Hundreds of unregistered vehicle owners January 2 thronged various offices of the Driver and Vehicular Licensing Authority (DVLA) across the country to register their vehicles to secure 2020 number plates.
The scenario has become an annual ritual, as vehicle owners seem to await the dawn of a new year to process the registration documents but the supposedly unique 2020 number plate appears to have pushed up the numbers this time.
The situation looked to have created the opportunity for the so-called ‘Goro Boys’ who presented themselves as middlemen to customers and offered to help register the vehicles.
Business boomed for those middlemen who quoted up to GH¢1,200 to help facilitate the process to register a 2.4 litre engine capacity vehicle which officially attracted Gh¢480 fee.
Indeed, those who tried to avoid the Goro Boys spent hours in the queue, while the boys facilitated an easier and quicker process.
The near chaotic situation was similar at the 37, Weija, Achimota, Tema, Bolga and Tamale DVLA offices yesterday.
Hundreds of people besieged the offices of the DVLA at 37 in Accra, seeking to register vehicles that were likely acquired last year.
Before sunrise, a long queue of up to 60 vehicles extending into the premises of the police facility on the opposite side and separated by a street had formed in the yard of the authority.
As of mid-day, 250 vehicles had already been registered and assigned number plates.
Some of the vehicle owners said they were eager to access the 2020 registration plate because it looked unique.
Some customers described the process as chaotic but fell short of blaming the DVLA management for the situation.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the DVLA and signed by the Public Relations Manager, Mr Francis Asamoah Tuffuor, encouraged customers to visit the offices of the DVLA and seek assistance from the staff of the authority rather than middlemen.
As at 6 a.m., many vehicles had queued up for inspection and subsequent registration.
By 10 a.m., 72 vehicles had been inspected and cleared by the Customs Division of the GRA to go through the registration process.
Spotted on the premises of the DVLA were agents of some insurance companies who were wooing clients for the companies.
The Officer in Charge of the Customs Division of the GRA at the Weija DVLA, Mr R.A. Mintah, told newsmen that the process had been smooth and that there was no problem with regard to the checking of the documentation.
The Technician Engineer in charge of inspection at the Weija office, Mr Augustine Ofue, said the registration this year was not as chaotic as last year.
The Weija District Manager of the DVLA, Mr Amos Abakah, said the earlier notice posted on the premises had helped to ease the pressure at the place.
The office of the DVLA at Zuarungu electronically registered about 200 vehicles made up of saloon cars, Sports Utility Vehicles, motorcycles, vans and tricycles by 3:00 p.m.
The process, according to the DVLA authorities, encountered some challenges that slowed down registration.
The Regional Manager of the DVLA, Mr Mutawakil Abdulai, stated that usually the manual system of registration seemed to be faster but expressed the hope that the registration would pick up and the pressure on the DVLA would reduce in the subsequent days as the system was being worked on.
Mr Abdulai described the problem as mainly a software issue that affected the ability of the camera system to function properly.
The office of the DVLA at Tema registration seemed to have seen some marginal improvement following the introduction of an online process being carried out concurrently with the manual processs, giving clients options to select from.
Although the usual chaotic scenes were missing owing to a numbering system that only allowed a limited number of vehicles into a formed queue on the premises of the DVLA, scores of clients were unimpressed about the validation processes by the Customs Division of the GRA.
They said the process took hours to complete due to the limited number of officers deployed for the processes.
Two vehicle owners, Miss Henrietta Asiedu and Mr Alex Aboagye, who said they came to the centre at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m respectively, expressed reservations about the processes, describing them as cumbersome.
Notwithstanding the challenges, officials of the DVLA at the Tema Centre had registered 184 as of 1:30 p.m., with an estimated 300 expected to be registered by close of day.
The Deputy Director in charge of Management Information Systems at the DVLA, Mr Alex Abebrese, who was at the centre to monitor the online registration process, said the Electronic Platform for Vehicle Registration System (EPVRS) introduced by the DVLA was meant to ensure the smooth registration of vehicles.