Again, License Plates

They have arrived, in all their orange splendor, we made some progress with windshield stickers for the last three years, but no, thanks to a fee-collection failure, we’re back where we started, and I am talking about the wasteful, expensive, metal license plates for 2019. They landed here via container.

Basically 85.000 vehicles now require to fetch new plates and in order to claim them from the tax department, DIMP, we must pay the 2019 registration fee, including fees in arrears for 2018/2017 & 2016 perhaps, all outstanding amounts must be settled, and we are obliged to present valid third-party car insurance.

DIMP is hopeful that this move will improve the rate of paid registrations.

And there is a vague promise for 2020, that DIMP will be looking into some other cost cutting, environmentally-friendly measure, to re-institute a sticker system, perhaps on the physical plate on the visible front bumper.

This issue of regressing to metal license plates pains me. And it is due to a total breakdown in payments, people just didn’t comply and continued to drive around and nothing happened.

Up until October 2018, 23% of vehicles are not in compliance.

FACT: Setar manages to collect its fees on time, because of a merciless, no wriggle room collection policy, why can’t DIMP learn?

I believe that WEB and ELMAR are equally efficient.

Why is DIMP different.  

They should tie in registration, and insurance, no mercy, scan roads and highways, and take a few vehicles off the road for nonpayment, keep things simple and enforce, says one of my friends, a guy with a systematic world view.

From a column in 2016: No job is finished until the paperwork is done

I was stunned to read this week when a spokesperson for the tax office declared that 65% of all motorists driving in Aruba, haven’t paid for their license plate number for 2016. It was in the newspaper. I swear. The following day, the MinFin corrected that declaration and said, not true, just 5% are driving without having paid the last portion of the levy!

So, which is it? Mind you, that’s a huge discrepancy!

But something is going on. One of my fellow press members reports that the reason the license plate levy is in arrears is that it’s not anchored by law. When we changed the system from wasteful new metal license plates every year, to windshield stickers, they did not finish the paperwork and did not take it to parliament to be ratified. In the absence of a law it’s a free for all, since the police cannot enforce it. Don’t you know that no job is finished until the paperwork is done? 

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January 11, 2019
Rona Coster