KUALA LUMPUR: Biometric cards with the owners' thumbprint will replace paper-based vehicle registration cards by the end of the year.
This is to stop the increasing number of car thefts and forgeries.
Once implemented, owners will get the chip-based biometric cards when they renew their road tax.
The biometric card, the size of a credit card, will carry details and the thumbprints of the owners aside from information on the vehicle.
The personal details will be linked to the National Registration Department to counter fraud.
There are some 15 million vehicles registered in the country.
The General Insurance Association of Malaysia reported that an average of 2.3 vehicles were stolen every hour in 2000.
By 2004, car thefts had increased tenfold resulting in losses of more than RM750mil.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the biometric card would make it safer and easier for vehicle owners to register their cars.
He said the card would complement the e-registration and e-kiosk projects of the Road Transport Department (JPJ). (E-registration involves the online registration of new vehicles by distributors, while e-kiosk allows the renewal of road taxes at selected locations)
“With e-kiosk, the public would be able to renew their road tax and driving licence without having to go to the counters. It will function like an ATM,” Chan said in an interview.
JPJ director-general Datuk Emran Kadir said that other applications such as the e-enforcement and e-health would also be introduced this year.
“E-enforcement involves the installation of closed-circuit cameras at accident-prone roads and highways to monitor traffic.
“E-health enables commercial vehicle drivers to get their medical certificates in a more systematic way,” he added.
Safety Driving Centre managing director C.T. Balan welcomed the move by the JPJ to switch to the electronic system as it would make it easier for the public.
“The new IT system must be customer-friendly and not cause problems for the public,” he said.
PIAM executive director Lim Chia Fook said any new measures should help reduce the number of car thefts and forgery of registration cards.
“We look forward to providing more feedback to the Transport Ministry in respect of the proposed chip-based biometric card for motor vehicles,” he added.
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