver's licence. The data system already has a captured photograph and signature of the applicant which can be used" (Nigeria 13 Feb. 2012). The Unit Commander differs on this point, saying that the applicant has to bring their own photo (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). The Issuing Commandant went on to say that new signatures are also not required when renewing a licence (ibid. 13 Feb. 2012). Moreover, the applicant does not need to appear in person to renew a driver's licence because "the system has the original data and the computer processes for i[n]puting extensions on the driver's licence" (ibid.). A proxy can therefore renew an applicant's licence with the following information: a letter of authorization, a photocopy of the applicant's previous licence, and the 3,250 NGN licence fee (ibid.). The procedure to renew a driver's licence by proxy is the same whether the applicant is in the country or abroad (ibid.). However, the applicant must apply to renew a driver's licence at the office where he or she "made the initial application" (ibid.). Once the driver's licence is verified through the driver's licence number, it will be renewed "by the issuance of an extension" (ibid.).

3. New Federal Driver's Licence System

Two FRSC officials indicated in their communication with the Research Directorate that the government launched a new driver's licence issuing system that changed the requirements and procedures to obtain a driver's licence (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). However, sources differ about the date on which the new system was implemented (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012a; ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b; VOA 3 Sept. 2011; Solicitor 3 Feb. 2012). The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive said that the system was implemented on 1 March 2011 at every licence-issuing authority (Nigeria 3 Feb. 2012a). Others have suggested that it was not implemented until September 2011 (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b; VOA 3 Sept. 2011) or December 2011 (Solicitor 3 Feb. 2012). An FRSC Unit Commander in Kaduna State indicated in a telephone interview with the Research Directorate that the date of implementation varies according to state (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). He mentioned that the new system was not introduced in Kaduna state until 1 January 2012 and that some other states have still not implemented it (ibid.). According to the Issuing Commandant in Ogun state, "even though the new licensing scheme has been announced in Ogun state, it has yet to be implemented" (ibid. 29 Feb. 2012). Information about whether there are various dates of implementation in each city could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Although he said the system was implemented in March 2011, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive acknowledged that "first time applicants were not issued licenses" between 1 March and 1 June (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012a). The public information section of the FRSC website similarly indicates that first-time applications to obtain a driver's licence would "only be processed from June 1, 2011" (ibid. n.d.d). The website also says that all licences set to expire between February and June 2011 would be extended until 30 June 2011 (ibid. n.d.e). However, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive said that, once licences began to be issued to first-time drivers, all states "complied" with "the date of commencement of issuance" (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012a).

The FRSC Unit Commander attributed the reasons for the delay to problems with the FRSC's technical partners during the upgrade to the new system (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). He indicated that the result was a pause in issuing driver's licences for approximately six months "in the early stages of 2011" (ibid.). The Unit Commander added that it was "very" difficult for ordinary citizens in any state to obtain a driver's licence, although people working for the Corps often found a way to obtain one (ibid.). In July 2011, Leadership, a Nigerian national newspaper (n.d.), reported the Deputy Director of Operations at the Vehicle Inspection Office as conceding that "'[d]river's licensing is in a bit of disarray at this point. If you go to most states of the federation, you will find that they are not able to produce driver licences because of the current confusion" and indicated that the different agencies involved in issuing driver's licences (i.e., the FRSC, the Board of Internal Revenue and the Vehicle Inspection Office) are using different procedures (29 July 2011).

Sources report that citizens with the former version of the driver's licence will be required to upgrade to the new one (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b; ibid. n.d.c; Solicitor 3 Feb. 2012), regardless of whether their current licence has expired or not (ibid.). The reported date by which driver's licence holders must upgrade to the new licence varied, with 31 March 2012 (Nigeria n.d.c), 1 August 2012 (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b), and 31 August 2012 (Solicitor 3 Feb. 2012) all being cited. The solicitor and advocate to the Supreme Court of Nigeria said that citizens must pay a fee to obtain the new licence, even if their current licence is still valid or if they obtained the licence just a month before the new licence was introduced (Solicitor 3 Feb. 2012). The solicitor added that the cost of the new driver's licence is approximately 200 percent more than the old one, and that the fees are among the highest in the world (ibid.).

