By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Road Traffic Department will introduce its new automated vehicle and driver’s licence system on February 6 in Grand Bahama.
Ross Smith, Road Traffic Department controller, said that the new automated system and online licensing process brings the department’s operation into the 21st century.
“This major change is a vital and fundamental component to the department’s modernisation plan that seeks to bring the management and operation of the Road Traffic Department into the 21st century,” he said.
“We are extremely excited about this project because we are convinced that it introduces a process that will improve operational efficiency within the Road Traffic Department and significantly improve the quality of service we provide the public.”
The department plans to implement the automated system throughout the Family Islands by June.
Mr Smith said the online process is simple. The four-step process involves registration, inspection, verification and payment and receipt of assets.
To register persons must log on to email@example.com and follow the process.
Under the new system, the individual’s name will no longer appear on the windshield disc, only a bar code.
Mr Smith said that transfer of license plate will no longer happen under the new system.
“The plate is tagged to the person for life, and when you sell your car…you take the plate off the car and put it on the new vehicle,” he said.
“Under the old system when you sold your car you signed the back of the disc, that no longer happens in the new system because we have a titling system. A portion of that title must be filled out and signed over to the buyer transferring title. The buyer must present the transfer title, along with the disc for the car, to Road Traffic so that we can make the changes in the system,” he explained.
Mr Smith said new license plates for Grand Bahama will have the letter designation G. The new plates will consist of two letters and four numbers.
He said there will new plates for rented vehicles and the orange coloured bonded plates will remain the same.
He said persons will not be paying for the new plates and will only pay a standard $195 fee when they license their vehicle.
Additionally, Mr Smith stated that the TMN number issued when registering your vehicle will also appear on the person’s driver’s license.
“In our previous system, you had a number when you registered for your vehicle and a different one for your driver’s license. Under this system the TMN will be the only number the identifies you as a client of the Road Traffic Department, so you will see that number on your driver’s license when you come to renew it,” he said.
“We know that you have been tolerant with us over the years and we ask for your patience as we work to ensure that this new online automated licensing process meets all your expectation and creates a more transparent, accountable and efficient operation,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said that registering, licensing and inspecting vehicles will still continue by the person’s birth month.
“There will be no change to that process and we are not requiring everyone to change to the new system when we introduce the process next month. Only persons whose vehicle expires during the month of February will be required to renew using the new system,” he said.