The introduction of improved security features into the administration of the Defective Vehicle (DV) number plate system by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) this year has led to a significant improvement in the revenue performance of the authority.
Whereas the DVLA generated less than GH¢4 million from the sale of 15,544 DV plates for the whole of last year, it generated GH¢6 million from selling 25,000 upgraded DV plates between January 2 and February 7, this year, representing an increase of more than 60 per cent over the 2019 collection.
Data the Daily Graphic obtained from the DVLA indicated that the authority sold 7,287 and 1,850 DV plates in January and February last year, respectively.
The DV plate is normally given to owners of new and unregistered vehicles who are in the process of repairing the vehicles or preparing them for sale to third parties.
A DV plate costs GH¢242 and is valid for a year.
The Deputy Director in charge of Research, Business Development and Innovation (RBD&I) at the DVLA, Mr Abraham Zaato, told the Daily Graphic that before the introduction of the security upgrades, the process was largely insecure and prone to counterfeiting and theft.
The new technology deployed by the authority has barcodes embedded with data such as serial numbers and relevant vehicle information, and embossed with hologram stickers.
The stickers self-destruct when tampered with to protect it against forgery. If someone attempts to remove one, part of the sticker remains adhered to the surface, causing it to rip apart, destroying the entire hologram in the process.
The security upgrades on the DV trade plates include optical security features, such as microtext and laser readable hidden image, creating difficult-to-counterfeit labels that also allow critical information, such as serial numbers, to be read with the naked eye and a quick response (QR) code.
Mr Zaato explained that motor vehicle licence plates, and for that matter DV plates, were essentially the identity card of a vehicle and so it was important to ensure their authenticity and protect them against counterfeiting and theft.
He said the management of the DVLA suspected that there could be weaknesses and pronounced leakages in the DV plate administration, hence the decision to introduce extra security features, together with a robust management software, to this year’s distribution of the DV trade plates.
“As a result, in just five weeks — between January 2 and February 7, this year — of the new administration, the authority recorded sales of over 25,000 DV trade plates, representing a 53 per cent increase over total revenue accrued from the sale of plates for the whole of last year,” he added.
Mr Zaato said the authority was intrigued by the development, saying: “It is exploring all avenues to design and deploy more secure products and services to the public. This is a very significant improvement over last year’s revenue,” he stressed.
Section 23 of the Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (LI 2,180) provides for the use of trade licence.
Subsection One provides: “The licensing authority may issue a trade licence to a motor trader, fleet owner or licensed trade plate dealer on payment by the trader, owner or dealer of the prescribed fee specified in the Fifth Schedule.”
It also provides in Subsection Two: “A trade licence is valid for a period of one year and only in relation to the specific motor vehicle for which the trade licence was issued.”