The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has announced a ban on vehicle modifications that deviate from the original specifications of the model, warning that such vehicles would require technical inspections before vehicle registration cards or licence plates would be issued.

Garages which carried out illegal modifications would be shut down, it warned.

The ministry’s announcement, seen by The Post on April 9, said the ministry had noted that many family cars had been modified without a permit, which affected the safety of the vehicle and effectively altered its identity.

The ministry stated that this activity is contrary to Article 19 of Sub-Decree No 180 dated November 3, 2008 on the management of garages for repairing and modifying vehicles. In order to ensure the safety of the vehicles on the road, the ministry would not issue vehicle registration cards to car owners who modified their vehicles.

“Modifying vehicles in ways that affect its safety – such as by changing the steering, braking or chassis – without the ministry’s permission will not be able to pass technical inspections, and therefore will not be issued with licence plates,” it stated.

The ministry also advised garage and workshop owners to not make extreme modifications or work on vehicles which have been altered.

“The transport ministry will take action to shut down business activity at any place where illegal work is being carried out,” it added.

Through the notification, the ministry expressed its faith that all vehicle owners, and the owners of all types of car repair and assembly garages, would do their parts to follow the ministry’s guidelines.

Kim Pagna, director of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, said on April 10 that this issue involves basic respect for the law.

“People and garage owners, before doing anything that differs from the original technical specifications of a vehicle, should get in touch with the transport ministry through one of their many social media channels and check if the intended work falls within the realm of legal modifications or not. Officials from the ministry will check the law and respond,” he said.

He said members of the public or workshop owners who do not consult with officials before carrying out modification work would almost certainly face legal issues.