Sando Licensing

Police officers speak to licensing officers at the inspection department at the licensing office in San Fernando yesterday. Licensing offices reopened to the public yesterday during phase three of the eased restrictions issued by the Government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the public are now required to make appointments online before conducting business. -Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

THERE was confusion yes­ter­day at Licensing offices around the country, with dozens of people showing up but unable to carry out transactions as they did not have appointments.

The situation was the same at the Caroni, Port of Spain and San Fernando offices.

The Express visited the Wrightson Road Licensing Office which, like most Government offices, had been closed at the end of March to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The new normal was explained yesterday by Assistant Transport Commissioner Junior Gordon, who said with licensing offices re­open­ing, new rules would apply to all.

“People coming in to do business was down to a trickle as they did not know the new normal as it pertains to Licensing,” said Gordon.

He explained any business that is to be done at Licensing offices will be done through an online appointment system or by phone, and only those with names that appear on the list generated by the appointments will be allowed into the building at their appointed time.

He said this reduces the number of people in the building at any one time, thereby preventing the spread of Covid-19.

He added while business is going on at its offices during working hours, staff is also there receiving appointments either via online or by phone, and by 3 p.m., a work roster for the following day is generated around these appointments and a list of people coming for these appointments is made.

He said if your name is not on that list, you would not be allowed to enter the building.

He explained after a duty roster is generated, an average time is allowed for each transaction and any disruption to that flow of appointees will throw off their entire work schedule for that day.

“For example, a vehicle transfer is expected to take 15 minutes,” he said, adding a person is given a specific time to come in, carry out their transaction and leave within that 15-minute period, so that the person whose appointment follows would not have a very long wait, if any.

He said links for Licensing services can be accessed through the Ministry of Works and Transport’s website, its Facebook page or by phone.