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practice Motor Vehicle Registration & Licensing Malta

Motor Vehicle Registration & Licensing Malta

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Posting Date:

30 November 2009

Last Edited Date:

30 November 2009


Marica Galea (MITA)
Motor Vehicle Registration & Licensing Malta LogoMarica's picture
Good Practice 2009

Type of initiative

  • Project or service-imgProject or service

Case Abstract

The official Malta Transport Authority Motor Vehicle Registration site (known as eReg) was launched successfully by the Malta Transport Authority (MTA) in 2008. Given that no fewer than 12,000 vehicle registrations and over 240,000 licence renewals are updated annually, eReg affords all motor vehicle agents, auto dealers as well as the general public the facility to :

·         Register vehicles online directly with the Licensing and Testing Directorate (LTD) within the Malta Transport Authority (MTA);

·         Obtain the Registration Value (RV) of a used Private Motor Vehicle including the amount of Registration Tax which considers specific variables like CO2, length, and Particulate Matter (for diesel powered vehicles only) in line with the Motor Vehicle Registration Tax Act;

·         Acquire and book a personalised number plate online;

·         Allow owners of vehicles registered in 2008 to check on credit rebates and optionally migrate from the 2008 registration tax regime to the new regime.



The various stakeholders have positively welcomed the significant advantages and benefits that have accrued from eReg.  These entail:

·         Importers update in real time the eReg system with registration and renewal information relating to vehicles, thereby reducing to a minimum the cumbersome and laborious over-the-counter services provided by MTA;

·          Registration information relating to vehicles that are in the process of being imported may be input into the eReg system, prior to the vehicles’ arrival in Malta;

·         Vehicle registrations and renewals that are successfully processed by eReg will entitle importers to collect the vehicle’s registration (number) plates and log book from MTA;

·         Manpower that is involved in processing registrations at MTA has been reduced by 50%.

·         Importers are empowered to calculate the amount of tax registration due via the online calculator and to pay the registration tax through the secure online payment facility.

·         The eReg system provides importers with the facility to enquire about the availability of personalised registration plates.



As a result of the implementation of eReg:

·         eReg processed over 600,000 tax registration valuations online during the first 4 months.

·         Since the eReg site was implemented, 35% of all registrations are processed through the system.

·         The de-centralisation afforded by the eReg system to importers has resulted in a drastic reduction in processing time to serve customers.

·         The eReg system has increased customers’ satisfaction.

Description of the case

Start date - End date
March 2006 (Ongoing)
Date operational
July 2008
Target Users
Administrative | Business (self-employed) | Business (industry) | Business (SME) | Citizen
Target Users Description

The Malta Transport Authority – Licensing and Testing Directorate

The Malta Transport Authority (MTA) comprises two boards that are appointed by the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Communications. In accordance with the Malta Transport   Authority Act [XXIII of 2000], the legal functions of the MTA and in relation to transport in Malta are:

·        to plan, provide, secure or promote the provision of, a properly integrated, safe, economical and efficient transport system by road by any means presently obtaining or that may be available in the future

·        to provide what is necessary or expedient for the testing, registration and licensing of motor vehicles and the drivers thereof

·        to do all such things as may be necessary for the regulation, management, safety and control of road traffic and the transport of persons and goods

·        to determine the short term and long term objectives for the performance of the above functions

·        to develop the necessary strategy and policies to achieve these objectives

·        to compile and keep up-to-date records of such data as it may deem appropriate in connection with its functions


Vehicle Importers - Business (self employed and industry)

No fewer than 50 car dealers and importers are registered in Malta. The flexibility and effective services provided by the MTA by implementing the eReg system have granted the importers the possibility to serve the customers’ demands in the shortest possible time by hastening the clearing process of imported cars. The eReg system has also served both the importers and the MTA administratively well despite the increase in the quantity of imported cars that occurred during the last few years.


The private motorist

Following Malta’s accession to the EU, a number of Maltese citizens are importing vehicles from other EU countries without resorting to vehicle importers or dealers. eReg affords the facility to these citizens to carry out enquiries relating to cost information to import vehicles. This information will enable these citizens to make effective purchasing decisions. 


Cross-border | International | Local (city or municipality) | National

Policy Context and Legal Framework

The following policy contexts and strategic frameworks govern the project:

The National Reform Programme in relation to the EU Lisbon Agenda

The National Reform Programme (NRP) aims to set out a comprehensive strategy to deliver growth and jobs in line with the refocusing of the Lisbon Agenda that was agreed to in the Spring European Council.


Amongst the several political, economic, social, technological and environmental factors which affect Malta’s economic growth and international competitiveness, there is the important leverage of technological developments, such as the implementation of an eGovernment programme.


The Public Service Reform Programme

The Government’s drive towards reforming the provision of better services to its citizens, also known as the Public Service Reform Programme, has led to the formulation of the Public Service Act, which still has to be enacted. The programme, which commenced in 1988, is still an ongoing process. The opportunities brought about by the proliferation of ICT within the whole of Government and at a national level, such as the implementation of eGovernment, is seen as a major enabler of the Reform itself.


