Ministry of transport goes digital with car registrations

Ministry of transport goes digital with car registrations
Minister of Transportation Madut Biar Yel cuts the ribbon during the launch of the digital registration of motor vehicles yesterday. [Keji Janefer, City Review]

The ministry of transport has launched a digital registration system for logbooks for vehicles and motorbikes to regulate their movement across the country. 

Speaking at the launch yesterday, the Minister of Transportation, Madut Biar Yel, stated the ministry was ready to start registration of new cars immediately.

The project will be implemented by Digital Electronics Limited, a private firm that has been contracted by the Ministry of Transport.

Also, the company is expected to train the staff at the ministry before their contract expires in five years.

Madut said those whose vehicles have been registered are required to resubmit their documents so that they are entered into the new system and given a digitalised logbook.

He said the system will begin to enter those documents that are already in the system.

“Today we are officialising the company, which is to print the number plates, the logbooks and other documents for our vehicles all over the country,” said Madut.

“We are going to have a central system of data and I am encouraging car users, be they private, government, or NGOs, to come to this facility so that they are registered officially and data is kept for them,” he added.

According to Madut, the use of digital registration would primarily assist cars and motorcycles.

He hinted that the logbooks would now be issued only once, for the life of the vehicle or motorcycle, and will not be renewed unless the vehicle or motorcycle is damaged. 

“This now ends the war between vehicle and motorcycle owners who have been subjected to the annual renewal of logbooks by the directorate of traffic police.”

Inspection regime

The minister said vehicle inspections would be done once a year, and that car owners would have to respect the time whenever they are called by the directorate of transport and road safety to inspect their cars or motorcycles.

“If there are some mechanical issues that need to be fixed, the ministry is ready, especially the director of road safety, to help those users. The objective is to make our road users use standard vehicles so that we don’t fall victim to sub-accidents and other damage along the road, “Madut stressed.

The minister displayed some examples of digitalised number plates used by the NGOs, UN agencies, and diplomatic missions in the country.

The ministry of transport which has been registering vehicles and printing number plates for those four categories, has used the same colours previously printed for the NGOs, UN and diplomatic missions.

Madut stated that they have adequate resources to process plate numbers for a year and have asked the above-mentioned group to register their cars and plate numbers with the ministry.

Meanwhile, Eng. Lado Tongn said that the ministry has been keeping logbook records on paper which he said was one of the issues the ministry has been facing in the manual system of documentation.

“Therefore, now we have changed from a paper logbook to a digital logbook. Before, we haven’t been producing logbooks and number plates because we didn’t have the machine, but now we are going to produce number plates, logbooks, and the sticker, which is a road license, to show that this vehicle is fit to operate for one year, “Eng. Lado said.

“For now, we are operating with those you have seen (number plates), government vehicles, NGOs, UN agencies, and diplomatic missions, but later on, of course, there is still a legal framework that is undergoing processes, so we will now deal with only these, “he said.

Nonetheless, Minister Madut expressed alarm to parliamentarians in the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) about the issuance of number plates, saying the ministry of interior was acting unlawfully.

He stressed that his ministry is responsible for the licensing of all vehicles and motorcycles according to EAC policy to regulate transport.

However, Madut said his ministry was working together with the ministry of justice to build a legal framework for vehicle regulation in the country for his ministry to reclaim its responsibility.