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Invisible microdots will now come affixed on vehicles and their parts to prevent theft as well as to check fake spare parts, the government said on Monday. The government issued a draft notification for amending the Motor Vehicles Rules.

“The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has issued a draft notification GSR 521(E) … amending Central Motor Vehicle Rules, allowing motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies, sub-assemblies to be affixed with permanent and nearly invisible microdots that can be read physically with a microscope and identified with an ultraviolet light source,” the ministry said in a statement.

Microdot technology involves spraying the body and parts of the vehicle or any other machine with microscopic dots, which give a unique identification.


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Use of this technology will help check the theft of vehicles and also the use of fake spare parts.

“The microdots and adhesive will become permanent fixtures/affixation which cannot be removed without damaging the asset, that is the vehicle itself,” the statement said.

The ministry has sought comments/objections on the draft notification within thirty days.

Tech Behind Microdot

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A Microdot

Microdot Technology is a process of spraying thousands of microscopic dots onto vehicles or other assets in order to provide a unique identification. Each Microdot carries this unique identification which is registered to the owner, but is not visible to the naked eye.

A microdot is a tiny polymer disc measuring one millimetre in diameter. The microdot has either the 17-digit VIN or PIN laser-etched in it no less than nine times, which includes hidden security layers. The microdot information is accessible to law enforcement officers, insurers and motor industry employees by utilising an inexpensive UV light and a low-power microscope. DataDot has trained 16 000 SAPS members in the identification of microdots and supplied 12 000 kits for the purpose.

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Success Rate of “Microdots”

According to Carmag.co.za statistics, when a vehicle is fitted with microdot technology (identified by a sticker on the vehicle), the risk of theft or hijacking decreases by more than 50%.

The technology also prevents the sale of stolen vehicle parts and, according to DataDot, more than 14 000 vehicles have been recovered and identified since 2003 using the technology.

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