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Make modifications official

Published:Sunday | June 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM
These two Mazda Demios are nearly identical, except for the vehicles' colour and number of doors. - Contributed
These two Mazda Demios are nearly identical, except for the vehicles' colour and number of doors. - Contributed
A tax collectorate in Portmore, St Catherine. - File

In this ongoing series of articles, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) advises the public on the required steps for conducting a variety of transactions which are necessary for motor vehicle owners and operators. Today, the TAJ gives advice on the documentation changes required when modifications are made to a motor vehicle.

After purchasing a motor vehicle and obtaining the requisite documents, drivers are at liberty to make modifications. However, these modifications have to be done within the confines of the law.

One of the most popular modifications to a vehicle is changing its colour. However, if you intend to change (or have changed) the colour of your vehicle, there are procedures that must be followed.

Examination fee

First, you must pay an examination fee at any Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) revenue service centre or tax office. Alternately, you can pay for the examination at the Swallowfield Depot, where TAJ operates a window for debit or credit card transactions only.

Following this, you must visit an Island Traffic Authority (ITA) Depot and present the vehicle's Certificate of Fitness, Certificate of Insurance and Motor Vehicle Registration Certificate. There, an inspector will examine the vehicle and check your Certificate of Fitness. An examination will also be carried out to ensure that it is the same vehicle for which the documents are being presented. The inspector will then note the colour change on your Certificate of Fitness.

Having completed this process, the inspector will provide you with the updated documents, which you will then take to the tax office for the records there to be updated.

If you have repainted your vehicle in the same colour as it was before, you are not required to go through the process as if you had done a complete colour change.

Other allowed modifications

Note also that other types of modifications can be made to your vehicle, such as body type, seating capacity, or the engine. Once any of these modifications have been carried out on the vehicle, the same procedure that applies for the colour change is applicable.

If a vehicle has been modified and the proper procedures have not been followed, legal action will be taken. Failure to indicate the changes, as required by law, is illegal. Therefore, if you make any significant modification to your vehicle, as previously indicated, you are legally bound to note this at a revenue service centre.

This is important, as your vehicle's physical appearance must match the corresponding documents. It is the only way law enforcement officials can verify that the vehicle described on record is the one which is actually being driven on the road. Any discrepancy may result in the belief that the vehicle was stolen and serious legal consequences can result.

For more information you may contact the TAJ Customer Care Centre at 1-888-Tax-Help (829-4357) or visit