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Taxis, Ride-Hailing Cars Must Switch to Yellow License Plate, New Policy Says

In the future, car drivers for ride-hailing apps will have to get a new license plate in a whole new color.

As Thanh Nien reports, the Ministry of Public Security recently released a circular detailing updates on the issuing and revoking of license plates for automobiles. According to the circular, from August 1, all cars, trucks and buses used for commercial purposes in Vietnam will need to bear the new yellow license plate. This also applies to vehicles employed by ride-hailing companies.

New license plates issued to commercial vehicles starting from August will be yellow, while drivers of current vehicles must update their plates by December 31, 2021. Data from the Department of Traffic Police shows that there are around 1.6 million four-wheeled vehicles registered for commercial transportation, including passenger buses, trucks and taxis. 

Colonel Pham Viet Cong from the department explained in an interview with Nguoi Lao Dong that the new policy is to ensure fairness in regulations between commercial vehicles. Cong gave an example of streets where taxis are banned from operating, but ride-hailing cars can freely pick up guests because there is no obvious distinction between private and commercial cars.

Last month, a separate circular by the Ministry of Transport already required drivers working under Grab, Be and other services to label their vehicle “xe hợp đồng (commissioned car) on the front and back.

Since its announcement, the license plate change has sparked mixed reactions from affected drivers and leaders of transportation co-ops. Nguyen Van Hung, who occasionally drives for Grab Car, told Phap Luat: “I’m using my car for Grab, now I have to switch to a yellow plate. Do I switch back to white when I’m not working? What if I want to sell my car?”

Nguyen Xuan Tuan, head of a transportation co-op, also expressed some reservations in the face of the new policy. He told VietnamNet that his organization currently has 20,000 partners who are working for ride-hailing apps, so the plate change will cause some difficulties and incur significant costs.

“According to the Ministry of Finance, it costs VND150,000 to change one’s license plate,” Tuan said. “So we will have to shell out VND3 billion. The switching process will also lead to disruptions in business operations and driver’s income.”

[Photo via SGGP]

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