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Sunday, April 21, 2024

State goes digital, and drops car registration stickers

Vehicle owners will no longer be sent the small registration stickers they’ve received every year for the past two decades. State authorities have come up with other means of ensuring that car owners have paid their registration, fulfilled vehicle safety and operating requirements, and have valid insurance.

Transport Minister Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa announced this week that the change in the system will take place immediately. She claimed the state’s decision to stop mailing out the stickers to millions of vehicle owners will cut costs and simplify the control system.

Instead of clipping off the license plates of cars lacking current verification stickers, police and tax officials will now use “more modern” methods involving photo- and digital monitoring. The new methods will quickly let authorities know whether car owners meet registration regulations, Kleppa claimed.

It’s all part of a concerted effort by state authorities to rely on what they call digitalisering, in which Norwegians will have less communication on paper and as much online contact with the state as possible. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg also is launching efforts to force Norwegians into using the recently troubled Altinn online service to do everything from registering births and welfare claims to filling prescriptions and filing taxes. Organizations representing retirees were quick to complain, saying the increasing use of online services discriminates against the elderly who may not have computers at home or don’t know how to use them.

State transport officials, meanwhile, said that current registration stickers must remain on license plates through April, but can be removed from May 1.

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