Uniform licence plates: Excise Dept for changes in law

Proposes penalties for private vendors making registration plates and screws.

Rameez Khan April 29, 2014
Instead of installing the licence plates provided by the E&T Department, many vehicle owners installed fancy and colourful licence plates prepared by private vendors.. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS


The Excise and Taxation Department plans to propose amendments to the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965, to introduce penalties aimed at discouraging unauthorised persons making licence plates or non-detachable screws, among other changes, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Department officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media, said that from July 1 the Excise and Taxation Department planned to introduce screws to ensure that licence plates could not be detached from vehicles. They said that a tender had already been floated for the purpose. The department’s name would be embossed on the screws. The screw cap would be without a slit and would be joined with a bolt with a chemical to make them non-detachable. The department would also invite bids for companies to install these screws in the prescribed manner, the officials added.

According to Excise and Taxation Director General Naseem Sadiq, rather than installing the licence plates provided by the E&T Department, many vehicle owners installed fancy and colourful licence plates prepared by private vendors. He said that these plates lacked uniformity, were difficult to read from a distance and were easy to remove. In order to address the problem, the E&T Department plans to introduce non-detachable plates, he said, adding that these plates could only be removed by cutting the bolt, which took longer. He said that the licence plate was the first thing to be removed after a vehicle was stolen. He said that with non-detachable plates, criminals would find it difficult to install forged licence plates, increasing the chances of finding stolen vehicles.

The department has recently also proposed three changes in the 1965 Motor Vehicle Ordinance and the rules regarding licence plates. The first amendment has been proposed through Section 25 A to introduce non-removable screws for licence plates provided by the E&T Department.

The second amendment is the proposed addition of Section 97-A, titled ‘Penalty for fabrication of registration plates’, which states: ‘Whoever other than the person authorised by the Government, fabricates, counterfeits, prepares or manufactures a registration plate or screws being provided by the government shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend of two years or with fine or with both.” The aim of adding this provision is to stop private vendors from fabricating a licence plates or screws issued by the E&T Department, the sources said.

The third proposed amendment is an addition to Rule 32(8) regarding the fitting of licence plates. The E&T Department intends to make security features a compulsory part of the licence plate, which the existing rules do not cover.

E& T Headquarters Director Irfan Khalid said that the proposal had been sent to the excise secretary. He said that proposals were made regarding non-detachable plates. However, he refused to offer details.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2014.


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