Laos Slaps Stickers on Government Vehicles 

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The government of Laos has begun attaching stickers to state vehicles to better control the use of state vehicles and show greater accountability to the public.

Use of state vehicles has long been a mainstay of public scrutiny in Laos, with conspicuous blue or red license plates often spotted in unlikely locations.  

At the same time, the leadership has continued a long-running game of cat-and-mouse to try to reign the purchase of unnecessary state vehicles from the state budget.

Now, the government is moving forward with a plan to reclaim vehicles from Party and state leaders amid a renewed push for austerity.

Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance held a meeting in May to discuss the enforcement of Government Decree 599 on State Vehicles, which will see the fair redistribution of vehicles among the relevant state bodies. 

The new stickers will display the vehicle’s license number, the government body to which the vehicle is attached, and even a QR Code for identification purposes. 

The sticker for state vehicles. 

“I’m pleased to see the government making an effort to better control the use of state vehicles. But I don’t think the stickers will stop officials from misusing vehicles or parking them at home,” a resident of Vientiane Capital told the Laotian Times.

“We see a lot of vehicles registered to the government at tourist sites on the weekends and during holidays,” said a shopkeeper in Vang Vieng.

While senior government and Party officials with vehicles assigned to their rank may use the vehicles as necessary, other state vehicles have been witnessed as far afield as neighboring Thailand, believed to have been taken by low-ranking civil servants without permission.

Meanwhile, amid continued fuel shortages, the government of Laos has said it is considering replacing gasoline cars with electric cars for Party and government leaders.