If a driver’s permit is suspended by the Licensing Authority, it is void and of no effect. This is the warning given by Marvin Gonzales, director of legal services at the Ministry of Works and Transport.
In an interview with Newsday on Friday about the demerit points system, which is scheduled to take effect on March 2, Gonzales said if the permit is not surrendered by the due date, a person can be fined $5,000 and be subjected to disqualification for an additional period of one year.
He said after the authority follows the process by giving a driver the opportunity to provide reasons, in writing, as to why their permit should not be suspended, a decision will be made.
If the permit is suspended for the specified period, the driver will receive a written notice and will have 14 days to surrender the document to the authority.
“A driver cannot apply to have the driving permit reissued during the period of suspension. After the expiration of the suspension, a driver must participate in a rehabilitation programme.
“The driver must re-sit the driving test and regulations, as well as pay the fee in order to be re-issued with a driving permit.”
Asked who has access to the information in the event of a suspension, Gonzales said, “The UTurn software management system will indicate to law-enforcement officers, the Licensing Authority, the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) and the Judiciary, as key users of the system, that a driver has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit for the specified period.”
He said, in the course of a road traffic enforcement exercises, the police, traffic wardens and transport officers will have real-time access via the software and the use of the hand-held mobile devices (for electronic ticketing) to verify the authenticity and validity of the driving permit on the spot.