The eGovernment Programme

The eGovernment programme, which is currently being managed by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), provides major benefits to citizens and businesses at large. Notwithstanding that this programme reduces administrative burdens the delivery of Public Services has become more efficient and effective.


The Government’s ICT Consolidation and Web Framework Policies

The Web Framework is a centralised platform, owned and managed by MITA that hosts all critical e-Services for the Government of Malta. It is the aim of this policy to ensure that all software applications and/or components implemented within this environment meet a set of specified criteria. The main objectives of this policy embody the goals of maximising uptime and providing a smooth, uninterrupted and reliable service to all clients of the Web Framework. This policy applies to all Web applications (or sites) and databases that are to be hosted on the Web Framework.

Project Size and Implementation

Type of initiative
Inclusive services of general interest
Overall Implementation approach
Public administration
Technology choice
Standards-based technology
Funding source
Public funding EU | Public funding national
Project size
Implementation: €49-299,000
Yearly cost:

Implementation and Management Approach

Implementation success factors


Prior to the commencement of this project, a consultant group together with the client defined the boundaries and requirements of the system.  The project was initiated following a number of meetings held between the drivers of the system. The involvement of both business and technical experts during the initial stages of the project contributed towards driving the project in the right direction. 


Several meetings that were held with the software developers (Alert Communications) ensured a smooth transition of information that was passed over from the client to the supplier. The regular project review meetings amongst all project stakeholders ensured that the tasks carried out were within project scope and were focused on the main project objectives.


During the implementation phase, user acceptance testing was conducted both by members of the Malta Transport Authority (MTA) and staff from local vehicle agents to ensure as much as possible correct representation of target user groups.



The partnership approach


The project is owned by the MTA and funded by the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport, and Communication (MITC). Alert Communications was the company chosen to develop the project and, like with all eGovernment IT projects and services, Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) provided overall guidance and managed the mandatory testing throughout all the phases of the project.


The MTA and MITA joint Project Team discussed in great depth with the software developers, the business and technical requirements. Based on these discussions, a detailed technical document was compiled by Alert Communications for the client’s endorsement.


Risk and Knowledge management


As with other eGovernment initiatives, a risk assessment of the technology involved was carried out and further risk assessments were undertaken with respect to the processes required for the registration and authentication on eReg.




Knowledge management


A System Administrator was appointed by MTA to co-ordinate the project on MTA’s behalf. He was present in all the meetings that were held and contributed in the sharing of business knowledge required in order to produce the expected results. Furthermore, part of the project entailed to “conduct a preliminary study about the requirements for eGovernment in the area of Vehicle Tax Registration”. During the review, other MTA and MITA staff provided guidance on best practices and recommendations as to the way forward to the joint Project Team. All this internal knowledge transfer was key to the success of the project.


Resource management


Human Resources assigned to this project included:

·         The Project Team consisting of key MTA and MITA staff, including but not limited to, MITC Policy Coordinator, the MITA project manager, MTA project co-ordinator, and MTA process specialists. The Software Development Team comprising systems analysts and software developers, from Alert Communications.

·         The MITA specialist supporting the project including but not limited to, MITA risk management and security specialists, MITA Quality Assurance team, and Government Web Framework architects.

All technical resources required by the project were provided by MITA or Alert Communications.


System Maintenance

Following the ‘Go Live’, MTA with the support and co-ordination of MITA, conducted several meetings with Alert Communications with whom a maintenance agreement was negotiated upon and established. During the said meetings, various relevant topics were discussed including:

·         resolution of bug fixes

·         future amendments to the system

·         updates relating to registration tax valuation formulas following changes in the legislation

Technology solution

Backend and frontend technology

The Web Framework is a centralised platform owned and managed by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) that hosts all critical e-Services for the Government of Malta. All eGovernment projects have to use technology that is compatible with the technical standards on which the Web Framework is based upon.

This means therefore, that the technologies used for the development of eReg had to be selected from a list of technologies listed within the above mentioned technical standards.  The selection of these technologies ensure system reliability, interoperability, and scalability.


The technology utilised for the development and implementation of eReg (for Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1) and as approved by MITA was the following:

·         Windows Server 2003

·         SQL Server 2000

·         Internet Information Server 6.0

·         ASP.NET, XML, ADO.NET


Information security

MITA chose PKI for the authentication process and also implemented the supporting business process. The PKI infrastructure was out-sourced from a reputable and reliable third party. This approach reduced the costs of implementation.


While Secure Socket Layer (SSL) was mainly used for the encryption of all information exchanged between the clients’ PCs and the eReg servers, SSL was also deemed necessary to enable the use of e-ID authentication.


Core Functionality

The system’s core functionality:

·         Provides a user friendly, efficient and effective platform for customers and minimises the need to seek relevant information elsewhere.

·         Provides the MTA with a mechanism for serving customers in a highly efficient and effective manner.

·         Provides live communication and transferring of data between all the connected systems related to transport eServices.

Replace and enhance the current services offered at present through eGovernment portals.

