Car owners to pay for new digital number plates

by Business Times
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With effect from July 1, 2023, all vehicle registration functions will be handled by the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT).

This move is the final stage in the transition of vehicle registration from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to MoWT that commenced three years ago.

The transition was managed in phases, with the first phase including post-registration services such as; change of ownership, alterations, deregistration, duplicate plates and registration books successfully done.

However, phase 2, including the first registration processing, was left with URA until MoWT was ready with a new Motor Vehicle Registration System (MVRS).

In a recent meeting between URA Commissioner General, John Musinguzi Rujoki, and officials from the Ministry, it was revealed that the ministry would be ready with her new MVR System beginning of the next financial year hence the move.

To implement this, URA will hand over first-time registration and registration & licensing of foreign registered vehicles (temporary imports).

The new registration system will also capture vehicles coming into the country before the declaration in Asycuda. However, URA shall remain with the management of the revenue processes, thus continuing to collect the related Non-Tax Revenue from the MVRS.

Additionally, MoWT will take over the integrations with the motor vehicle database that URA has provided to various MDAs, including the Insurance Regulatory Authority, Uganda Police and Uganda Registration Services Bureau.

The move also aligns with the Government’s implementation and operationalization of an Intelligent Transport Monitoring System (ITMS). This system requires the issuance of new digital plates to enable tracking of vehicles and motorcycles to combat crime facilitated by the use of vehicles. The system is to be provided by Joint Stock Company-Global Security.

To implement the system in the next financial year, MoWT issued regulations; requiring car owners to apply for replacing the old plates with digital plates with tracking devices, new number series for each vehicle category and new number series for each vehicle category for each Government agency.

A centralized vehicle register will be provided, and sensors will be inbuilt into the registration plates.

URA has welcomed the move, with the spokesperson Ibrahim Bbossa saying that having all aspects of motor vehicle registration offered by one agency will improve service delivery to Ugandans. He also called it a testament to the success of a project that started three years ago with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

“It comes at a time when we are streamlining services as URA by leveraging technology to simplify processes and user experience hence offering better service delivery to our clients; for us, that is a win,” he said.

Bbossa added that car owners would be informed of the changes as part of URA’s Taxpayer education programs before implementation.

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