The clothing retailers and fast-food outlets at Phnom Penh’s Aeon Mall will soon be competing for foot traffic with the city’s public works and transport department, municipal governor Pa Socheatvong said on Wednesday, announcing plans for a vehicle registration office at the shopping center.
The service, which should start in two months, will allow motorists to register for driver’s licenses, registration cards and license plates without navigating the byzantine system at the department’s headquarters, Mr. Socheatvong said, a process that often leads to considerable extra-legal fees being levied on drivers.
“We are bringing in an online system in preparation for the provision of this service for driver’s licenses and registration cards for cars and motorbikes, out of a desire to make things easier for the people,” Mr. Socheatvong said.
“We want there to be direct communication between our officials and the people, because the government wants to cut out the middleman, as those people increase the price and make our people lose confidence in the government.”
Yet the governor said shoppers would still have to go to the transport department’s headquarters on National Road 6 in Chroy Changvar district in order to collect their licenses, registration cards or number plates, with the Aeon office only issuing tickets that can be exchanged for the documents.
“People will be able to fill in the data online while they are out shopping,” he said. “We will provide certificates for the driver’s licenses or number plates to the vehicle owners, and then they can take the certificates to get them at the Phnom Penh municipal department of public works.”
He added that motorbike dealers would soon be required to provide license plates along with new vehicles they sell, in contrast with the current system, which requires buyers to register for plates themselves at the department—or hire a middleman.
Mr. Socheatvong said the reforms were decided upon after a Tuesday meeting with Transport Minister Sun Chanthol.