The V.I. Bureau of Motor Vehicles, beginning today, facilitates online registration of vehicles. By ERNICE GILBERT/VICONSORTIUM
Starting today, automobile owners can skip the interminable wait at the Virgin islands Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and renew their vehicle registrations online.
The move into the 21st century is one of a series of major advances at the BMV announced by Barbara Jackson-McIntosh on Thursday.
Effective today, January 31st, drivers can sign-up for online registration at www.bmv.vi.gov. “Once you’ve registered, you will be prompted to access your account, select the service – that you want to renew – and make your payment,” Ms. Jackson-McIntosh explained to a Government House press gathering to unveil the changes.
The web-based interactions with BMV are expected to be “seamless, easy and hassle-free,” the director said. “It is our goal, and our vision, to be a leader in e-government services in the Virgin Islands.”
Owners will receive their new registration and sticker by mail in four to six week. Because of the long lag time, motorists are encouraged to go online to register at least three months before registration documents expire.
According to Ms. Jackson-McIntosh’s findings, vehicle owners on the mainland wait an average of three months to receive car registration documents.
The inspection regime is undergoing some changes, as well.
(BMV Director Barbara Jackson-McIntosh) - Photo Credit: Ernice Gilbert for VI Consortium
If your vehicle has to be inspected, you must go to the Bureau’s usual inspection lanes. Once the physical vehicle inspection is complete, there is no need to go into the BMV offices to complete the inspection process.
“You don’t have to wait in line. You don’t have to turn your papers in to the customer service windows,” the director said. “You drive out. You go to your cell phone, your smart phone, your laptop, tablet, iPad or whatever electronic device that your use. Go online at www.bmv.vi.gov and start the process” of finalizing the vehicle inspection.
According to her findings, vehicle owners on the mainland wait an average of three months to receive documents. The V.I. BMV processed 75,000 registrations last year, she added.
If your vehicle does not need to be inspected, “ … there’s no reason to come to the Bureau at all,” Ms. Jackson-McIntosh said.
New cars – those less than six-years-old – don’t need inspection. Vehicles that are six to eight years old must be inspected every other year. And vehicles that are more than 10 years old must be inspected every year.
For interactions on the website, BMV customers must use their driver’s license number as the customer number, and then enter the required information and pay the fees.
The department has also “rebranded” the BMV, Ms. Jackson-McIntosh said.
Within the next two years, all services through the BMV should be online, the director said. Renewing drivers’ licenses should be available “by the end of the summer,” but only “Real ID” licenses issued after 2018 will be eligible. Customer forms will be available on the website and Facebook page.