Shanghai toughens rule on automobile number plates

Beijing, April 12 (IANS) A ban on temporary out-of-city licence plates on cars operating within Shanghai could put drivers who do not have permanent plates off the road.

When the ban took effect on Sunday, hundreds of people lined up at the two spots where bidding documents for permanent licence plates could be purchased. The documents include a unique identification number that the bidder then uses in an online process to seek a permanent licence, the China Daily reported on Tuesday.

In recent years, out-of-city temporary plates have been used by many car owners in lieu of “hard-to-get” Shanghai number plates. Some drivers have even resorted to permanent plates from other provinces.

The city issues only about 8,000 permanent licence plates each month.

Many car owners turned to the out-of-city plates after failing to secure a permanent Shanghai plate from the city’s bidding system.

“It’s a way to stay on the road,” said a car owner.

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