Impact, innovation and results


The project benefitted and impacted its stakeholders in different ways as follows:


Malta Transport Authority – Licensing and Testing Directorate

The Directorate has seen a major improvement in the processing of vehicle tax registration. The importance of the data input by importers into the eReg system has contributed to prompt information responses. A visible decrease of public presence at the Directorate’s counters has allowed for a better allocation of human resources and client servicing takes a fraction of the time previously required for the processing of requests. The processing of one vehicle’s registration used to take approximately 7 days. Furthermore, since payments due are now being received automatically via the system, the handling of customer cheques by the Directorate has been greatly reduced.


MITA (Malta Information Technology Agency)

Being the entity responsible for the implementation and management of the whole eGovernment Programme, MITA is not usually impacted significantly following the implementation of any single project. Having said that, project success should not be taken for granted.


Alert Communications (the software development organisation)

Wholly responsible over the system development activities, Alert benefitted significantly from the realisation of yet another successful project entrusted to them by MITA. The impact was high since their track record and experience was greatly enhanced.


Vehicle Importers and Dealers

Practically all dealers are today using the new functionality provided by eReg since the convenience and benefits have been immediately experienced as soon as the system was launched to the public. Over 35% of vehicle registrations are today being undertaken online through the system and this is envisaged to grow up to at least 50% by the end of the year.



With the introduction of the system to the general public, citizens have now full visibility in relation to the costs associated to the importation and running of any given vehicle, prior to their transaction taking place. By following simple online procedures for registration and tax payments, from the moment the imported vehicle lands on Malta, it can be available for use on public roads (registered and all) in less than 24 hours, which is an extraordinary achievement and most likely a European record. Even more impressive is the absolute record in vehicle registration tax valuations carried out using eReg; over 600,000 online valuations carried out during the last 4 months, which, considering a population of 400,000, eReg’s  success in terms of uptake speaks for itself.


Long term sustainability

Long term sustainability for eReg is beyond doubt. The system has become an extensively utilised business tool by all vehicle importers and dealers and an immensely valuable purchase planning tool for private motorists.


eReg has also re-engineered the way public services are carried out by the Licensing and Testing Directorate. The previous manual practices are already being perceived as a thing of the past. Following eReg, there is no looking back within the Directorate in this respect. Everybody is more than convinced that this was the definite way forward.


The technologies used to develop and run eReg are also highly scalable and interoperable and the system’s associated running costs are envisaged to reduce as time goes by and as the system evolves further.

Track record of sharing

Presentation to the Malta Maritime Authority (MMA)


A presentation was given to representatives from the MMA – which Authority is also responsible for the registration and licensing of sea vehicles. The scope of the presentation was to show these officers the potential behind using Information Technology for providing various services on-line and also the need to have integration between the various systems. The presentation was especially useful to MMA representatives because the latter has very ‘similar’ business processes to that of the Vehicle Licensing and Testing Directorate (LTD). In fact both entities carry out registration, updates and licensing procedures - one on sea and the other motor vehicles. They also have to ensure that the vehicles are insured and are up to standard for their intended use. Moreover they also enforce collection of fees and fines. The presentation was also in line with the Ministry strategy - to have closer interaction between the two entities (MMA and LTD) and create synergy at the various levels of the organization.


St Lucia Delegation


Another presentation was given to a delegation coming from St Lucia Island in the Caribbean. The delegation, made up of two government officials and the Minister of St Lucia, spent a number of days in Malta and together with various Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) officials were presented with various Information Technology achievements. One of the sessions was allocated to the Transport team. During this session, the various e-Services associated with the Transport Arena, namely eVERA and eReg were presented and discussed. The feedback provided by the St Lucia officials was very positive and intend to adopt a similar approach in their own country.

Lessons learnt

Lessons Learnt

·         The Maltese Government made an early commitment to a pervasive and robust ICT infrastructure in the form of the Malta Government Network (MAGNET), a metropolitan area network that links all Government entities. Without such a foundation, eGovernment applications like eReg would have been much harder to implement.

·         The decision by the Ministry championing the eGovernment Programme to adopt a common Web framework and common Web development standards across all eGovernment applications, helped to streamline the eReg development process and to shorten the delivery timescales.

·         Until a few years back, Malta had a strong digital divide which held back the viability and value of eGovernment applications. Although Internet access is not as limited as it was up to a few years back, access issues still remain that may impact adversely this project. In fact, it was found that the vast majority of small car dealers either did not have basic Internet skills or did not have access to a computer.

·         Screens and messages for eGovernment systems must demonstrate user friendliness and ease of use. Systems must be designed with an outside-in perspective rather than the other way round. This will ensure that the citizen understands the functionality of these systems.

·         There is a mutual relationship between Internet access rates and eGovernment applications; access rates must rise above a certain level before eGovernment becomes genuinely viable. Equally, though, applications like eReg drive up Internet access rates, and help push a country more quickly towards becoming an information society.

·         To ensure success in any project, all stakeholders must be involved on the project from the outset.

·         Software suppliers must be provided with the necessary business information such as detailed process flows prior to embarking into the analysis and development phase.

·         The Project Manager must exercise tight control over all software development activities, especially when these have been outsourced to a third party.

·         It must be ensured that software development activities, when outsourced, are carried out by organisations which prove to have resources adequate for the job in hand. 

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