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Receiver calls on new vehicle owners to use existing plates

07 FEBRUARY 2017

PHILIPSBURG–Receiver Minerva Gumbs on Monday issued a call on persons who purchase new vehicles to consider buying their 2017 number plates based on their existing plates, rather than buying new plates with a completely different number.

She also called on vehicle leasing companies to ask their clients whether they have existing plates that can be used on the leased vehicles rather than purchasing new plates for the leased vehicles.

Gumbs said on Monday that many new vehicle owners opt to buy new plates rather than using their existing plates on their new vehicles which, when combined with vehicle leasing companies, buying new plates for leased vehicles, while their clients already have existing plates, creates a problem with the supply of plates on the island. “Many persons don’t want to use their old plates on their new cars and it is creating a problem,” she told The Daily Herald.

She said although the Receiver’s Office imported approximately 300 additional new number plates for 2017 they have all been sold out already. The Receiver’s Office is now issuing temporary plates to persons in need of new plates.

She said while this problem usually occurs annually, it has never been as dire as it is this year. The running out of new plates, she said, could also be due to the fact that the 2017 plates were ready very early this year compared to last year and previous years.

The Receiver’s Office won’t get a clear picture on the number of excess plates available until after the deadline has passed and they can see then how many pairs of plates were not purchased.

In the meantime, Gumbs is planning to meet with car leasing companies on this problem. She said some leasing companies want the plate/receipt to be in both their name and that of the lease-holder. She said, however, that the leasing company can simply allow the lease holder to use their personal plates and write the Receiver’s Office requesting that the names of both the leasing company and the lease holder be recorded on the receipt and this will be done.

Regarding new vehicle owners, she said persons who no longer need their number plates because they are switching from one category plate to the next, can inform the Receiver’s Office that they no longer have use for their old plates and give permission for their plates to then be sold to someone else. Switching plates can occur if a vehicle owner, for example, had a car with a P or M plate and now owns a truck which carries a V plate.

Gumbs reminded that persons who do not pay their motor vehicle tax by the February 28 deadline stand to lose their plates. As of March 1, the Receiver’s Office will start giving out plates not purchased by the February 28 deadline to persons who need new plates.

In the meantime, the Receiver’s Office will be open on Saturday, February 25, and on Saturday, March 4, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The February 25 opening is to accommodate persons who want to make their payment before the deadline and the March 4 opening is specifically to accommodate persons who have temporary plates and want to switch to obtain permanent plates. Extra R plates that are brought in are usually given as temporary plates.

More than 29,000 pairs of plates were brought in for 2017. In the M category 12,500 plates arrived; in the P category 9,999 plates; in the R category 3,000 plates; in the V category 3,200 plates in the G category 90; in the T category 290 plates; in the L category 210 plates; in the SXM and PAR categories one plate each; in the MR category 7 plates and in the Taxi category 500 plates.

The price for the number plate is NAf. 12.50 for all types of vehicles, and NAf. 7.50 for motorbikes. Motorists with number plates M, P, SXM, MR (ministers) and PAR (Parliament) will pay NAf. 275 in motor vehicle tax for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 750 for diesel fuel-operated ones.

Motorists with R plates will pay NAf. 300 for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 750 for diesel fuel-operated ones. Taxis, BUS, G (group) and T (tour buses with 35 passengers or less) pay NAf. 275 for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 550 for diesel fuel-operated vehicles.

Vehicles with V and Z plates that weigh more than 3,500kg will pay NAf. 1,250 for gasoline- or diesel fuel-operated vehicles. Vehicles with V plates that weigh less than 3,500kg will pay NAf. 275 for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 750 for diesel fuel-operated vehicles. Persons with MF (motorbike) plates will pay NAf. 200 and those with MF (mopeds) will pay NAf. 50 in motor vehicle tax.

A valid insurance document and inspection card are needed for payment to be processed.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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