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Aug 3, 2017

City Wants to Personalize Your License Plates

The Belize City Council, as part of its revenue generating initiative, is selling personalized license plates to motorists.  The move has generated quite a buzz among car owners across the city, amid concerns from the Transport Department that the practice may very well be against the law.  Despite those apprehensions, City Hall is proceeding with the sale of custom vehicle identification as a means of bringing in extra income.  Mayor Darrell Bradley, himself an attorney, says he has looked at existing legislation pertaining to license plates and finds that the use of personalized license plates is not prohibited under law.

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“I think the benefit to them would be that they have something they want, so that if I want a license plate to say Marleni, like I could have that.  The law requires that there be certain things in terms of the licensing systems.  When you have a plate, that is an identification for your vehicle, for purposes of record keeping so that we looked at the law in relation to the legality of it.  It was perfectly legal.  There’s nothing in the law that prohibits this and I think it’s creative.  Other parts of the world do this, other parts of the Caribbean do this and this is the kind of thing that I am saying, why is it that the minister has to approve that? At the current moment we are selling these, so that what it will involve is just that engagement.  I mean it’s just having conversations to kind of ensure that we are very satisfied.  Our traffic manager works very closely with the Transport Department.  We don’t do things in isolation.  We did announce this but we made sure that we did the appropriate legal checks and so forth.  We made sure that the identification sequencing was proper, that we could ensure that whatever plates, that there won’t be any duplication, so that that name that’s ascribed there is your identification for your plate.  So that as long as we ensure that that is proper and the record is proper then there is no legality.  The law doesn’t have to say that, okay then a personalized license plate is authorized in the law.  It doesn’t prohibit it.”

 

Chief Transport Officer Tirso Galvez has gone on record to openly question the validity and legality of custom license plates.

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