The Vehicle and Assets Dealers Union of Ghana (VADUG) says it has given the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) up to Wednesday, January 13, 2021, to issue new Defective Vehicle (DV) number plates for 2021 to car dealers or risk lawsuits.
The DV plate is normally given to owners of new and unregistered vehicles and are not meant for permanent use.
According to VADUG, the delays in the issuance of the new DV plates for 2021 is causing so much harm to players in the car business in the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Saturday, January 9, 2021, the Chairman of VADUG Bernard Ntrakwah said many car dealers are unable to move their cars outside their garages to meet prospective buyers at long distances because of the lack of insurance for the cars, occasioned also by the absence of 2021 DV plates.
He said some car dealers who tried moving their cars outside their garages to meet prospective buyers and got involved in accidents are now bearing the cost of repairing their own cars and those of others because they lacked proper DV plates.
He explained that car dealers could only obtain insurance for their cars when they have proper DV plates on them and since DVLA, the authority responsible for issuing the DV plates has not done so for this year, it is very dangerous for them to move their cars beyond their garages.
Mr Ntrakwah said although the DVLA has issued a statement to the police to allow the use of 2020 DV plates, that was not enough since the 2020 DV plates cannot be used to obtain insurance for 2021.
For him, the DVLA has taken car dealers in the country for granted since this is not the first time they had delayed the issuance of DV plates.
He said car dealers contribute significantly to the country’s revenue mobilisation, saying that each year car dealers brought over 100,000 vehicles into the country.
The Administrative Secretary of VADUG, Alhaji Saeed Rahman expressed concern that DVLA does not involve VADUG and its members in their decisions, pointing out that VADUG is a major stakeholder in the work of DVLA and wondered why they had been sidelined over the years.
The DVLA under the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) announced the extension of validation period of the 2020 Trade Licensing plate to the end of January 2021 and thus the 2020 plates (DV/DP), which validity should have ended in December 2020, will still be valid till January ending.
In a letter addressed to the Ghana Police Service, the Chief Executive Officer of DVLA, Kwasi Agyeman Busia asked the police to allow garages and other car owners to effectively use their unregistered motor vehicles for the said extended period.
Section 23 of the Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (LI 2,180) provides for the use of trade licence.
Subsection One provides that: “The licensing authority may issue a trade licence to a motor trader, fleet owner or licensed trade plate dealer on payment by the trader, owner or dealer of the prescribed fee specified in the Fifth Schedule.”
It also provides in Subsection Two that: “A trade licence is valid for a period of one year and only in relation to the specific motor vehicle for which the trade licence was issued.”