Following repeated complaints from Nigerians about the discrepancies in obtaining motor vehicle licence plates, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has issued a statement to clarify issues bordering on vehicle registration in the country.
The statement said the FRSC is only required by law to produce licence plates for onward distribution to states’ internal revenue boards.
The statement, which was signed by the agency’s head of media relations and strategy, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, said only states are permitted by law to issue number plates to citizens.
“The FRSC responsibility is to design and produce vehicle number plates by virtue of Section 5(g) and Section 10 sub section 3(f) of the Federal Road Safety Commission (Establishment) Act, 2007. After production, the number plates are handed over to the States through States Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs) who now sell to the public.”
Nigerians have berated the FRSC for its handling of motor vehicle registration across the country, describing it as “cumbersome” and “exploitative.”
But in his statement, Mr. Kazeem said the FRSC does not partake in decisions about licence plates fees but only collaborates with states to set national standards and develop reliable database for motor vehicles.
“The payment for number plates by motorists is strictly within the purview of the States since such payments are regarded as road taxes. In like manner, registration of vehicles is also the responsibility of the State Licensing Authorities. The FRSC however, collaborates with the State agencies involved to set national standards anto develop a reliable national database for all registered vehicles in Nigeria.”
Mr. Kazeem used the statement to enlighten the general public on motor vehicle registration guidelines.
“To register a vehicle, an applicant is expected to go to the Motor Licensing Office of the State Board of Internal Revenue (SBIR) where he would be guided on the process and procedure of vehicle registration. Alternatively, the applicants can apply online by visiting www.nvisng.org and fill form MVA 01, submit the form, after which an item number will be automatically generated which will be taken to SBIR for necessary payment. The applicant will then be issued with necessary vehicle documents. These are Vehicle License, Certificate of Road Worthiness, Valid Insurance Certificate and Proof of Ownership Certificate.
“The FRSC and SBIRs are not unaware of the activities of unscrupulous elements who are bent on circumventing the due process of vehicle registration for fraudulent and criminal purposes, and that was why processes are being put in place by FRSC in collaboration with SBIRs to checkmate their evil machinations. One of such processes is the development of the online Information Verification Portal (IVP) which affords applicants and vehicle owners the opportunity to verify online the genuineness of their vehicle registration and number plates.
“Many fake number plates and faulty registration have been discovered through this platform. In fact, the security agencies have been able to track stolen vehicles as well as some vehicles used in the commission of crimes. This underscores the importance of the verification portal as a veritable tool in fighting fake vehicle registration and boosting safety as well as national security.”
Mr. Kazeem also gave specific answers to some of the concerns raised by Nigerians in the course of obtaining licence plates.
“a). That a Plate Number belonging to a particular vehicle when verified on NVIS Platform, may show details of another vehicle.
“This can be caused by one of two possible reasons.
“The first possibility is that one of the two Vehicle Owners had bought a fake Number Plate while the other owner bought an FRSC/Lagos State Produced Number Plate. The Portal will however accept just one of these registration and as such the other vehicle owner will always see details of a different vehicle when trying to verify the Number Plate on NVIS. To resolve this, the owner must visit MVA Office to complain and have the State Official sort out who the authentic Number Plate Belong to and communicate same to FRSC.
“The second possible reason is that the Original Vehicle Owner whose information is saved on NVIS had sold the Vehicle to another individual alongside the Plate Number. Instead of the new owner doing a Change of Ownership, he/she had decided to register the Vehicle as a Fresh Registration with his own detail which the NVIS Portal will not accept since the same information already exist in its database. It is also possible that the new owner did a Change of Ownership at the MVA office but the record was pushed to NVIS Portal as Fresh Registration instead of Change of Ownership entry. To resolve this, owner should visit Motor Licensing Authority (MLA) and ask that the vehicle registration be pushed to FRSC as Change of Ownership entry as against being pushed as Fresh Registration.
“b). That a Number Plate which has been assigned to a particular vehicle is yet to complete its registration.
This is a case of incomplete registration by the owner of the vehicle or that the registration detail has not been uploaded unto the portal. Without a valid insurance Certificate, the vehicle registration is incomplete.
“c). Plate has been produced by FRSC but yet to be assigned to a vehicle.
This is a genuinely produced number plate but registration details are yet to be uploaded unto the portal. To resolve this, vehicle owner should visit state MVA to complain and have his or her details uploaded to NVIS Portal.
“The essence of the Information Verification Portal is to assist the owner of the vehicle and security operatives on the status of the number plates. The idea is that when the owner of the vehicle discovers that there are issues with the registration, he should use the status or information gathered to clarify with the licensing office that handled the registration and if through a third party, confront the handlers.
“In summary, the verification portal provides four options when verifying number plates depending on the stage of registration as follows:
“a) Number not produced but tried to be registered by any applicant will result in “Invalid Number Plate”
“b) When a number is produced but not registered/ data not uploaded, this is the message you, “Number produced but not Registered”
c) When a number is produced and registered without genuine Insurance policy that is verifiable by NIIDB, the message you get is what the complainant got as “Number plate has been assigned to Lexus Jeep. However vehicle registration is yet to be completed.”
“d) When a registration is fully completed with genuine Insurance Policy resulting in the printing of Proof of Ownership, message will be “Number plate has been produced by FRSC and assigned to TOYOTA HIGHLANDER on 6/11/2013”
“Finally, we wish to reiterate that the role of FRSC in vehicle registration is to set standards, design and produce number plates which are handed over to the SBIRs for distribution to the general public after payment of requisite road taxes. The FRSC is also involved in maintaining a reliable national database of all registered vehicles. FRSC should therefore not be castigated for the responsibilities of other agencies in the vehicle registration process. In fact, FRSC should be commended for being proactive by introducing the verification platform.
“This is to assure the general public that the FRSC is always ready to collaborate with states in ensuring effective motor vehicle administration that will promote safety on our roads and enhance national security.”
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