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Simple steps to motor vehicle transfer

Published:Sunday | April 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Members of the public waiting to do transactions at the Constant Spring tax office.- File

Starting today, in a series of articles Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) will clearly outline a number of procedures necessary for motor vehicle transactions. The intention is for you, the Automotives reader, to understand these unavoidable processes as clearly as possible, making your interaction with a tax office you may visit to do 'car business' without unnecessary complication.

Motor vehicle transfers happen for various reasons, including the gift or sale of the vehicle. Whatever the situation, once ownership of a vehicle changes a transfer must be done.

To facilitate a transfer, the following documents are required:

1. Certificate of Title

2. Registration Certificate

3. Valid insurance cover note in buyer's name

4. Valid identification (e.g. Passport, Driver's Licence)

5. Valid Certificate of Fitness

6. Letter of authorisation along with the company's stamp (if application is for a company).

7. The discharge of lien, if a lien is attached to the vehicle.

8. A Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN).

9. Transfer fee

Both parties, as in the person who is handing over the vehicle (transferor) and the person who is receiving it (transferee), must visit the same tax office, though not necessarily at the same time, to have the transfer executed.

At the tax office the following will apply:

1. An officer will verify that all the required documents are present and in proper order.

2. The transfer will then be done on the reverse side of the title in the presence of the Collector of Taxes.

3. The transferee then pays the transfer fees and collects the receipt.

4. The transferee must then pay the required GCT or second sales tax on vehicles that are 10 years and more, and based on the cc rating or cwt/kilo rating.

5. The transferee, if already in possession of registration plates, must then submit the relevant receipt/documents for verification to the tax office.

6. This must be done before attaching the registration plates to the vehicle purchased. (Note that registration plates are not transferable from person to person and each pair of plates can only be assigned from one vehicle to another by the Collector of Taxes).

Like any process, potential roadblocks arise if the circumstances under which the transfer is done change. A common one is if a transfer is desired, but the original owner has died. In this case, the will of the deceased person will have to be invoked.

This process is conducted through the courts, where the will must be probated. Following this, the court will then appoint someone to dispose of the vehicle. That person would then have the authority to make the transfer, through the same procedure outlined above.

In the event there is no will, the process must go through the Administrator General's Department. In this case, a relative of the deceased must present to the department a Death Certificate, as well as proof of relationship. The Administrator General's Department will then, like the court, appoint someone to dispose of the motor vehicle.

That person will then accompany the buyer to the tax office, where the same procedure previously outlined is adhered to.

After the transfer, to obtain a Certificate of Title the transferee has to take the following steps:

1. Complete the 'Application for Motor Vehicle Transaction' MVO1 form.

2. Submit your Certificate of Fitness, Registration Certificate and Insurance Certificate of Cover Note.

3. Pay the required fee.

4. Collect the title in approximately three months.

It is recommended that persons not wait until they are ready to sell or give away the vehicle to apply for the title.

For additional information, you may contact the Tax Administration Jamaica Customer Care Centre at 1-888-TAX-HELP (829-4357) or visit the website www.jamaicatax.gov.jm.