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By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda Online
To refer by e-mail to this file use "bermuda-online.org/wheels" as your Subject
All tourists - airline via Bermuda International Airport or cruise ship or business visitors - should refer to Getting Around by Visitors.
Only one private four-wheeled vehicle per person or family or household unit is allowed in Bermuda - and only when that person can qualify by both residence and appropriately registered home or apartment unit. Presently, there is no limit on the number of mopeds or scooters a family may have.
Residents include locals and Work Permit approved newcomers and their dependents, and those buying or leasing a property or retired. They can apply for a Bermuda Driver's license from the Transport Control Department (TCD) of the Bermuda Government - 11 North Street, Hamilton HM 17, Post Office Box HM 718, Hamilton HM CX. Or telephone (441) 292 1271, if resident for 30 consecutive days or can prove they will. Visitors to Bermuda are not allowed to rent cars, nor may they borrow a locally registered car and drive it, even when they have relatives living locally. All persons driving cars in Bermuda must have a valid Bermuda-issued driving license, issued only to Bermudians or residents. Non-local drivers' licenses - those issued outside Bermuda by any country - are not valid in Bermuda.
In April 2007 the TCD began an island-wide deployment of an Electronic Vehicle Registration (EVR) system. It went into full effect on July 1, 2008. Based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, EVR is used to maintain an accurate registration of the island’s 47,000+ 4-wheel or more vehicles and motorcycles. RFID tags on each vehicle interact with strategically placed readers around the island to ensure that all vehicles are properly registered, insured and inspected. The system operates similar to electronic tolling, popular in high volume traffic centers around the world and combats vehicle owners who break the law by driving around with no license or insurance. The Government does not include motorcycles and mopeds in EVR.
In every year there are thousands of road traffic accidents and numerous road fatalities in Bermuda's 21 square miles and 69,400 people. This is a trend that is alarming and starting to affect almost every local family and many visitors. Riding mopeds and scooters are the most common form of injury to locals and visitors by a very wide margin.
When involved in any kind of accident involving injury to a person or damage to a vehicle, call the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) at 911. This is particularly important because insurance companies will not entertain claims without a police report. To do so, it is recommended all drivers have a cell phone available. Insurance companies will not honor claims unless there is a Police report. Involved parties should always exchange names, addresses, home and business phone numbers and insurance companies. If you decide to pay for any damage you have caused without calling the Police, have an independent witness to verify the transaction to prevent fraud. Keep your most important ID papers with you. Expect the Police to tell you, if the other driver does not, that the latter is licensed and insured. If not, object and decline to pay any damage yourself or via your insurance company.
The Bermuda Government collects money from services provided by the BPS, which processes more than 1,000 requests for traffic accident reports every year. From April 1, 2011 the new fee for a traffic report is $100. If the BPS does not find the necessary information on the traffic accident it will refund half of the fee. The fee to interview a police officer and supply of evidence for civil proceedings has increased to $100.
The new charges increase the cost for insurers but it should be noted a traffic accident report is only required in either serious or contentious accidents or to settle claims submitted to insurance companies.
Are under the control and administration of the Transport Control Department - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org - of the Ministry of Transport of the Bermuda Government. It manages and regulates public and private transportation in Bermuda, including the airport, weather services, buses and ferries.
"Traffic congestion in Bermuda is really becoming a headache. " So has said advertisements by the Ministry of Transport, Department of Marine & Ports Services, for its Sea Express ferry service. Whichever way you travel when in Bermuda, note that the density per square mile of motor traffic on the roads is one of the highest in the world - more than 2,300 vehicles per square mile. (Most tourists don't commute during rush hours, so don't see the traffic chaos then). Also, many tourists on mopeds - one behind the other as two abreast is a no-no - go well below the speed limit, which makes locals want to pass them. (Nor does it help tourists or newcomers when locals pass them at double the speed limit, usually with no detection by Police).
A traffic study conducted by or on behalf of the Transport Control Department (TCD) a few years ago said that if Bermuda had more than 15,000 cars on its total area of 21 square miles, it would reach saturation point. According to year-end 2008 TCD figures, the number of vehicles on Bermuda's 37 miles of roads were then as follows:
48,571 registered vehicles in Bermuda in 2008 (when last counted) compared with 6,000 on March 1, 1951.