4. Procedures to Obtain the New Federal Driver's Licence

Both the FRSC Corps Marshal and Chief Executive and the Unit Commander stated that, to apply for a driver's licence, applicants must be at least 18 years old (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). First-time applicants must attend an accredited driving school (ibid. n.d.d). The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive specified that it must be an FRSC-accredited driving school, after which the applicant will be sent to a vehicle inspection officer for a driving test (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). The FRSC website indicates that for each new driver's licence application, an applicant can retake the driving test up to three times, each time following a 30-day waiting period (ibid. n.d.h). If, according to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, the applicant passes the driving test, he or she will be given a certificate from the vehicle inspection officer before proceeding to complete the driver's licence application at a driver's licence centre (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012).

However, the Unit Commander differed in saying that, after attending driving school, applicants apply for what he termed a six-month "test license," also called a learner's permit (Nigeria 30 Jan. 2012). If, during the first six-month period (ibid.), the vehicle inspection officer finds the applicant is not driving to standard (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b), the applicant will be given another six-month test licence or learner's permit (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). Once applicants demonstrate that they can drive "satisfactorily," they are sent to the Board of Internal Revenue to pay for the licence (ibid.). The Unit Commander also pointed out that he has not yet seen a copy of a learner's permit and that, because information on the new procedures, including how to obtain a learner's permit, has not yet been fully publicized, it may not be easy for members of the public to access information about it (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b).

4.1 Application Process and Fees

As mentioned, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive said that the driver's licence application form is to be completed at a driver's licence centre (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012), which, according to the Unit Commander, is located "in every state capital" (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). (See Attachment 1 for a copy of an application form to obtain a driver's licence sent by the FRSC Corps Marshal and Chief Executive.) Applicants then pay the fee for the new driver's licence (Nigeria n.d.a; ibid. 31 Jan. 2012), which the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive says costs 6,350 NGN [approximately C$40 (XE 9 Feb. 2012a)] and can be paid online or at "designated banks" (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012). The FRSC website indicates that, after completing the application form, applicants can pay online using a credit or debit card or through an "'eWallet account'" (ibid. n.d.i). However, the Unit Commander said that the licence fee is to be paid following successful completion of the test licence at the Board of Internal Revenue and that it costs 6,500 NGN (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012), approximately C$41 (XE 9 Feb. 2012b). The FRSC website states that the new licence costs 6,000 NGN (Nigeria n.d.b), or C$38 (XE 9 Feb. 2012c).

According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, once payment has been made, the completed forms are to be presented to the Board of Internal Revenue and a vehicle inspection officer at the driver's licence centre for "endorsement" (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012). The FRSC website specifies that the applicant is to present the completed application form to the Board of Internal Revenue and the vehicle inspection officer (ibid. n.d.a). The Unit Commander added that the required documents include proof of payment, the applicant's first learner's permit and, if applicable, the second learner's permit (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012).

Once the application has been endorsed, applicants must go to an FRSC officer at the driver's licence centre for a "biometric data capture" (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. n.d.a). This involves taking the applicant's portrait, fingerprints, and signature (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). The Unit Commander clarified that the prints of all fingers are required (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). The FRSC website states that "[p]assport photographs cannot be used to process the new driver's license" (ibid. n.d.f).

Following the biometric data capture, applicants are then issued a temporary driver's licence that is valid for 60 days (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. n.d.a). They are also instructed to pick up their official licence at the Board of Internal Revenue office before the temporary licence expires (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012).

4.2 Obtaining the New Federal Licence in Different States

Both the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive and the Unit Commander said that the procedures and requirements for obtaining the new driver's licence are the same in all the states of Nigeria (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). They also said that it is possible for an applicant to obtain a driver's licence from a state where he or she is not a resident and that the procedures would be the same as those for a resident (ibid.; ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive explained that this is possible because Nigerian driver's licences are national (ibid.). The Unit Commander further indicated that all of an applicant's data can be found in one database, so the FRSC can check for the incidence of double licences (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). He added that the database is basically the same as the one used in the old driver's licence issuing system, but that it has been upgraded (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b).

