Rio de Janeiro received its new unified Mercosur vehicle registration plates today (Sep. 11). The state’s Traffic Department was the first to implement the new model, which features a QR code to increase drivers’ safety and lower chances of cloning.
Cities Minister Alexandre Baldy believes the new technology will help fight fraud, theft, and robberies. The plates are also expected to improve public securities and make the lives of people in traffic easier.
“It’s a new stage that should improve security and help put an end to cloning and fraud. Later on, we [want] to work to track stolen car parts so that we can provide the population with an answer,” he said.
Rio Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão referred to the change as a security measure. “I’ve been calling for this since 2014. It’s a plate equipped with a microchip. It’s an improvement, it’s a unified plate within the country, making things safer,” he said.
The new Mercosur license plates do not look like traditional ones. Instead of being gray, with three letters, and four numbers, these plates are blue and white, with three letters and three numbers. The plate will feature a single code with data including the manufacturer’s name and the manufacturing date.
The plate can also be tracked through an app to be made available by the National Traffic Department. Also, other features may be activated subsequently in addition to the QR code, like the data microchip.
Not all car owners have to have their licensed plates changed. The plate is only mandatory on new vehicles yet to be given a plate, and on cars being re-registered with new data. Those who want to acquire the new plate model voluntarily will also be allowed to make the upgrade.
*Trainee journalist with Agência Brasil, supervised by Mario Toledo