The Daily Herald – Artists, graphic designers can design the final license plate

Ardwell Irion, Minister of Finance.

PHILIPSBURG – Finance Minister Ardwell Irion and his team hope to involve local graphic designers/artists in the design of the final license plate that motorists will use before the country moves to a system with stickers equipped with quick response codes (QR).

The final plates will be released in 2023. Irion said discussions are underway for artists or graphic designers to “come in to help design the next plate for 2023.” The intention is to involve the public.

In the meantime, the tax authority has started the process of finding potential bidders to deliver the 2023 license plates. The aim is to award the project to deliver the plates on or before Tuesday June 7.

The idea is that motorists will continue to use their 2023 number plates, once QR code stickers are introduced in 2024. After that, number plates will only be changed when needed, as if , for example, authorities notice that they are eroding. Stickers will be changed annually. Irion and his team hope to begin the testing phase of the stickers, which will replace the annual license plate change, in May this year. The ministry hopes to implement the initiative nationwide by 2024.

The minister showed the first and second prototypes of the stickers during a meeting with the media on Tuesday. The second prototype is smaller than the first. The QR code on the sticker, once scanned, can be easily read to determine if a motorist is up to date with their car tax payments. It also displays vehicle information, such as make and model and owner.

All government vehicles, with the exception of fire engines, will be part of the initiative’s testing phase. A number of fake stickers will also be introduced to gauge the effectiveness of the initiative.

A special application has been developed to read the stickers. A number of designated police officers will have access to the app to be able to test the QR code stickers over a six-week period. Defects discovered during the testing phase will be ironed out.

The current cost motorists pay for plates is not expected to change once stickers are introduced. The intention is also to offer motorists the possibility of having their vignettes delivered to their home once payment has been made online rather than having to collect them physically.

The same QR code system that was developed for the European Union’s digital COVID certificate is used for the stickers.

Irion hopes to impose heavy fines on people who try to tamper with QR codes.

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