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Custom plates for Trinidad & Tobago in January

By Trinidad Guardian

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Ro­han Sinanan

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) —  The new li­cense plate sys­tem, which would in­clude ra­dio fre­quen­cy iden­ti­fi­ca­tion mark­ers should be avail­able from ear­ly next year, Min­is­ter of Works and Trans­port Ro­han Sinanan has said.

The Min­is­ter, who was a guest speak­er at the An­nu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing of the Con­sular Corps at the Rad­di­son yes­ter­day, said the sys­tem which would al­low for cus­tomised in­di­vid­ual iden­ti­fi­ca­tion plates could be in place by as ear­ly as Jan­u­ary.

The Con­sular Corps is the rep­re­sen­ta­tive body of this coun­try’s diplo­mat­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tives to var­i­ous coun­tries across the world.

“We are com­ing with the ID plates which will ben­e­fit most of you in this room, where you could go and pay for your cus­tomised num­ber plate,” said Sinanan.

Sinanan said the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the plates would aid in the crime fight and would al­so aid in clamp­ing down on one of many “un­eth­i­cal prac­tices” which had de­vel­oped in the li­cens­ing di­vi­sion where spe­cif­ic li­cense plate num­bers were sold to per­sons for an ad­di­tion­al fee.

Sinanan al­so ex­plained that it would al­so aid the po­lice in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of fake li­cense plates on stolen ve­hi­cles, as they would no longer be able to have plates cre­at­ed at var­i­ous car shops and oth­er lo­ca­tions across the coun­try.

“We are go­ing to cre­ate a plate es­pe­cial­ly for you, so that way you can iden­ti­fy your­self. That tech­nol­o­gy gives us the abil­i­ty to do that,” said the Min­is­ter, who al­so said it was no sur­prise that since there were at­tempts to com­put­erise the li­cens­ing di­vi­sion, that per­sons have been charged for fraud, as he es­ti­mat­ed mil­lions of dol­lars had been ob­tained fraud­u­lent­ly through­out the di­vi­sion over the years.

He al­so re­vealed plans to al­low for on­line ap­pli­ca­tion for cer­ti­fied copies and de­liv­ery via TTPost, which he es­ti­mat­ed would re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple head­ing in­to li­cens­ing of­fices by 30 per cent.

The Min­is­ter said his min­istry was al­so fo­cus­ing on re­vamp­ing the port in this coun­try, which he be­lieved was an in­dus­try which could act as a buffer for dips in fi­nan­cial rev­enue from the en­er­gy sec­tor.

“We have a sit­u­a­tion here where our port could help us sig­nif­i­cant­ly when there is a de­cline in the oil price and the de­cline in the pro­duc­tion and we have nev­er tak­en ad­van­tage of that,” said the Min­is­ter, “The mar­itime sec­tor, that is a sec­tor that the Min­istry of Works is re­al­ly fo­cus­ing on and try­ing to de­vel­op that sec­tor so that we could move away from oil and gas.”

The Min­is­ter said the Port, like the Li­cens­ing of­fice be­fore it, had been left in a spe­cif­ic state to ben­e­fit spe­cif­ic group who flour­ished un­der the cur­rent struc­ture. He said while these is­sues can be eas­i­ly ig­nored when the coun­try’s cash flow is healthy, giv­en the eco­nom­ic chal­lenges re­cent­ly, these struc­tures need­ed change.

In par­tic­u­lar, he lament­ed the lack of ma­ri­na in To­ba­go, giv­en the sig­nif­i­cant amount of yachties in Trinidad.

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