The number's up for plate fraud, say officials

The Gauteng department of transport is clamping down on fraudulent number plate production by regulating manufacturers and embossers and tracking all number plates made and sold in the province.

Gauteng department of transport manager Musa Manganyi said the new system would involve the registration of all manufacturers of number plate. Those who wanted to produce number plates would undergo fingerprint and criminal checks, he said.

"As part of the registration process all manufacturers of number plates must be security screened. The screening process involves the inspection of premises and making recommendations to improve the security of the premises where necessary," Manganyi said.

Under the new system motorists' registration papers and identity documents must be scanned when they buy number plates. Manganyi said the department was on track to meet its August 1 implementation deadline.

"New number plates will be distributed only by registered vendors operating from specific addresses. Government will keep a real-time audit trail as each plate is produced - keeping track as to who produced it, the plate size, date of production, as well as which embosser ordered the plate and the date of sale to the vehicle owner."

Manganyi said number plates would have "covert and overt security features".

The new number plates will have an expiry decal; a 2D barcode and an internal border to secure a Radio Frequency Identification tag. There will be colour coding - red for government fleet, blue for standard numbers, green for personalised numbers and black for public transport.

He said owners with Gauteng-registered vehicles had until November 2013 to get new the number plates.

Number Plate Association chairman Peter Brandt praised the system saying it would be more difficult for criminals to obtain fraudulent number plates.

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