JIS News

The Transport Authority has introduced new security features for licence forms and stickers for public passenger vehicles (PPV) and commercial carriers for the 2007/2008 licensing period.
The new security features, which were introduced at a press conference held this morning (Feb. 13) at the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works’ offices in Kingston, include a wavy ‘TRANSPORT AUTHORITY’ text pantograph screen; diamond shaped watermarks; invisible fluorescent fibers; thermochromic ink; and a ‘VOID COPY’ pantograph screen.
Manager of Information and Technology at the Transport Authority, Vernon Walters, explains that the text pantograph screen on the licence form reduces the possibility of photocopying. “If it is photocopied, it would be very ineligible,” he notes. As for the diamond watermarks, the expert says, “the company that we are purchasing this paper from assures us that they will only be selling this paper to the Transport Authority of Jamaica and a diamond factory in Sierra Leone, so there should only be two companies in the world that has this paper being used”.
The invisible fluorescent fibres are visible under black light, while the use of the thermochromic ink will be very valuable for inspectors and police officers, Mr. Walters says. Thermochromic inks or dyes are temperature sensitive compounds that temporarily change colour with exposure to heat. In this case, the colour change is brought on by simply rubbing the finger on the form.
Meanwhile, he says that the void copy pantograph screen “is going to be along the perforated side of the document and the top of the document. When you photocopy or scan the documents, you are going to get a ‘not valid’ (text) coming across the top and along the sides”.
All forms will be of the same size, as opposed to being different sizes and colours as was the case in the past. Also, there will be no pre-printed licence forms, as all information with be printed from the Transport Authority’s software.
Turning to the stickers, Mr. Walters says these will also feature a wavy text pantograph screen, as well as an invisible flourescent colour. “On the sticker, the invisible fluorescent colour will be on the numbers, which represent the months of the year,” he noted.
Importantly, the discs will be for a single use and are non-transferable. “I have seen where people have taken off tax discs from windscreens and put it on other motor vehicles, so we are now trying for this not to happen. What will happen when you try to remove our sticker from the windscreen, the image that is left on the glass will be void, and the sticker that’s left in your hand will be totally destroyed as the numbers will no longer be on it and everything has void stamped all over it,” he points out.
Mr. Walters notes however that the Transport Authority has made provision for the replacement of discs in the event of an accident where a new windscreen has to be put in. In such a case, he says, the motorist will not be forced to pay for a new sticker, but will be required to present to the Authority, the requisite evidence in the form of receipts for a new windscreen.
The new security features, which are designed to prevent the production of forged documents, comes against the strengthening of the Authority’s data system by integrating with the Inland Revenue Department as well as the Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) database. So with each applicant, Mr. Walters explains, “the TRN is given, the name comes up when the vehicle information is given, the chassis number and the engine number comes from the Automated Motor Vehicle database, and all that information comes from the tax office to the Transport Authority database”.
Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill, in his remarks, notes that these unique security features will make licence forms and stickers “virtually tamper proof”.
The Minister says that over the past few years, forgery of licences has increased, particularly due to rapid advancements in technology. “In some instances, tampering with licences has resulted in unauthorized distribution of routes and also overcrowding on routes,” he says.
Mr. Pickersgill is once again urging persons, who use vehicles to transport goods for hire or reward, to take the necessary steps to have their vehicles licenced, and also urges commuters to only use licensed vehicles, or vehicles bearing public passengers vehicles plates. For persons, who continue to use unlicensed vehicles, he warns that “in the case of an accident, you have no legal recourse. You would be on your own.”