The current figure includes 4,397 privately-owned cycles under 55 cc, 1,582 livery cycles (rent units), 15,677 motorcycles over 50cc, 22,600 private cars, 4,074 trucks, tank wagons and 600 taxis.
The figures above are the equivalent of over every member of Bermuda's adult population having a motorized vehicle on the roads.
Note that some businesses - for example, those that deliver groceries to a home, visitor at an efficiency unit or business - are allowed only one truck. Overall, the traffic situation is so bad - so crowded - that 120 proposals are being studied for possible implementation. They include further limiting car ownership - already long reduced to a maximum of one per household - by any or all of the following:
In July 2008 legislation to cut down the number of cars clogging Bermuda's roads was enacted. The new Motor Car and Landlord and Tenant Amendment Acts 2008 attempt to shut a loophole which allows people to have more than one registered vehicle per household. Methods to enforce the rule more rigorously include making people show two bills to prove their residence, and rendering landlords accountable. Those breaking the law face having their vehicle registration cancelled and prosecution. Reducing traffic would help cut air pollution, congestion, fuel consumption and increasing road safety concerns.
In April 2007 it was announced that curbs on single and childless foreigners owning cars are on the cards as Government clamps down on Bermuda’s increasingly clogged roads. And a bill will be passed in the coming parliamentary session limiting the amount of cars available to expatriates in companies holding more than ten work permits. The measures were among a slew of initiatives announced by Premier Ewart Brown who hinted free public transport was on the way. Measures include:
Government is planning to move against the second-hand car market which it blames for increasing vehicles on the roads as people upgrade but happily cash in on their old one. A 2002 transport report showed that 52 percent of vehicles on the road were second-hand. New restrictions might allow motorists to offload cars overseas so there was no net gain of vehicles on the road. Many of the policies were still being worked on, including the curb on car numbers for foreign workers in larger firms. It may be that employers will be expected to ration out vehicles, to include international businesses. It will be done by a formula that will give the business a certain number of cars and they will work out the distribution in-house. The measure would limit the expat from “buying a car at will” and also place the burden on employers to know their workers and assess their genuine needs. Additionally the Ministry of Tourism and Transport is actively formulating a policy on car ownership by our guest workers that will operate as a significant deterrent to the single or childless worker or couple owning a car. Work is also being done to curb abuse of assessment numbers with landlords leaving apartments empty to allow their family to run more than one car. Another trick, soon to be outlawed, is where landlords nab an assessment number for their own family’s use before renting out an apartment. It’s thought at least 200 cars could be taken out of circulation via rigorous enforcement of the one car per assessment number rule. Lost public transport revenue could be recouped by a variety of methods including increased gasoline tax.
Significant proposals have been made in recent years to cut down on the number of vehicles on the roads. There are also some huge anomalies. Some government ministers, through their use of GP (government) cars, are the leading exemplars of the abuse of the one car per household rule in Bermuda. Would all Ministers give up their most obvious perk? Unlikely. Should expatriates, who cost the Government no votes, be targeted? They say no. Government has made good progress on making public transport more accessible. The crackdown on abuse of assessment numbers was long overdue, and the move to impound vehicles of illegal drivers was also welcomed as a safety measure, as was the long-awaited demerits system, although neither of the latter two policies have a major effect on the amount of traffic. The moratorium on truck licenses will do something to reduce traffic. Should expatriates be banned from owning cars? No, not unless Bermuda is to apply even more restrictions on expatriates already facing more restrictions in Bermuda than in any other jurisdiction. A better policy on car ownership would be a points system, in which age, family, length of residence in Bermuda, physical needs and the like were all taken into account, and which applied to Bermudians and non-Bermudians alike. Thus, a 25-year-old single person would have less right to own a car than a couple in their 30s with two school-age children.
All the above are among the extremely dangerous habits of residents that should be avoided at all costs by tourists.
In its total land area of 21 square miles, Bermuda has more vehicle accidents per square mile than anywhere else in the world. More than a thousand unsuspecting visitors end up in hospital each year because they have accidents on these vehicles.
For detailed statistics on accidents, ask the Bermuda Government or Bermuda Police.
See Transport Control Dept.