5. Procedures to Renew the New Federal Driver's Licence

The new driver's licence is valid for three years (Nigeria 30 Jan. 2012; ibid. n.d.g). Both the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive and the Unit Commander indicated that the requirements and procedures to renew an expired driver's licence are the same as those to obtain one in the new system (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. 30 Jan. 2012), although the Unit Commander described them as less "stringent" and "a lot easier" (ibid.). He indicated that, for example, licence renewal applicants do not need a learner's permit as do the first-time applicants (ibid.). As well, according to national newspaper Daily Trust (n.d.), applicants do not need to go through any new driver training program as long as they have already passed a driving course (Daily Trust 19 Oct. 2011). However, the FRSC website indicates that licence holders between the ages of 18 and 25 and those over 65 must take driving and vision tests every year (Nigeria n.d.g).

5.1 Application Process and Fees

The Unit Commander stated that an applicant must go to the FRSC when their licence expires and pay the required fee (Nigeria 30 Jan. 2012). He also said that the applicant's old driver's licence would be confiscated and that, if it has been lost or stolen, the FRSC would request a court affidavit or a police report (ibid.). Both the Unit Commander and the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive said that the cost of obtaining a new licence or renewing an existing one are the same (ibid.; ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive also stated that, unlike when obtaining a driver's license, when renewing their licence, applicants have the choice of applying online or in person at a driver's licence centre (ibid.). (See Attachment 2 for a copy of the application form to renew a driver's licence sent by the FRSC Corps Marshal and Chief Executive.) Both FRSC officials affirmed that driver's licences cannot be issued by proxy since applicants must be physically present at the driver's licence centre to provide their biometric data (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. 30 Jan. 2012).

According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, each driver's licence renewal requires a new photograph and new signatures (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). He indicated that, although the application to renew a licence can be initiated online "from any location," applicants must personally appear at the driver's licence centre "to provide signatures in order to complete the renewal process" (ibid.). The Unit Commander corroborated the statement that new signatures are required to renew a driver's licence (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). He added that, just as to obtain a first licence, the photograph must be taken at the FRSC office (ibid.).

5.2 Renewing the New Federal Licence in Different States

According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, the requirements and procedures to renew a driver's licence are "the same across all the states in Nigeria irrespective of the first state of issuance" (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). The Unit Commander corroborated the statement that the requirements and procedures are the same in the different states (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012).

6. Differences Between the Old and New Federal Licences (2007-January 2012)

The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive indicated that the new licence system has changed from the old system in several ways (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012). For example, unlike the old system, new applicants must pass an FRSC-accredited driving school program to be eligible for a new driver's licence (ibid.). The Unit Commander also pointed out that the learner's permit, like the requirement to attend a driving school, is a new requirement that did not exist in the old licensing system (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive also said that the new system provides the option of paying for the licence online "using various electronic channels" or at a designated bank (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). Applicants can also apply online or in person at a driver's licence centre to renew a licence (ibid.). Before processing their licence renewal request, the applicant's record is checked in an offenders' database (ibid.). As well, under the new system, applicants are issued a temporary driver's licence until the official driver's licence is ready (ibid.). Temporary driver's licenses are valid for 60 days. (ibid.). The Corps Marshall and Chief Executive also indicated that, in the old system, it took two to four weeks to obtain or renew a driver's licence (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012).

According to the Unit Commander, the cost of a driver's licence was less in the old system (Nigeria 30 Jan. 2012). He also stated that, in the old system, the different organizations (e.g., driving schools, FRSC office, Board of Internal Revenue) involved in issuing the licences were "scattered" in different locations while, in the new system, they are being housed in the same building to provide citizens with a "'one-stop shop'" service (ibid.). The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive indicated that this "'one-stop-shop" consists of the FRSC, the Board of Internal Revenue, and the offices of the vehicle inspection officer (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). He added that "[a]pplicants must visit the 'one-stop-shop' for biometric data capture" (ibid.).

