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Licensing woes

Saturday, March 25, 2017
Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan, listens to concerns from a member of the public during his surprise visit to the Licensing Division on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain last month.

Ah love meh people, but why is it we make things so hard, eh! Since the notice came out that Licensing Office was starting to crack down on vehicles being inspected and displaying the most current stickers, the office on Wrightson Road has become a nightmare in the last couple of weeks.

The thought of paying $5,000 if stopped in a road block and not having the up-to-date sticker has caused sleepless nights for many who have to be on the road for their job. Coupled with the introduction of the new certificate of ownership, citizens have been going and getting their new certificates at a cost of $100. Once a request is made for the certificate of ownership, initially it would take approximately three hours to get it but, unfortunately, it will now take three to four working days. For some, it is a necessity as they may not have gotten an up-to-date certificate of ownership if they purchased a used vehicle and the previous owner’s name is still registered as the legal owner of the vehicle.

For citizens who own private vehicles that need to be inspected, they only have half of the headache as there are licensed authorized dealers around the country who will inspect the vehicles but you need to have the vehicle in “good” working condition. Cost of inspection is $165. T registration and maxi taxis have to go to Licensing Office for inspection at a cost of $300.

By increasing the penalty for not having a vehicle inspected and cracking down on motorists, there are many advantages to this exercise and the efforts by the ministry will be rewarding as follows:

• Motorists have to get their vehicles in “good” working condition before taking the vehicle for inspection. Money has to be spent at the mechanic, so this month should be a good month for them.

• Many accidents on the road are not just due to drunk driving but also unfit vehicles, ie, smooth tyres, hand and foot brakes needing to be checked, bulbs blown in the headlights and back lights–which is quite dangerous, leaking engine oil and brake fluid, to name a few.

• The revenue being generated by the ministry, especially for requesting the new certificate of ownership and the inspection of taxis and T registration vehicles. I am quite sure that the ministry has exceeded their projections on collection of revenue.

• It is a gentle reminder for citizens who would have purchased a used vehicle to ensure that the vehicle in the previous owner’s name has been transferred to their name. Many people seem to have this problem–one guy that I met at the Wrightson Road office indicated that eight years had passed and he was still trying to get a certificate of ownership in his name. Talk about frustration especially when you have to play musical chairs in front of the research office and hope that someone gets tired of waiting and passes their number to you so that you can move up in the line. Numbers are provided by the information clerk to people who need to go to the research office.

What a challenge I had inspecting my 4x4. The first time I went to Licensing on Wrightson Road, the line was all the way to the gate. So I took the opportunity to go to the research office to find out why I could not get the new certificate of ownership for my PDM car. I was advised that the personnel responsible for putting the ‘card’ in the system had not reached that registration as yet as my vehicle was new. I now have to make a calendar note to remind myself to check back for it, this same time next year.

The next day, I crawled out of bed at 5 am to hustle to Licensing on Wrightson Road as the gate opened at 7 am. Got there at 6.50 am and the line was stretched all the way to the side street by the YMCA. I was number 18 in the line. Yes, I got out of my car and counted.

• To be continued


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