The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) has introduced new 8-digit license plates for vehicles that include an extra number on the existing plate that will be used from September 1st. It is because the number of available registration numbers of the former 7-digit license plates have run out as the number of registered cars has exceeded 23 million nationally. 8-digit plates can be used semipermanently with nearly 210 million number combinations. The new plates have two kinds: one is a painted license plate with the extra number, and the other is a filmed plate with the extra number, a Korean flag, the letters “KOR”, which is the abbreviation for Korea, and a hologram to prevent counterfeiting and nighttime accidents. The filmed ones will be introduced in July next year. The new numbering system will be applied to the newly registered cars starting from September. If car owners with 7-digit license plates want to change their plates into the new ones, they can do so also. 150 thousand to 160 thousand cars are expected to get new plates every month. Some concern has been voiced that people will suffer from delays in entering exiting parking lots that have automatic license plates sensors and unmanned cameras as they will not be able to recognize cars if cameras for sensing 8-digit plates are not serviced in advance. MOLIT announced that 51.8% parking lots have started updating their systems but only 9.2% of them completed updates on June 30th, even though it encouraged people to finish updates by August through complete enumeration and inspection with local governments.
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