The embossed number plate system was first envisioned in thegovernment’s three-year interim plan,2007-2010, but it saw the light of the day only in 2017.
The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has taken over the charge of implementing the new embossed number plate system.According to DoTM, they have given the contract for printing embossed number plates to Decatur Tiger IT,a joint venture company of USA and Bangladesh. A total of 454vehicles have been given the number plates so far.
The new embossed number plate involves the embossing of the metal plates with raised lettering and numbering distinctly. It is based on computerised technology that comes with a microchip. Introducing the new embossed number plate system, it helps the government to uphold regularity in issuance of number plates and prevent duplication.
Correspondingly, the new number plates also help authorities to manage the digital records of vehicles plying on the roads; track the details about revenue payment, and control automobile theft. The number plates are connected to a GPS system that helps track the location of the vehicle in case of emergency.
“Embossed number plates carry a chip through which information about the vehicle such as its location can be traced,” says Birendra Bahadur Swar, Spokesperson at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM). “The embossed number plate system is being introduced as per the Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 2049 to meet the standard of the international practice of vehicle registration,” adds Swar.
Currently, the department has only been issuing the embossed number plates for vehicles from the Bagmati Transport Management Office (BTMO). According to the DoTM, soon after the completion of the installation of the embossed number plates on the vehicles registered in the Bagmati zone, the system will also come into effect in other parts of the country.
“We installed the embossed number plate in 113 vehicles in November and other 341 in December, 2017,” says Swar. The DoTM has planned to install embossed number plates on 2.5 million vehicles within the next five years. Even though the government has not made it compulsory for vehicles to register under the new number plate system, majority of vehicle owners are already enthusiastic about it.
According to DoTM, the charge for the embossed number plate has been fixed at Rs 2,500 for motorbikes, Rs 3,200 for light four-wheelers and tractors, and Rs 3,600 for heavy vehicles. The size of the number plate varies according to the vehicles where heavy vehicles have a numerical size of about 14/8-in, four wheelers have 12/7-in, three wheelers have 10/7-in and two wheelers have 8/5-in.
One can easily apply for the installation of the embossed number plates for their vehicles by applying online through the website of DoTM.
The installation of embossed plate system is said to be a long process but is advisable keeping safety and convenience of drivers. Swar says, “In order to get new embossed number plates, vehicle owners will have to first deposit the said amount of fee at Rastriya Banijya Bank and fill up the required forms. After filling the online form, vehicle owners have to print the form and submit the documents along with the form and the bank voucher, at the BTMO office.”
After receiving the documents, the BTMO notifies the applicants through SMS regarding the acceptance of the form — but one needs to wait until BTMO sends another notification informing the number plate is ready for installation. “Though the process is quite lengthy but once you fix the new embossed number plate, it is for your own long-term benefit. Somehow the idea of new technology had me excited and I went ahead and installed the new embossed number plate,” says Madhukar Karki, who proudly flaunts his embossed number plate.
The embossed number plate will carry a long legacy of the proper management on the country’s traffic management and transportation management. “In the future, we aim to see embossed number plates on every vehicle in the country,” concludes Swar.
A version of this article appears in print on January 23, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.