Canada’s government says it plans to overhaul its licensing system after the November 4 election and replace some of its license plates with new ones.
The Conservatives’ promise to repeal the country’s long-standing anti-fraud and identity card law was a key election promise that many Canadians have been hoping to keep, but the new government said it will take some of the burden off the private sector and put it back on the government.
The new system, to be overseen by the National Licensing Authority, will be implemented over a three-year period starting next month.
That’s up from the previous system, which started in July 2015.
The NLA will oversee a system of licenses for about 10,000 businesses across Canada.
The government says that the new system will include a national number plate scheme to ensure that businesses do not run afoul of the current law.
It will also allow the government to set the license plate number on vehicles and vehicles to have a unique identification number, which will then be shared with the private vehicle owner.
That will help keep the number of vehicles the government owns, which can reach thousands of vehicles, in check, said Transport Minister Marc Garneau in a statement.
But the NLA won’t have the power to determine what kind of plates can be used.
Instead, it will make a recommendation to the government, which then will be given the authority to choose the number plates for individual vehicles.
The change comes as some businesses and their customers have complained that the number plate system is confusing, burdensome and difficult to use.
Some businesses are asking that a single number be used for all vehicles and only the last four digits of the vehicle’s license plates should be used, according to the Canadian Automobile Association.
The association says many businesses, such as auto body shops and taxi companies, will have to change their license plates.
But it says most people don’t have to.
“Most people can just go through the system and it’s going to be a very easy process,” said Mark Cunnane, the association’s vice-president of corporate affairs.
The Liberals’ new system also includes a number plate-specific system, so businesses and businesses with fewer than 10 employees will have a new number plate instead of their old one.
Businesses with more than 10 people will get the old number plate, but those with fewer will get a new one.
The licence plate numbers are to be in Canadian currency and will be printed on licence plates, instead of the currency that’s used in the U.S. where they’re printed.
The number plate will be an image that can be easily recognised by a computer or mobile device.
Cunnanes says that while the new number plates will be easier to use, they will still require a driver’s license, which he says is more convenient for the public.
But Garneau says he expects many businesses to still be required to use the old licence plates.
“The old licence plate system worked for many years, but now it is not the case,” he said.
“It’s not as convenient as the new licence plate, and there will be a significant change in the way we use our vehicles in the coming years.”
Canada is the world’s sixth-largest economy, accounting for about $11.5 trillion of the world economy.