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New number plates to be issued in 2017

By Jessica Anne Wood

The Department of Transport (DoT) has announced the introduction of a new licence plate format to be implemented in 2017. The new number plates will include several additional features, and according to the DoT will need to be renewed every five years.

In a statement released by the DoT, it explained: “As part of regulating and commissioning of motorised vehicle number plates in South Africa, the Department of Transport embarked on a process to standardise as well as improve the security features of the South African motor vehicle number plate.”

The reasons for the new number plates

The vulnerability of current number plates is something that the DoT aims to address with the new system. “The operability of the current South African number plate is prone to abuse by unregistered number plate manufacturers. Equally, the system in its current form is also taken advantage of by criminals who clone vehicles and commit other forms of crime.”

Among the new improvements to the number plate system, the regulations will ensure that manufacturers are regulated. This will ensure that the department can account for every number plate that is issued through coding.

“On the issue of standardisation, MinMec is currently considering various options including the use of the national flag as well Provincial Coat of Arms to improve on road safety,” added the DoT.

What will the new number plates look like?

There are a number of elements that will appear on the new number plates. These are:

  • The South African Bureau of Standards certification mark on the bottom right of the number plate.
  • The South African National Flag.
  • The province name.
  • A four dimensional bar code with a QR code containing the “registration number of the manufacturer of blank number plates, registration number of manufacturer of the reflective sheeting for number plates and the registration number of the embosser of the number plate.

In addition to the above, the new numbers will also be colour dependent. Each colour will represent a different type of vehicle. These are:

  • Public transport vehicles will have black lettering and numbering.
  • General vehicles and personalised number plates will be in blue.
  • Government vehicles will feature red text.
  • Diplomatic vehicles will have green lettering and numbering.

The cost of the new number plates is not yet available. The DoT did not respond to queries regarding the cost at the time of publication.

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