A postal code is something common in foreign jurisdictions, but it may still be foreign to citizens of this country.
So, when people received their postal code cards from their respective regional corporations, many also noticed a change in address.
And with that comes a series of questions; do I have to inform the utility companies? Do I have to update my driver’s permit? Will this affect my deed of ownership for my property? Well, there isn’t one answer for all.
But let’s explain the rationale for postal codes.
Acting managing director of TTPost George Alexis said the postal code initiative, which is being implemented in a phased basis since 2012, seeks to standardise addresses in compliance with international best practice. What it also does is give home owners a specific mailing address.
“In Trinidad you may have a number, light pole 586 and you may have five to six houses using that same number and address, this brings a level of conformity to international best practice in how addresses are laid out to the public.”
Chairman of TTPost Eula Rogers said this can also help first responders zero in on a location as now each house will have a specific address.
But for those who already had specific addresses, they may see that it has now changed. For example, if you lived at 12 Smith Street, you may now see your new address as 19 Smith Street.
Both Alexis and Rogers are suggesting that as you get your updated address and postal code, you update that information, at least with your utility companies and banks.
“So, you have your mail coming in from WASA, T&TEC or your insurance companies, there is an obligation to update those addresses, we’re working on a mechanism to update the information without having to go to the utilities,” said Alexis.
That proposed mechanism is an online portal but according to Alexis, unfortunately that is not yet up and running.
Some of these changes will come with a cost.
For example, to change your driver’s permit. TTPost is again suggesting that you update the permit given that Government intends to roll out its initiative to mail traffic tickets.
However, it says if the DP is close to its expiry date, then the holder should wait till then to renew and update the information.
Guardian Media asked about those with years left on their existing permit and were told that information still needed to be sorted out with the Licensing Division.
Similar clarity is needed for the Elections and Boundaries Commission. Rogers said the change in address does not affect where you vote as electoral boundaries were not altered. But what about the mailing of polling cards? Guardian Media contacted Chief Elections Officer, Fern Narcis Scope who said a meeting with TTPost on that very matter will take place today.
However, one of the biggest questions is, will this affect my deed of ownership?
“No No it does not, this is a mailing address we keep stressing that,” said Rogers.
There still appears to be some details to iron out, as some people have reported receiving more than one postal code card with different addresses.
TTPost says this process has not been completed and it expects there will be some issues. It is asking citizens to come forward with those problems. It hopes that in 4 to 6 months, everyone will have their postal code and updated address. Until then it is strongly advising those in receipt of cards to update their information as that information is now their new mailing address going forward.