Tired of waiting at the bus stop? Is the thought of being squeezed in with other commuters too nerve-wracking? Combine these with COVID-19-induced anxiety and many will seriously consider driving their own vehicle, but first they will need to acquire a driver’s licence. In Jamaica, anyone over the age of 17 may apply for one.
Persons With Disabilities
The Road Traffic Regulations Act makes provisions for persons with disabilities to be granted driver’s licences. These applicants are required to demonstrate their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
The Ministry of Justice has outlined health concerns for which applications can be denied. Persons are deemed ineligible if they:
- Suffer from epileptic seizures
- Have severe mental health issues such as schizophrenia
- Are severely visually impaired or blind
- Have an aneurysm
- Experience heart conditions such as angina
- Have lost one or both hands or feet
- Have trouble with muscular coordination
Categories of Licences
There are three categories of licences available in Jamaica:
- Private – motorcars only. This category is broken down into two types:
- Standard/Manual transmission: This is where the driver selects the gears using the clutch and gear stick.
- Automatic transmission: This system is one in which gears are shifted automatically for the driver under normal driving conditions.
Note: Persons who are disabled are only granted Private licences.
- General – any vehicle including motorcycles and public-passenger vehicles (PPV). All General licence applications must be signed by a doctor and for persons who want to operate PPVs, they must be over the age of 21.
The following documents are needed:
- A completed Driver’s Licence application form (Forms F1-F7 which range from Motorcycle or Private to General, depending on the applicant’s requirement). It must be signed by a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public (or doctor in case of a General Licence application).
- Forms can be downloaded using the link below.
- The examination fee receipt. Payments may be made at the nearest Tax Administration Jamaica office or the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) examination depot.
- Provisional Driver’s Licence (Learner’s Permit).
- Three passport-sized photographs not more than six months old (also signed by a JP or Notary Public).
The Driving Test
It is mandatory for all applicants to complete a driving test. Individuals are required to:
- Read a sentence.
- Complete a written test (knowledge of vehicle mechanics will also be tested for General licence applicants).
- Do a yard test where the applicant’s ability to start on a gradient, parallel park, and reverse will be assessed.
- Do a road test where the applicant’s observance of the road codes as well as driving skills will be assessed.
According to the Island Traffic Authority, persons with disabilities complete the same assessment process outlined above. However, special arrangements are made where necessary. Applicants with disabilities involving their limbs, for example paraplegics, are required to retrofit their vehicles to complete the driving test.
Issuing the Licence
Certificates of Competence are issued to the collectorate most convenient to the applicant and payment of a licence fee is required.
For further information, please contact:
Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ)
36 Trafalgar Road
TAJ Customer Care Centre: 888-829-4357
Application forms can be downloaded at https://www.jamaicatax.gov.jm/motor-vehicle-driver-s-licence1
Island Traffic Authority (ITA)
Address: 145 Maxfield Ave, Kingston, Jamaica