Malaysia considers microchips in car number plates to curb theft, cloning

Officials say that the new rule will also help to track down motorists who fail to pay their traffic summonses.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Malaysian transport authorities have decided to install microchips in registration plates of vehicles to curb uncooperative behaviours of drivers towards officials and fancy plates.

"The introduction of microchips embedded in registration plates would have a multiple impact," said a high-ranking government source, according to Sunday Mail.

"It would put an end to fancy number plates produced by accessory dealers with absolute disregard to guidelines and specifications," the source added.

It is also said that this new law will help reduce incidents of car theft and car cloning. Moreover, it will also help to track down motorists who fail to pay their traffic summonses. According to the Sunday Mail report, the microchips will have information about the vehicle owner, the driver, the engine, chassis numbers and even the colour and model.

"These are plates which regular traders like us cannot produce as it requires precision equipment," said an accessory dealer, as reported.

Transport Ministry senior officials said that they will announce the development on this plan at an appropriate time. Road Transport Department enforcement director, Datuk V. Valluvan Veloo, said that the government is trying to put a check on issuing of fancy number plates for a long time. However, the director refused to speak anything about the microchip-embedded registration plates.

"We are putting a stop to these non-standard plates, which can be used as a tool for criminal activities, such as snatch theft," he said, according to the report.

Valluvan also said that a total of 184,664 motorists were issued summonses for having fancy number plates between 2013 and 2016. The highest number of offenders, culminating to 24,623, was from Selangor, followed by Penang Kuala Lumpur reporting 25,093 and 15,458 offenders respectively.

In September 2016, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the ministry is keen on adopting measures to standardise registration plates and producing plates made of stamped metal seems to be a good option.