See Transport Control Dept. They are the world's most expensive by far. Costs of annual registration and licensing or licensing of private cars and other vehicles in Bermuda vary greatly, depending on the licensing class of the vehicle. All costs shown are annual, in Bermuda/ US $. See http://www.gov.bm/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=253&&PageID=477&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true. From April 1, 2010 annual licenses were raised by 5%. Private bikes with engines under 50cc now cost $58.40. Motorcycle licenses are between $83 and $146, depending on engine size. Car and instructional vehicle licenses cost between $281 and $1,551, depending on length. Taxi licenses are $302.95. They are payable to the Bermuda Government's Accountant General. The prerequisites are that the vehicle must be passed beforehand by inspection, paying the annual vehicle examination fee, and be covered by a prepaid Insurance certificate. Once the applicable annual fee shown below is paid, a decal is placed on the windscreen and the registration goes in the accompanying pocket.
|Licensing class||Length of vehicle or cc other measurement||Available to|
|Airport Limo 1||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Airport Limo 2||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Boat trailer||for use by bona fide clubs or members||only those who qualify|
|Boat trailer||for commercial use||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Bus, community service||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Bus, mini||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Cycle - Auxiliary||no more than 50 cc||anyone who qualifies|
|Cycle License plate||N/A||anyone who qualifies|
|Cycle - livery||N/A||tourist or newcomer usually|
|Community Service||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Duplicate Vehicle License|
|Farm tractor (FT)||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Fuel tanker||From June 2011 maximum weight of fully loaded fuel tankers went up 50 percent, from 22,000 pounds to 33,000 pounds||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Hearse||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Heavy trailer||SP & HT||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Heavy truck, class A||From June 2011 the upper limit for Class A trucks went from 14,000 pounds to 18,000 pounds||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Heavy truck, class B||From June 2011 the upper limit for Class B trucks went from 20,000 pounds to 22,500||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Heavy truck, class C||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Heavy truck, class X||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Intermediate trailer||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Intermediate truck||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|License Plate (non cycle)||N/A|
|Light trailer (LT)||N/A||only those who qualify|
|Light truck||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Mini Bus||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Motorcycle||51-100cc||anyone who qualifies|
|Motorcycle||102-125cc||anyone who qualifies|
|Motorcycle||126-150cc||anyone who qualifies|
|Motor Taxi||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Private Car Class A||Up to 138 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Private Car Class B||138 to 144 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Private Car Class C||144 to 150 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Private Car Class D||150 to 156 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Private Car Class E||156 to 162 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Private Car Class F||162 to 166 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Private Car Class G||166 to 169 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Private Car Class H||More than 169 inches long||anyone who qualifies, one per household|
|Special garbage collection vehicle||From June 2011 the upper limit rose from 30,000 pounds to 36,000 pounds.||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Tractor trailer||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Vehicle Registration Transfer Fee|
|Water truck, class B||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
|Water truck, class C||N/A||Bermudians only who qualify|
Custom (otherwise known as personalized or vanity) American-style but Bermudianized license plates for private cars were allowed by law from mid 2000.
Private car Class A - 2011 annual license fee $281.05 - include
Private Car Class B - 2011 annual license fee $386.90 - include
Private Car Class C - 2011 annual license fee $547.50 - include
Private Car Class D - 2011 annual license fee $675.25 - include
Private Car Class E - 2011 annual license fee $945.35 - include
Private Car Class F - 2011 annual license fee $1095.00 - include
Private Car Class G - 2011 annual license fee $1273.95 - include
Private Car Class H - 2011 annual license fee $1551.25 - include
In view of the huge local cost of gasoline (called petrol in the UK), at more than three times the consumer cost of gasoline in the USA - prospective buyers may wish to buy the vehicles offering the cheapest fuel cost, such as the Toyota Prius, shown first left, if the engine and cc fit in Bermuda.
