New plates for 158 cars
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL and NALINEE SEELAL Thursday, August 8 2013
In the aftermath of the issuance of 190 duplicate licence number plates with registration numbers PCZ and TCZ, Transport Commissioner Reuben Cato yesterday pleaded for computerisation of the registration departments in Licensing Division.
Cato said he believes the human error which was detected on Tuesday could have been avoided if the system was computerised.
Newsday reported exclusively yesterday that the licensing department was forced to recall 190 licence plates after the error was detected.
Of the 190 registration numbers which were duplicated, Cato informed Newsday that as of late yesterday afternoon, 158 of those plates had been dealt with, while the duplicate plates were being returned with vehicle owners being issued new numbers.
“I have been told 190 numbers were duplicated in the PCZ and TCZ series between registration numbers 7021 and 7212, and as we speak we have corrected 150 numbers and are still going on. We expect to have the process fully completed by tomorrow (today).
“What we are doing is making an appeal to persons who would have received the registration numbers in San Fernando, to contact their respective automotive dealers, or the San Fernando licensing office, or even Assistant Transport Commissioner Wayne Richards, to correct the error,” Cato said.
He added that the re-issuance of new licencing numbers would be done at no additional cost to the affected persons. However, he conceded that the plates themselves would come at a cost to affected vehicle owners.
Cato also reiterated that the authority has put measures in place to ensure there was no repeat of this incident.
“The system we have right now is a manual system, whereby information is put in by hand, and kept on physical files for the most part. So this decisively needs to be revamped,” Cato said.
With respect to persons complaining of having to wait several weeks for their certified copies, the Transport Commissioner said he sympathised with these persons. However, he explained during the July/August vacation period, staff at the division also go on vacation, and so the human resource at the offices was physically limited during this period.
Assistant Transport Commissioner Wayne Richards, who has spent the past two days spearheading a team of officers to deal with the duplication issue, said, “right now (at 3 pm) we have reached the vicinity of 158 registration numbers corrected. So we are closing in on the issue.”
The Assistant Transport Commissioner also noted as of yesterday, no plans had been considered to take any disciplinary action against those persons who were responsible for the error.