6.1 Biometric Data

The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive indicated that the new system "requires full biometrics" consisting of "ten finger prints, a signature and portraits," which are verified to avoid identity fraud before the final licence is issued (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012). According to the Unit Commander, only a thumb print was required in the old system (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). Both of these FRSC officials stated that in the old system, including in 2007, the applicant was responsible for providing a photograph of him or herself to obtain a driver's license (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012; ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). The Unit Commander explained that, unlike in the old system, an applicant must be physically present at an FRSC office to have his or her photograph taken whether it is to obtain or renew a licence (ibid.). The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive corroborated the Unit Commander's statement, saying that, in 2007, "[t]he applicant was reponsible for providing the photograph" and that, "in the new system," the applicant's photograph is taken at the licence centre by an FRSC officer using the "biometric capture equipment" (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012). Although the Unit Commander indicated that applicants were responsible for providing photographs to renew a licence in the old system (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012), the Issuing Commandant said, as indicated earlier, that photographs and signatures were stored in a database and re-used (ibid. 13 Feb. 2012).

According to a 7 March 2008 article in the Lagos-based This Day newspaper, an FRSC Sector Commander indicated that, during a period when the issuing of driver's licences was temporarily suspended, applicants awaiting a licence would be "called upon" for a "physical capture of their pictures." In an interview carried in the 8 February 2010 edition of the Lagos-based Daily Champion newspaper, the Sector Commander indicated that both the physical capture machine and the scanning method were used "some years back," but that the scanning method was "phased out." However, as previously mentioned, the Issuing Commandant agreed that the scanning of photographs and signatures was used in the old system, but said it is still in use in Ogun state (Nigeria 13 Feb. 2012). He added that scanning photographs was the procedure used "prior to 2007 and after 2007 and is uniform throughout Nigeria" (ibid.). According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, in the new system, the applicant's photograph is taken at a driver's licence centre "using cameras that only recognize the human face" (ibid. 31 Jan. 2012).

6.2 Other Security Features

According to the Unit Commander, before the new changes were implemented, including in the year 2007, "anybody" could obtain a driver's licence without ever leaving home (ibid. 30 Jan. 2012). He added that the fact that anybody could get a driver's licence motivated the FRSC to upgrade to the new system and require applicants to be physically present to obtain a driver's licence (ibid.). The solicitor corroborated the statement that anyone could be issued a driver's licence under the old system, including people who were blind (3 Feb. 2012). He also indicated that a driver's licence is used as a means of identity in Nigeria, as Nigeria does not have a national identity card system (Solicitor 3 Feb. 2012).

As well, unlike the old system, driver's licences can no longer be obtained (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012) or renewed by proxy (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b; ibid. 3 Feb. 2012a). The Unit Commander added that, in the old system, although driver's licences could be renewed by proxy, signatures were still required, which could be sent online through a scanner (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). The Issuing Commandant described it differently, saying the signatures that are already on the database are re-used for the licence renewal, and that a proxy requires a letter of authorization from the applicant, a photocopy of the applicant's previous driver's license, and the required fee (ibid. 13 Feb. 2012).

The Daily Trust reports the FRSC Public Education Officer as stating that, with the "digitalization of the process of registration, security agencies all over the world and embassies" can "access the data of any Nigerian they are interested in online without having to contact the Corps" (26 Oct. 2011).

6.3 Commercial Licences

According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, an applicant for a commercial driver's licence must submit "medical certification from an approved hospital" (Nigeria 31 Jan. 2012). The Leadership newspaper corroborates the statement that the FRSC requires commercial vehicle drivers to have a medical test before they will be issued a commercial driver's licence (2 Dec. 2011). Leadership also reports that, according to the chairman of a technical committee on medical certification for the issuance of commercial driver's licences, the medical examination would cost 2,000 NGN (29 July 2011), approximately C$13 (XE 9 Feb. 2012d).

7. Appearance of the Old and New Driver's Licence

The FRSC Corps Marshal and Chief Executive provided a sample of what he termed an "old licence" and a driver's licence "being issued in the new licensing scheme" (Nigeria 3 Feb. 2012a). (The samples of the old and new driver's licence are attached to this Response.) According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, the new driver's licence looks different from the old one (ibid.). The Unit Commander specified that the new driver's licence is smaller than the old one (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). He also said that the older version of the private driver's licence had a blue background, while commercial driver's licences had a red background (ibid.).