Cars include the following but unlike in the USA, UK and Europe where warranties extend for at least three years and sometimes up to 10 years, a typical Bermuda warranty will be for one year (although all new Toyota models have a 3-year warranty). Because of the huge customs duty rates on cars, local dealerships - to reduce their duty obligations - often ask the exporting companies (sometimes not the actual vehicle manufacturer) to reduce the declared value of a car while increasing non-dutiable charges such as shipping and commission. The importer pays the exporter the same amount for the product but the cost of duty is less.
|Auto Solutions, from May 6, 2013, in place of Holmes, Williams and Purvey||Daihatsu, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Volkswagen||St. John's Road, Pembroke|
|Bermuda Motors||Ford, Fiat, Kia, Mini, Toyota||63 Church Street, Hamilton HM 12. Phone 292-0093, fax 295-6397. Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm. Rover, Citroen, BMW Mini, Daewoo, Maruti|
|Continental Motors||Peugeot||North Shore, Pembroke, phone 292-8891.|
|Eurocar Limited||Renault||2 Woodlands Road, Pembroke HM 07. Phone 292-3240|
|Executive Autos Ltd||Mercedes Benz||2 Woodlands Road, Pembroke, Phone 297-2369|
|Prestige Autos Ltd||Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Dodge Caliber||
2 Woodlands Road, Pembroke HM 09. 278-3535
|RayClan Chevrolet||Chevrolet (smaller size than US models, with right hand drive, made in South Korea). 2 year warranty from dealer|| 8
Addendum Lane, Pembroke.
Effective 1 January 2004, under The Motor Car Act 1951 and Motor Car (Seat Belts) Regulations 2002, seat belts in cars are required, with certain approved exemptions. Expensive import duty is payable on seatbelts. Adults sitting in the front seat must wear a seat belt in all 4 -wheeled vehicles including Commercial and Taxis. Adults in the rear seat are not required to do so. Children from birth to one year and 20 lbs in weight must be in a rear facing seat. Children from 1 year and 20lbs to 40 lbs must be in a forward-facing child seat. Children from 40 to 80 lbs must use a seat belt positioning device or booster seat. All children are safest in the back seat. The wording "one year" and "lbs" may sound awkward but is used in all jurisdictions to emphasize that the child must meet both the age and weight minimum to progress to the next seat. The driver of the vehicle is legally responsible for ensuring compliance and may be fined for non-compliance. Occupants 18 and older are legally responsible for themselves. Older cars with no seat belts are not required to be modified. Non-compliance otherwise attracts a fine. No new cars will be allowed in without seatbelts fitted. Only those with old cars without seatbelts at all will be exempted.
Automobiles are imported at a Bermuda Government import duty rate of up to 150%. Adults with a qualifying local residence may own and drive one private car for their household. If they are acquired second-hand instead of new, it is vital that the current owner have the vehicle "tested for transfer" - have it inspected and approved before passing it to the new owner- and that he or she immediately register the new car. It should be remembered that only one person or couple may own the vehicle at any one time. Ensuring the proper paperwork is done at all times is essential. If registered owners or co-owners don't drive their private cars themselves, those whom they authorize to do so must have current private car driver's licenses. Only local medical doctors may own a second car. Only the Bermuda Government owns a fleet of private cars. They are used by government employees on business which means their spouses or families can use their own private cars.
All in this category of private cars must be saloons, sedans, hatchbacks, or station wagons. Light trucks, pickups, trucks, vans and other vehicles that carry freight are NOT private cars but "commercial vehicles" and may NOT be owned by individuals, only by qualifying businesses - local businesses, not international or more than 40 percent not locally-owned businesses. If a business is no longer in operation, it must return the license. This ruling effectively deprives any newcomer from abroad from owning any kind of truck or pickup or van. Most have steering on the RIGHT.
Rates can vary considerably in Bermuda, where only a Bermudian insurance company can insure a vehicle. For a list of Bermudian insurers see under "Insurance Companies, Local" in Bermuda Employers. To see how they compare in prices to American insurers see
|Added Speed||Formerly known as Sub-Zero Racing. Phone 296-2566.|
|Ambrosia Cycles||6 Market Lane, Pembroke. Phone 292-2205. Fax 292-2391.|
|The Bike Place||70 Main Road, Somerset, next to Sandys Hardware|
|Cycles International||Middle Road, Southampton. Phone 238-5050.|
|Cycle Care Repairs & Parts||2 Woodlands Road North, Pembroke. Phone 295-0003|
|Eurocar Ltd||2 Woodlands Road North, Pembroke. Phone 292-3240 (sales), or 296-8400 or 292-7062 (service). Renault bikes.|
|Eve's Cycles||Paget and St. George's. Phone 236-6247.|
|EZ Rider||7 Dundonald Street, Hamilton. Phone 777-3500|
|Howard's Cycles||Victoria and Union Streets, Hamilton|
|IME Import/Export Co.||Phone 232-1079.|
|Oleander Cycles||Now also includes Dowling Cycles. Various locations. Phone 236-5235.|
|Smatt's||74 Pitt's Bay Road, Pembroke HM 06. Telephone 295-1180.|
|Wheels Cycles (Hamilton) Ltd||13 Dundonald Street, Hamilton. Phone 295-0112.|
|World Distributors Ltd||Motorcycles and scooters. 49 Serpentine Road, Pembroke. Phone 295-2329.|
Helmets are required on all these vehicles. This is a source of revenue for the government as expensive import duty is payable on them. A moped has larger wheels, a scooter small wheels. Mopeds, with their bigger wheels, are generally considered to be safer than scooters. Presently, there are a large number of 2-stroke mopeds and scooters, but they are being phased out in favor of 4-stroke vehicles.
