Friday 23 October, 2020

WHAT YOU SAID: New licensing policy driving Bajans mad

Barbados Licensing Authority. (File Photo)

Barbados Licensing Authority. (File Photo)

"Effective October 1, proof of address will be required when renewing drivers’ licences and registering vehicles".  

With those few words, the Barbados Licensing Authority and the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance caused a great uproar across Barbados.

Social media was set ablaze as news that motorists would now be "obligated to present a recent utility bill or a recent bank statement of not more than three months, as evidence that they do indeed reside at the stated place of abode".

"Madness," "Nonsense," "I fail to see the need for this," were just a few of the short comments to start the ball rolling.

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Soon, persons were giving a range of scenarios as to why the new policy would not work, with many stressing that they did not have those items delivered to them because of the convenience of technology:

"How many 16 year olds have a utility bill or bank statement in their name?"

"So I have no utility bills and sure not giving them no bank statement to see what i earn...stupes. Some fool had nothing better to do than implement foolishness making people believe them wuking for the tax payers dollars."

"So what happens if you are renting and the utilities are included in rent. Secondly you have a bank account but would rather not want to disclose the pitiful scrappy amount that is on the bank."

Some even questioned whether the requirement invaded their privacy:  

"To much info,police state..."

"So the People at licensing Authority will have access to all your information??? No privacy at all??"

One person used the opportunity to call for an ease in doing business in the island:

"1) Having to pay to renew a drivers licence is ridiculous. 2) Not being able to do this nuisance activity online is a pain in the butt. 3) Heaping more bureaucracy on this slow painful process of renewal is adding insult to injury. We need less red tape not more!"

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While these angry sentiments were definitely in the majority on Loop's Facebook page, some persons came to the defence of the new requirement.

In fact, these persons refuted claims that it was a backward move, stressing that it mirrored what is done in many "developed" countries:

"US States require that you pay for a drivers license renewal..and in many cases renewals of these types of licenses have to be accompanied by a statement of some sort showing your address. I'm sure Canada and England are the same."

"I never try to comment on these things but I will now my son didn't have a bill in his name to open a bank acct at a bank so I went with him and took a bill and the gentleman told me all I had to do was write a letter and send it with the proof so I say that to say this we barbarians is r too small minded and like to much complaining I travel a lot and almost every place I go and have to get my book for driving or any such other thing I have to have proof off [sic] address so just stop complaining and just do it if u all leave bim and have to go else where u all will do what u all have to do to get what u want"

"Bajans want to be First World, be willing to deal with what comes with it."

"I understand why they ask for it, its nothing the complainers can do about it, its either do it or you wont have your license renewed simple as that. To much foolishness going on in regards to vehicles and road users alot of whats being done now, should have been done long time. I see nothing wrong with it, many people give a lot of old addresses etc and when they is an accident and anything related to road regulations the people have nothing to go on. Stop reading to complain and look deeper than the surface its a reason for it, nobody want your bank info, they want proof due to many things deeper than what some of you see. Smh"

What's your view on the new policy?

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