FN Senior Reporter 

Clarification on the Road Traffic Department's licensing regulations was provided to Rotarians of the Freeport Club on Thursday by Chief Supervisor at the Department, Franklyn Sands.

Sands explained the three categories by which vehicles are classified for registration, and the difference in the types of weight that are measured.


"We're talking about the curb weight not the actual weight that the car or the vehicle can carry. On the door of a vehicle you will see poundage, but that relates only to the amount of pounds that vehicle can carry," he said.

"That is not what those vehicles are licensed by, it's licensed by the curb weight. The curb weight is actually the combined weight of the gasoline, the driver, the engine, the spare tire, the jack, those are the curb weights of vehicles."

Sands noted that for any vehicle that falls under 5,000 curb pounds, the registration fee is $150.

"Tax went up on inspection so you have $35 for inspection then you pay $10 for a decal so you end up spending $195. Now if your vehicle is over 5,100 curb pounds, you will pay $550. plus $35 for inspection, (10 for decal) so you're looking at $595," he continued.

The third category encompasses vehicles weighing over 15,100 pounds in curb weight, he said, and the registration fee for such vehicles is $750 (plus $35 for inspection and $10 for decal).

Sands said the department's manual which is referred to for the determination of vehicle weights was compiled using information from car manufacturers.

However, he acknowledged that there were some incidents in which vehicle owners would have felt that the department classified their vehicle incorrectly.

"There has been one or two instances where somebody had in fact had their vehicle assessed to over 5,100 curb pounds and they went to the manufacturer and downloaded the actual curb poundage and they found out that the poundage was less. Well, they are isolated incidents that we have made provisions for to make adjustments," he said.

" The next booklet that will be put together out of this experience will be the perfect package."

As the registration fees for larger vehicles are now significantly higher, Sands advises members of the public to be aware before purchasing one.

"You would find a lot of people this year are now trying to sell their vehicles because at $550 a year is a lot of money... So if you're buying a vehicle, I recommend that you first find out what the cost of licensing it is. Make sure and check the curb poundage, those categories of weight will be important to you," he said.

"If you are a dealer and your business is selling vehicles, it would be in your best interest to purchase vehicles that fall in the first category to sell because not many people are going to buy a vehicle that is going to cost them $500 or $600 a year to license."