With the passage of the Motorcycles and Auxiliary Bicycles Amendment Act 2002, it is illegal to import and sell 2-stroke motor cycles over 50cc after 31 December 2004. 125cc and 150cc sizes will be allowed, as was the case decades ago. Currently, because of the shortage beyond Bermuda of 100 cc units, local distributors must import 125 and 115 cc models and convert them to 100 cc. Customers pay for this expensive process. Individual driver's licenses are required, irrespective of whether an owner already has a local license to drive an automobile. Like automobiles, mopeds and scooters must be inspected, insured for at least Third Party liability, licensed and registered annually. The average price for a new model, with extra locks and basket as extras, is about $3, 000.
Newcomers to Bermuda should be aware that while they can be fun to drive, instead of a car - and can be parked outside apartments and homes which do not allow another car to be registered there - they can be treacherous in rains and gales; much more dangerous than a car; and hugely more liable to theft. The theft rate is about 70% based on the fact that in 2004 alone, three out of four vehicles owned by friends of the author living in different parts of Bermuda have been stolen. It is a very serious social problem. It costs insurers millions of dollars a year each and has caused massive increases in insurance premiums.
Insured persons have the choice of insuring for comprehensive insurances less excesses if there is no loan on the vehicle, or third party only - which means no insurance payout to the owner, only to an appropriate third party. An extra insurance is levied on all vehicles but it does not include any payment to persons whose vehicle is stolen.
Some newcomers have had as many as three different bikes stolen in one year. All newcomers should get their new vehicles U-Marked by the police, working with the dealer, before they take delivery, even if they have to wait longer. It will make criminals hesitate but it will not deter them in the slightest. It is also essential that not just one but two good locks be bought and used religiously. When a claim is made from a theft is reported to the insurance company involved, there is at least a two week waiting period while the insurance company checks with the Bermuda Police to see that a theft was reported. Of bikes are not recovered during that time, the insurance company will issue a settlement check. If bike parts are stolen, there will be at least a $200 excess. Because of the alarming rate of theft, it is virtually impossible to get third part, fire and theft for a reasonable price.
Unlike visitors who are strictly limited to 50 cc rented vehicles, residents may own and operate mopeds or similar with a maximum 93 dbA noise limit.
It is also illegal to alter the color of back lights, which must be red.
Illegal in Bermuda.
A local trade group of automobile dealers.
There is also the Bermuda Automobile Dealers Association. They also handle commercial vehicles imported at a lower Bermuda Government import duty rate. They include light vans, pickups, trucks, buses. Limited to registered businesses and often with only one per business. Not allowed instead of saloon cars or sedans or hatchbacks.
Includes pleasure yachts and other pleasure craft. See under "Boats" in Watersports. There is no restriction on how many, size or type a person may have, but all must be licensed annually and some require licensed moorings. Expect to pay from $79,000 for a 20' 6 inch boat new. Customs Duties (import duties) on all new boats were reduced from 55% to 22.25% from April 1, 2009. All boat owners who claim on their insurance for damage should be prepared to offer their insurer proof that their mooring has recently been inspected - every year or every other year depending on mooring and insurer. Mooring certificates are required.
The Maritime Offences Procedure Act 2006 provisions include giving Police officers, Marine and Ports Services Officers and Fisheries Inspectors the power to issue tickets for a wide range of offences. The recipient will be able to pay within seven days without the need for the matter to go to court. Among the on-the-spot fines that could be issued are:
(See under Automobile insurance).
