NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Transport and Local Government Minister Renward Wells announced today that all licences, for motorists and vehicles, valid on March 30 have been extended until the 24-hour curfew is lifted and sixty days thereafter. “That is to say, drivers that meet this definition will not be penalised during this time for what would ordinarily be an offence,” Wells said in Parliament. The minister noted only newly imported vehicles will have to be licensed and inspected at the Road Traffic Department. “In regards to the renewal of vehicles registration, we are working with the Transformation Unit in the Office of The Prime Minister to devise a means by which the need for inspections could be devolved to government designated or authorized entities, mechanic shops etc,” Wells said. “Once the customer has provided the Road Traffic Department with a letter from the reputable government designated agency, [which] facilitated their vehicle inspection, then the licensing process will continue as is. He continued: “This facet of the process is not unusual or far-fetched in that currently the Road Traffic Department’s policy mandates that in order to have a vehicle registered that has not been roadworthy or ‘on the road’ for more than a year, then a letter from your mechanic or mechanic shop would be required advising that said vehicle has been inoperable or off the road for the period in question; and that the vehicle is now repaired and roadworthy.” Wells also announced the Road Traffic Department’s Traffic Management System (TMS) will be able to receive insurance information and accept vehicle registration online next month. He underscored the need for the OPM’s Transformation Unit to establish a platform for the Department of Road Traffic to use during the period of emergency orders and to also complete the single on-line portal when the RTD returns to normalcy. Wells said: “It is my understanding that the Insurance Association has agreed to a meeting to discuss information sharing with the Road Traffic Department such that digital insurance policies could be uploaded directly from the insurance agency to the Road Traffic, Transportation Management System, (TMS). “Currently, The Data Torque system also does not have the requisite capacity to receive insurance information from the insurance companies. This feature, however, will also be included by May 1, 2020, and insurance companies will be able to upload the insurance forms directly onto the TMS system for renewal purposes.” Well said: “Conversely, the insurance companies will also be able to digitally advise of those persons whose insurance has lapsed automatically prompting the Road Traffic Department and the police to the lapsed policies. Currently, the Data Torque consultancy, TMS system cannot accept vehicle registration on-line. I am advised that, that part of the portal, also should be completed by the week ending Friday 1st May. “Thereafter, we will be able to allow individuals to upload information and register on-line for vehicle registration and renewal.” Wells noted the department with essential staff reporting, continues to operate between 8am and 4pm during the curfew period, with other employees who can work from home being encouraged to do so. “The intent is to efficiently continue the work of the department while accommodating universal preventive protocols for in-person services, and incorporating technology to facilitate others,” said Wells.