The Ministry of Works and Transport is yet to make a decision on whether it will extend the moratorium for expiring driver’s licenses, certificates and other documents issued by the Licensing Division.
The moratorium expires on October 1, 2021.
It was implemented as a result of lockdown measures in 2019 and has seen numerous extensions due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operations of the Transport Division’s Licensing Offices.
The amendments were operationalised by the Miscellaneous Provisions; 2019 Novel Coronavirus Act, 2020.
Drivers were being urged to make the necessary arrangements to have their documents renewed during the extension period.
However, recently, drivers have been complaining that there are no appointment dates available before next year and with the moratorium coming to an end soon, they fear that they may end up on the wrong side of the law.
The penalty for driving without a permit is a fine of $1,000 or one year in prison.
The person can be arrested immediately without a warrant.
Guardian Media contacted Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan on the issue yesterday but he could not confirm whether an extension is likely.
Sinanan explained that a note has to be taken to the Cabinet for its approval but could not say when this might be done.
Unless Cabinet approves the extension, Sinanan said the ministry has no authority to give any directive to the Transport Commissioner.
With three weeks to go before the moratorium ends, Sinanan said appointments are being ramped up at the various Licensing Division offices.
“We have an idea of how many permits are expired and not expired, and we have an idea of how many appointments we have in a day,” Sinanan indicated.
He further noted that they are keeping a close eye on the current system and in two weeks an assessment will be carried out to determine whether another extension is needed.