Victorian motorists will soon be slugged with higher vehicle registration fees to fund a $120 million blowout in the cost of VicRoads' new RandL licensing and registration system.
The new system, which will include facial recognition technology to combat licence fraud, is not scheduled to enter service until 2014.
Higher registration fees were expected to join the launch of the new system at that time, but the need for an immediate funding boost means motorists will likely be stung as soon as 2012.
The news comes a month after an ombudsman report found that the project had not been allocated enough money by the Brumby government, and a $123 million funds request earlier this year had also been rejected.
The increased cost to motorists will come with a silver lining however, with Treasurer Kim Wells expected to announce today the availability of quarterly payment plans.
Victoria is currently the only state that does not allow motorists to pay their registration fees by instalments. Under the current system, only concession-card holders are offered instalment options, split into two six-monthly payments.
The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has been lobbying the state government for more than a year on the issue of registration fee installment options.
"Allowing motorists the option to pay by installments means people will be less likely to drive without registration. This delivers real policing benefits and helps low-income households remain mobile," VACC said.
"The infrastucture already exists: concession-card holders can pay their registration fees six-monthly, and six-month payments would help motorcar dealers remain competitive with dealers in other states, where they don't have the burden of paying 12 months registration on vehicles they have for only a short time."