The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Transport has officially unveiled the new Motor Vehicle License Plates for use in Liberia for the next five years beginning 2015.
According to Transport Minister Angela Cassell Bush, this move is necessary because of the expiration of the current license plate contract and in keeping with the laws especially Title 38 of the Liberian Code of Laws Revised Chapter 16 that reads in part .
The said title reads in part, “The Minister upon registering a vehicle shall issue to the owner one registration plate for a motorcycle, bicycle or trailer and two registration plates for every other registered vehicle.”
The Transport Minister said these new set of plates are designed to address issues with the existing plates that have been identified to include, coding that did not meet modern needs in terms of visibility and appearance and International Standards Organization requirements as well as designed specifications that lack security features and could be easily duplicated.
Minister Cassel Bush said the new plates are also designed to include purpose of plate issuance that had been heavily skewed towards revenue generation whereby the importance of vehicle and owner identification has been diminished.
She said in order to address these issues; the Ministry of Transport organized a team of its employees to work on a new design for the license plates.
The Minister said the new license plates are designed to be retro-reflective so that they have higher visibility at night and the intent is to compensate for low visibility in some areas of Liberia during night time and to assist law enforcement officers in identifying vehicles during such times.
Minister Cassel Bush also stressed that the plates contain warranty marks that also serve as embedded security features buried in the sheeting for traceability, warranty enforcement and to avoid duplication.
She said the change of the plates design will require all vehicles in the Republic of Liberia to convert to the new system thereby presenting law enforcement and other authorities with an opportunity to collect data on vehicle ownership, and control vehicle operations.
“The new design and coding scheme is a hybrid system of alpha-numeric coding that makes it difficult to transfer motor vehicle registration plates without detection and the new plates will also feature a new numbering system based on the vehicle categories.
She noted that because of that the following categories of vehicle license plates will be discontinued PC, BC, PB, BP, PP and NG and replaced by the “A” categories of plates.
She disclosed that because of the new changes the following categories of commercial license plates TB, TP, TT and TX are being discontinued and replaced with one general category called Public Transport and another called just TAXI. “There will therefore be a reduction in the number of different categories of plates in the system, “she said.
Minister Cassell Bush said all Government of Liberia Plates, official plates, Plates for state-owned enterprises and autonomous agencies have been redesigned while diplomatic plates have also being redesigned for use by foreign missions and consulates.
Minister Bush said, “We also announce today that there is a new price structure for vehicle registration that will take effect beginning June 15, 2015. Brochures displaying the new structures are being distributed across Liberia and are being advertised in local newspapers.”
Minister Bush added, “We have included the LB symbol on our plates for the first time since it was assigned to Liberia in 1967 in compliance with the International Standards Organization (ISO) license plate code for Liberia.”
She also said government has designed the plates in keeping with international best practice that will now put Liberia on par with the rest of the world; reports Timothy T. Seaklon.