According to the Issuing Commandant, the following changes were made to the appearance of an old driver's licence since 2007: the bar code is more complex, the licence holder's picture is on the right side rather than on the left, "[t]here is no provision for the thumbprint on the updated license," the Nigerian coat of arms is centred and a smaller hologram of the coat of arms is on "the right hand side of the card" (ibid. 13 Feb. 2012).

8. Lagos State Licensing Authority

According to the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA), the agency was established in 2007 "with the sole responsibility for the issuance of certificate of title of a motor vehicle; issuance and renewal of all categories of motor vehicle and drivers licence (local); [and] learners permit and other related matters" (Lagos n.d.a). However, the FRSC Corps Marshal and Chief Executive explained that the state authorities, including the MVAA, are responsible for issuing driver's licences after they have been produced by the FRSC (Nigeria 3 Feb. 2012a). He added that it is not possible for an individual to have one licence issued by the FRSC and another from the MVAA because "[t]he FRSC is the only agency mandated by law to design and produce the driver's licence for the Federal Republic of Nigeria" (ibid.).

Nevertheless, the FRSC Unit Commander claimed that the MVAA wants to issue driver's licences, in spite of the fact that they are issued federally (ibid. 3 Feb. 2012b). He said that, although he has never met anyone with a Lagos State-issued driver's licence, "there are strong rumours that they are issuing them" (ibid.). A 30 April 2008 This Day article reports the Lagos State government as "announc[ing] its plan to begin the recertification of licenses issued to drivers by the … FRSC." The Lagos State MVAA reportedly justified its "new scheme" of "issuing its own licenses to drivers in the state" by saying that it would "eliminate cases of fake licenses in circulation" (This Day 30 Apr. 2008). The news article maintains that "[i]n practical terms, what the scheme means is that if any driver (from wherever) does not have the Lagos State-issued license, he/she will not be allowed to drive on Lagos roads" (ibid.). Information corroborating the This Day article could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

8.1 Lagos State Procedures to Obtain a Driver's Licence

The Lagos State MVAA describes the procedures to obtain a driver's licence as follows:

  • Obtain an application form at a cost of 40 NGN (C$0.25 [XE 9 Feb. 2012e]);
  • Complete the form and attach two recent passport-sized photographs;
  • Go to the Vehicle Inspection Office for a "highway code and driving test";
  • If successful, get a vehicle inspection officer to endorse the application form; and
  • Provide thumbprints and a signature and allow one's image to be "physical[ly] capture[d]" (Lagos n.d.b).

At that point, the information on the application form is loaded into the system and the applicant is issued a driver's licence (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Daily Champion [Lagos]. 8 February 2010. Chidi Ugwu. "Nigeria: 'Any Drivers License Got by Proxy Is Fake'." [Accessed 20 Jan. 2012]

Daily Trust [Abuja]. 26 October 2011. Joshua Odeyemi. "New Driver's License and Number Plates Will Improve Security - FRSC." (Factiva)

_____. 19 October 2011. Joshua Odeyemi. "FG to Phase Out Old Driver's License and Number Plate in August 2012." (Factiva)

_____. N.d. "Contact Us." [Accessed 27 Feb. 2012]

Lagos. N.d.a. Motor Vehicle Administration Agency. "Motor Vehicle Administration Agency." [Accessed 19 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.b. Motor Vehicle Administration Agency. "Our Procedures." [Accessed 19 Jan. 2012]

Leadership [Abuja]. 2 December 2011. Sefiu Ayambimpe. "New Driver's Licence - FRSC Insists on Medical Test for Drivers." (Factiva)

_____. 28 September 2011. Abiodun Taiwo. "New Driver's License - Civil Society Groups Petition FG." (Factiva)

_____. 29 July 2011. Hauwa Mahmud Kolo. "FRSC, VIO Disagree over New Driver's Licence." (Factiva)

_____. N.d. "About Leadership Newspapers." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2012]

Nigeria. 29 February 2012. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). Correspondence from an issuing commandant to the Research Directorate.

