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Jan 14, 2013

Can municipal bodies legally withhold driver’s licenses?

Darrell Bradley

Late last week, Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, confirmed to News Five that residents who are behind in the payment of taxes will have to pay up those arrears, possibly through a payment plan, before they can receive or renew their drivers’ licenses. According to the Mayor, the Council is on an aggressive timetable of street construction and city restoration and needs the revenue. 


Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor [File: Friday, Jan 11th, 2013]

“We are in the process of for the first time linking all our databases so that our property and our trade database is linked with our traffic database. So that we have one master system which indicates to us every single resident and what every single resident procures in terms of services from the City: if you have a driver’s license, if you own a business, if you have a liquor license; if you own property and paying property taxes. And because we are connecting all of those systems, we have set a policy to say, if you owe us on any one of your accounts, then we will not provide services to you in respect of any service that you procure from the city. And the reason being is that it is very costly to provide the services that we provide. And this mechanism in terms of improving our technology has allowed us to be more efficient in collections. So if this person goes and they want a driver’s license, the system will pull up whether they owe any property taxes and we are asking them to settle the property taxes before we issue the driver’s license.”


Well, that might be the Mayor’s story, but will he stick to it? We’re not so sure, because the Ministry of Local Government has another view. The Ministry issued a press release this morning informing the public that the legal fee for the issuance of a driver’s license for the period of one year is thirty dollars. And according to the Ministry, residents are advised that once they meet the criteria for a driver’s license, they are not required to pay any more than the mandated thirty dollars. The release makes clear that the Council cannot legally withhold the licenses as a result. We’ll see how this battle plays out in the days ahead.

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16 Responses for “Can municipal bodies legally withhold driver’s licenses?”

  1. Storm says:

    Bradley thinks he is a law unto himself. I am starting to think he needs psychotherapy and medication.

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    The mayor has erred in his thinking and rationality. In the first instance, where are the subventions that Belize City receives from Central Government ? How is that being spent ? Let’s have an accounting of those taxes paid already before the mayor goes off half cocked? All drivers licenses , trade licenses, vehicles taxes and permits are paid in advance amongst others. The only tax that is paid in arrears is the property taxes since there must be an annual valuation before our taxes are assessed. We pay for all services the city provides but the mayor and city council abuse and steal the receipts. Why then are taxes so high then ? Belizeans are taxed at 60% on each dollar earned. Come on Bradley, stop bsing the people ; your scam is up. We want to see the numbers in the budget. We want to see how much you are creaming off the top and how much you are giving to your cronies and cohorts. You scoundrel, you blackguard!!

  3. Dan says:

    Storm, I think u are the one who needs it.

  4. Islander says:


  5. R.I. says:

    SOTRM & ROD NEED psychotherapy and medication.

  6. b.Jones says:

    How do you expect the city to run if you dont pay your taxes ? In America you lose property or even go to jail. Feel lucky that your only losing your driving “privileges” Belize.

  7. Ricky Malthus says:

    @b.jones. Mr. Jones, Belizeans are aware that they must pay taxes to pay all costs of City Council and Central Government operations . Our private research shows that Belizean pay up to 60 cents on each dollar earned to pay $1billion government operations out of $2.7 billion GDP. The idea that the Mayor can refuse city services to anyone because he/she didn’t pay city taxes is silly because it endangers the health, safety, and common good of all citizens. The other idea that Belizeans be put in jail and their properties confiscated is equally absurd . You asserted that this is done in AMERICA but our research team called our legal sources and said this is not the case. Only under extreme circumstances is this done and every care is taken not to take away the Constitutional rights of each citizen. In addition, citizens in AMERICA have a right to recover their property if confiscated. But Mr. jones, be careful not to spread legal heresy lest you plant the seeds of political oppression and then it is back to slavery again.

  8. Ixchel Pop says:

    The mayor need to realize that he is an elected official….when did he establish himself as the dictator? Such a windbag.

  9. me says:

    GUess what? more people wa drive without driver’s licenses and make counterfeits. anybody who makes these licenses can be paid off, just like poeple who issue visas and passports.
    people been doing it for years. so what?

  10. b.Jones says:

    @ Ricky. Denying driving privileges is not a form of services being denied. Having the legal ability to drive is a privilaged and not a right. which explains why it can be suspended or revoked. The same way you tried to paint thiefin Attorney Sal yesterday with a pretty brush is the same way you are now trying to paint the council with an ugly brush. In America you can and will lose your house if you dont pay your land tax through to process of the courts lein system. You will be 1st taken to civil court, judgement will be levied against you. if you can not pay the judgement a lein will then placed on your property. once a lein Is placed on your property the lein holder can then has the right to sell your property to collect what they are owed (thats if u dont pay off the lein) answer of course the lein holder is the town/county or city you live in. No if you cannot pay your income tax in America aimply Google wesly Snipes and many other actors, rappers & singers and uou will see jow much jail time they had to do or which house,car or gold chain they had to sell in order to be rid of the IRS.

    @Ricky, your facy dialects might work on the easy-going layed-back people of Belize but it sure wont work on us Belizean-Americans. America has trained us to recognize bs. You, your cronies & the criminals you all represent would be under the jail in America. Over here bs nuh walk bs run fast and far.

  11. alley cat says:

    You go to jail in the US for Tax evasion which is a little more than just not paying taxes. Declaring the wrong amount, concealing, misrepresenting etc… If you just don’t have the money to pay the tax then I think you just loose your property.

    Fat Joe is off to Prison for Tax Evasion…

  12. b.Jones says:

    Correct Alley Cat, which is why i originally said Belize should be glad its only driving privilege they are losing.

    p.s….You will also go to jail if you owe & refuse to pay and/or try to hide your assets.

    NEXT…The mayor should look to collect child support money from the man dem ….lol

  13. JESSE says:

    Lots of views here..In amercia if u dont pay taxes u go to jail(some say in here), belizean here,and i live in america,but here we have transparency,by law the people we elect tells us what they with our tax $$$$.we have good streets,great belize no such things exist.mayors like bradley the lawyer do what the hell they want an no one stop them.and th makeshm a dictator.

  14. Bigz says:

    He chancy. he wan tek up our bills by 10, tek away coye job. Now dis da wat he wan to do now.

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