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JIS News

As of October 2, replacing a lost or stolen driver’s licence will become easier, with the implementation of new measures to streamline the process and reduce turnaround time.
Efficiency and Productivity Consultant at the Cabinet Office, Stanley Gordon, told JIS News that following numerous complaints by users of the system, a review of the process was done and a list of recommendations developed. The aim was to streamline the various steps to make the process more efficient and less time consuming for customers, who needed to replace their motor vehicle licence.
“The current procedure is quite long and tedious as your first point of contact would be the police to report the loss. Then it is on to the (Tax) Collectorate for them to issue a printout to verify that a driver’s licence existed,” he explained, “after which you would take the printout or a letter back to the police station. From there, a lost document report is completed.”
Continuing to outline the lengthy process that now exists, Mr. Gordon said, “You are then sent to the Island Traffic Authority where they search to see if there are any judicial endorsements or convictions on the existing licence, then they would give you a report that is stamped to take back to the Collectorate, where they would get you to complete the form, pay the fees and then a certificate would be issued.”
The revised process will see the elimination of the multiple visits to various agencies. “The improved procedural steps will create a one-stop system, which requires the customer to visit the Tax Collectorate where investigative work will be carried out by that unit,” Mr. Gordon noted.
Under the old system, it could take a week or more to get a replacement. However, with the new process, depending on where the original licence was issued, it could take less than five days. For example, if the original licence was issued at the Constant Spring Collectorate and the person goes there to make a report, the records would be there, so it would be easier as the office would not have to telephone or contact another Collectorate. The only research that has to be done outside of the Collectorate, would be at the Island Traffic Authority on Manhattan Road.
Mr. Gordon added that clients would be issued with a provisional driver’s licence for five working days. The application process will be simplified, he said, as “currently, you are required to complete an application form to replace a driver’s licence, which is the same form completed if you are a first time driver’s licence applicant.”
“In addition, you are also required to complete an application for a substitute driver’s licence and we feel that, that first form is unnecessary so we plan to eliminate it,” he stated.
With the new system, the application may be made at any Collectorate irrespective of where the document was lost. To apply for the new driver’s licence, persons will need to take along their Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN), two recent passport sized photographs and some form of identification. They will also be asked to provide some details about the circumstance surrounding the loss of the driver’s licence, such as the suspected location, the time, and possible date.
Mr. Gordon explained that the new process has been made simple with the use of information technology and the database that exists at the Collectorate at King’s Street. “This is a very simple process, which is good for licences that were issued as far back as 2000. Anything prior to 2000 would require a manual search as previous years would not be on the database,” he said.
The manual search will not affect the turnaround time, as the five days is the maximum time the process should take whether it is a manual or electronic search.
Meanwhile, the fees to replace a lost driver’s licence remain the same. The current fee for an expired private driver’s licence is $1,550, general $2300, motorcycle $1,300 and an unexpired driver’s licence will attract a fee of $300.
The initiative to make the renewal process for driver’s licences more convenient and less time consuming, is as a direct result of the Public Sector Modernisation Programme (PSMP) introduced by the government of Jamaica in 2002. The aim is to inspire a culture of service excellence in all public sector entities driven by the needs of the customer.
The Public Sector Reform Unit (PSRU) of the Cabinet Office was established with an overall mandate to guide the process of the transformation with a view to raising the standard of services offered by public servants and better equip them to operate more efficiently and professionally. The programme is being carried out under the slogan: ‘Government at Your Service.’
One of the initiatives under the reform programme has been the assessment of services related to selected ‘life events’ with the aim of ‘re-engineering’ these services and providing basic information to the public on how to access these services. Based on feedback received through consultations with the public, the process involved in replacing a stolen or lost driver’s license was identified as one such service that needed immediate attention.