_____. 13 February 2012. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). Correspondence from an issuing commandant to the Research Directorate.

_____. 3 February 2012a. Federal Road Safety Corps. Correspondence from the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive to the Research Directorate.

_____. 3 February 2012b. Federal Road Safety Corps. Telephone interview with a unit commander.

_____. 31 January 2012. Federal Road Safety Corps. Correspondence from the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive to the Research Directorate.

_____. 30 January 2012. Federal Road Safety Corps. Telephone Interview with a unit commander.

_____. N.d.a. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "Renewing a Licence." [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.b. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "How Much Will the New Driver's Licence Cost Me?" [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.c. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "I Just Renewed My Licence Recently. Can I Continue to Use It until It Expires?" [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.d. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "I Am a Fresh Applicant. What Do I Need to Do to Obtain the new Driver's Licence?" [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.e. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "What Happens to Driver's Licence That Have Recently Expired, Say in February 2011?" [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.f. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "Can I Send Somebody to an Information Processing Center with My Passport Photograph and Other Documents to Process My Licence Application on My Behalf?" [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.g. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "How Long Will the New Licence Be Valid For?" [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.h. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "If a New DL Applicant Fails Driving Test Does He Forfeit the Application Fee?" [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.i. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "Paying for a Licence." [Accessed 12 Jan. 2012]

_____. N.d.j. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "History." [Accessed 17 Feb. 2012]

_____. N.d.k. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). "Supervising Authority." [Accessed 17 Feb. 2012]

Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. 3 February 2012. Telephone interview.

This Day [Lagos]. 30 April 2008. "LASG's Driver's License Scheme." (Factiva)

_____. 7 March 2008. Damilola Oyedele. "Scarcity of Licensing Materials Deliberate, Says FRSC [Analysis]." (Factiva)

Voice of America (VOA). 3 September 2011. "Nigerian President Vows No Effort Spared Against Terrorism." (Factiva)

XE. 17 February 2012. "Currency Converter Widget." [Accessed 17 Feb. 2012]

_____. 9 February 2012a. "Currency Converter Widget." [Accessed 9 Feb. 2012]

_____. 9 February 2012b. "Currency Converter Widget." http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert/?Amount=6500&From=NGN&To=CAD [Accessed 9 Feb. 2012]

_____. 9 February 2012c. "Currency Converter Widget." [Accessed 9 Feb. 2012]

_____. 9 February 2012d. "Currency Converter Widget." [Accessed 9 Feb. 2012]

_____. 9 February 2012e. "Currency Converter Widget." [Accessed 9 Feb. 2012]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact a Federal Road Safety Corps research consultant from the Federal University of Technology, as well as representatives of the following organizations, were unsuccessful: Bringing Educational Assistance to Many Inc., Canadian high commission in Nigeria; Federal Road Safety Corps zonal commands in Abuja, Bauchi, Benin, Enugu, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Lagos, Osogbo, Port Hartcourt, Sokoto and Yola, unit commands in Kafanchan, Ojota and Surulere, Motor Vehicle Administration and Operations departments, and Corps Provost; Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency's station in Ojodu and driver's licence centres in Badagry, Ikeja and Onigbongbo; and the Nigerian consulate general in Atlanta and high commission in Ottawa. A represenatative of the Canada Border Services Agency was unable to provide information.

Internet sites, including: Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin, Arrive Alive Road Safety Initative, ecoi.net, The Economist, Factiva, Keesing's Document Checker, United States Department of State.

Attachments

1. Nigeria. N.d. Federal Road Safety Commission. Application for National Driver's Licence: New Driver's Licence Form. (ML18N) Sent to the Research Directorate by the Federal Road Safety Corps Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, 31 January 2012.

2. Nigeria. N.d. Federal Road Safety Commission. Application for National Driver's Licence: Driver's Licence Renewal Form. (ML15R) Sent to the Research Directorate by the Federal Road Safety Corps Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, 31 January 2012.

3. Nigeria. N.d. Sample of old and new driver's licences. Sent to the Research Directorate by the Federal Road Safety Corps Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, 3 February 2012.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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