Changes in the regulations for issuing provisional licences were necessary

Dear Editor,

Please permit me to respond to a letter which was penned by an unknown writer under the caption ‘Too many man hours wasted by the public waiting at the Licence Revenue Office.’  This letter was published in the December 22, 2011 edition of the Stabroek News.

According to the writer, the new regulation which requires applicants who are purchasing or renewing provisional licences to provide photographs and complete an application form, is very frustrating and results in a lot of time being wasted.  The writer also claimed that documents are not checked prior to being presented to the clerk and this results in the need to return subsequently to the Licence Revenue Office (LRO) if all the relevant documents are not provided.

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) would like the writer and the general public to note the following:
1. It became mandatory for photographs to be affixed to provisional licences with effect from October 1, 2011.
Such an action was necessary based on the discovery that a number of motorists were utilising their provisional licences in a manner that was not in keeping with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act Chapter 51:02.

2. Prior to the implementation of the new regulations for obtaining provisional licences, some motorists were sharing the usage of the licences. With the new procedure, the licence can only be utilized by the person to whom it was issued.  This also makes it easier for the Guyana Police Force to verify the identity of the licence holder.

3.  Persons were not renewing their provisional licences in a timely manner.  In this regard, it became necessary to put systems in place to ensure that the stipulated time for using and renewing provisional licences was not exceeded.

4. The GRA has ensured that all relevant information, new systems and procedural changes are published through the print and electronic media in a timely manner.

These changes which the writer deemed “time-wasting” are in keeping with international regulations for issuing licences.  With effect from October 1, 2011, applicants for provisional licences are required to pay a nominal fee of one thousand dollars and submit the following documents to the LRO:

* three passport sized photographs;
* pass ketter (learner’s theoretical programme) from certifying officer of the Guyana Police Force;
* official identification or passport;

* taxpayer identification number (TIN); and
* completed application form for provisional driver’s licence.

In relation to the long lines at the LRO, the GRA has already put new procedures in place to mitigate the length of time spent by clients.  One of the new procedures is the renewal of a motor vehicle licence (MVL) on the anniversary date of the motor vehicle’s registration.  This became effective on January 3, 2012.

The GRA is seeking the usual cooperation displayed by most taxpayers as it continues to make changes with their comfort in mind.  However, persons are urged to call the GRA’s Tax Hotline on 227-6060 or visit our website (www.gra.gov.gy) for information on the procedure or documents required for a particular transaction before visiting any of our offices.

Yours faithfully,
Wayne Austin
Senior Manager,
Licence Revenue Office

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