Drivers will soon face increased fees

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The Antigua & Barbuda Transport Board is advising drivers who do not renew their licence on or before it expires that they could be charged a penalty, as much as $500.
OBSERVER media obtained a list of processing fees that are to take effect shortly, but have been put on hold. According to the proposal, drivers who default in renewing their licence on time – between one and 30 days – will be charged $20.
General Manager of Transport Board, Hubert Jarvis said yesterday that once a licence is not renewed nine months after expiration, it will be cancelled. In speaking about the changes, he said the penalties for expired licences vary according to the time elapse. He said the amount increases up to $500 for anyone whose driver licence is expired for more than 271 days.
A two-page ‘Miscellaneous Revenue Measures’ memo to managers detailed increases was circulated last week. Licences that elapsed between 31 and 90 days will attract a fee of $150, while anyone who fails to renew between 91 to 180 days must pay $250; up to 270 days will have to pay $350 and anything after that will be $500.
“The law says that after nine months Transport Board must cancel, but we have not been doing that and that is what we are seeking to do. So, it is either we cancel it or you pay the processing fee to have it automatically renewed,” Jarvis explained before asking: “Does a person prefer to go over the whole process which will cost the same as the processing fee?”
Drivers who default for nine months would need do over the entire process which means they would need to get a new doctor’s certificate, pay $30 for the permit, another $50 for the video module, then the road test and pay for the new licence.
The cashiers were briefed on the changes within the past week. However, Jarvis said since the cashiers received the instructions to apply the fees, a decision was taken to put the implementation on hold as the committee looked to concretize the penalties.
The next executive meeting of the board will be today.
Since last year the licensing body implemented a video module as part of the drivers licence application process where soon to be drivers now have to pay $50 to watch a 15-minute video before they can take the road test.
Additionally, Jarvis said owners changing vehicles that may still have time remaining from the previous inspection, are now paying a new inspection fee.
“What we have found is that a lot of vehicles that change ownership then we find out the vehicle is no longer road worthy, so now once you are going to change ownership you have to do a new inspection,” the general manager said.
Meanwhile, Jarvis said new software will be used to remind drivers that their licence renewal date is approaching.

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