Transport Commissioner on shortage of vehicle inspection documents to end soon

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FILE PHOTO: A mechanic at Tone Automotive checks a vehicle at an inspection station in Marabella on October 28, 2021. –

Commissioner of Transport Clive Clarke said on Thursday, that his office was negotiating with officials at the Government Printery to end a shortage of vehicle inspection documents currently being experienced by some service-station operators.

Clarke was responding to concerns by service station operators who contacted Newsday last week on a possible shortage of the documents, including the inspection stickers.

He said, “There’s no shortage of stickers, there’s a shortage of books and we are trying to rectify that. That is a result of issues at the Government Printery.

Certificates are generated from books. It is an important step in getting an inspection sticker, along with the checklist. The driver is given a certificate and a sticker after a successful vehicle inspection.

“We got a commitment from them (Government Printery) that they would try to give us a few on Wednesday but we were given the checklist and not the book. They promised to do a few of the books today so hopefully we should get a slight relief.

“This is not a problem with the Licensing Authority, the issue lies with the printery but we are working on negotiating and getting it resolved to bring some relief by this week.”

Last week, the Ministry of Works and Transport moved the deadline to update inspection stickers and other expired licensing permits and documents from January 31 to August 1.

“So there is no reason to panic at this moment,” Clarke added.

Testing stations in Central, South and North Trinidad told Newsday they had gone almost two weeks without certificate books. Only one station in D’Abadie said it was neither able to access the books nor the stickers.

Association of Vehicle Inspection Station president Phillip Graves told Newsday his members were having difficulties operating with the present shortage of documents.

He confirmed the main issue was the shortage of certificate books. He couldn’t say if there was a shortage of stickers across the board as most of the complaints were about books.

“During the course of years this is something we have been dealing with. Sometimes the system works well where we get stickers, books and checklists available and there always comes a time where there is a shortage of supplies.

“Last year, between January and October were weren’t able to get the stickers. All these documents are essential to successfully complete an inspection process.”

Graves hoped the new system would be more efficient and would eliminate such issues.

“It’s not the fault of the garages, it’s the Government’s responsibility to provide the required documentation so we can do what we have to do.”

Communications Minister Symon de Nobriga said approximately 300 checklist books were delivered on Wednesday. Also, 300 inspection certificate books will be delivered on Friday. When asked what caused the disruption he explained, “The printery like so many other organisations did have resource challenges as staff (in the main production area) were begin quarantined. This would have impacted delivery timelines but they are working to ensure any delays are minimised.”

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