Lack of licence drives bigger problems

Lack of licence drives bigger problems

Tell Claudienne

with Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, May 24, 2020

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Dear Claudienne,

My name is CP and my birthday was April 18, 2020. It so happens that this is the year that my driver's licence expires. I went to the tax office downtown Kingston, on Friday, April 17, 2020 to renew my driver's licence only to be told after paying at the cashier that they were not printing any licences, so I should drive with the receipt.

Thinking this was only happening at the tax office branch downtown, I went to the Constant Spring tax office only to be told the same thing after standing in the line outside for three hours.

I can understand that these are not normal times and that there would be some changes or adjustment to the services being offerred by the Government. However, to totally stop printing IDs is insane and appears to be based on the assumption that the driver's licence is used solely for driving.

I cannot take the receipt to pay bills, buy food or do any business that is normally done with my credit card. So right now my life is at a standstill with no end in sight.

We don't know when COVID-19 is going to slow down enough for things to go back to normal, so to completely stop printing the driver's licence is in my opinion very unintelligent.

And by the way my passport also expired in March this year so I now have no ID.

I am hoping that you can get a clarification on this matter for me, as this situation is really bigger than me.


Dear CP

Tell Claudienne requested the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) to address your concerns. We note that the TAJ has sent you a written explanation and has e-mailed the column a copy of the response that they sent to you.

However, you told Tell Claudienne on Thursday, May 21,2020 that you have not yet received the TAJ letter.

The letter from Meris Haughton (Miss), chief corporate communications officer, Tax Administration Jamaica, sent to the column reads as follows:

“We write in response to your letter of May 6, 2020 sent to Tell Claudienne of the Jamaica Observer.

It is apparent that despite our best efforts during these very dynamic and challenging times, our service delivery was in this instance, below your expectations. For this we sincerely apologise.

The decision to temporarily suspend the photograph aspect of the driver's licence renewal process was taken in the interest of protecting our staff and the public. Once confirmed, it was publicised through traditional and social media channels. Further, we ensured that our key stakeholders were also advised.

It is most unfortunate that you were not aware of this procedural change which seemed to have negatively impacted the execution of your day-to-day activities.

We wish to advise, that as the country moves towards establishing 'new normal' standard operating procedures, we will be resuming this activity with some modifications in short order. In the interim, please contact me at 876-839-9417 so that arrangements can be made for your new driver's licence to be expedited.

On behalf of the commissioner general, I wish to again apologise for the inconvenience caused and assure you that that was not the organisation's intention.

Keep safe! “

We wish you all the best.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company? Telephone 876- 936-9436 or cell 876-484-1349 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail: Please include a contact phone number.

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