In early April 2009 it was reported in The Royal Gazette that Government could introduce congestion charging in a bid to encourage greater energy conservation through car pooling.Minister of Energy Terry Lister announced the moves to the House of Assembly in the statement: 'A National Policy Consultation on Energy Debate.' As part of Government's Green Paper on a national energy policy, Mr. Lister said campaigns will be rolled out to encourage energy conservation. This will include changing the public's attitude to transport. Mr. Lister said Bermuda had one of the highest densities of motorised vehicles in the world at almost 2,300 vehicles per square mile, and each liter of petrol produced 2.3 kg of CO2 (carbon dioxide). Carpooling will reduce dependency on fossil fuels and ease congestion. Public relations campaigns and incentives such as congestion charging based on occupancy are options to encourage carpooling. "Congestion charging has already been adopted in many European cities to cut down on traffic and pollution. For example, motorists travelling into central London between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday pay a daily charge of £8 sterling. Cameras at the charging zone's entry points match car number plates against a database of vehicles whose drivers have paid the charge. Anyone who has not paid by the end of the day is fined £80.
Drivers who already have a valid licence from an overseas country should contact the TCD to find out whether they have to take a full test or are exempted from all or part of it, at least for the first year of residency, as all other Western countries and business jurisdictions allow. (There, only after the first year is it necessary to take a written and practical driving test for a regular license (valid for ten years or until the age of 65, whichever is the sooner, after 65 on a much more restricted basis).
Bermuda has no reciprocal arrangements with the United Kingdom or Canada or USA or any Caribbean island for mutual recognition of driving licenses. It means that when Bermudians or non-Bermudian newcomers go to the UK to work or study, they are not allowed to have the same arrangements there as do those holding driving licenses from Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Switzerland. However, in some overseas jurisdictions, on a discretionary basis, Bermudians and Bermuda residents may be allowed to drive on their valid Bermuda licenses if they are visitors for up to a certain period. In all cases they should check this out in advance with the authority of the country they wish to visit. But the same gesture is not extended by the Bermuda Government to newcomers retiring or working or visiting Bermuda.
Newcomers from abroad may have to wait for a few weeks before they can get a local license and in the meantime are strictly forbidden to drive any 4 or 2 wheeled vehicle until then, except a rental moped or scooter. To obtain a local driving license, an application form must be completed, handwritten in block capitals, with acceptable proof of identity and age (such as birth certificates or passports) presented as well. The application includes a Declaration on physical fitness of the applicant which must be signed by a local medical practitioner. This necessitates a medical appointment with one at the applicant's cost.
Since September 2004, a Bermuda driver's licence has been in a new, redesigned photo ID format meeting international standards. It also contains numerous security features, such as micro-printing, images visible via ultraviolet light, and a holographic image of the Bermuda crest.
The full Bermuda residential address must be given as Post Office Box numbers and businesses addresses are not accepted. The correct Land Valuation Assessment Number of the residential property concerned must be shown.
Non-Bermudian applicants for a public service or commercial vehicle license - distinct from a private car license - must have a permit from the Department of Immigration. A Driving Test is required to be taken, arranged by appointment only (via telephone numbers 292-2255 or 292-1271) and must be confirmed by 12:00 noon on the previous working day or will be subject to cancellation.
The Driving Test is in two parts, practical - with an official Examiner with you, on the road, to assess your skill - and written. A separate appointment is required for the written part, which will test your knowledge of the local Highway Code. (A booklet is available at moderate cost as a guide). Both parts of the test are carried out by the Examinations Section of the Transport Control Department, on North Street in the city of Hamilton. Newcomers must pass both parts to be issued with an automobile's registration, licensing and a current Bermuda driver's license (recognized by most overseas jurisdictions for up to six months).
Applicants for a driver's licence can take the test on an ATM-like touch-screen computer terminal that will automatically record the answers selected and grade the test. Each test is individually constructed in a random fashion from a database of over 250 questions. This makes certain that no two test applicants ever get the same test, and goes a long way in protecting the integrity of the tests by virtually eliminating cheating.
Bermuda drivers' licenses are now valid for up to ten years for most applicants (until 65 years old), when they expire automatically. They, and the vehicle's annual registration, expire on the applicant's (owner's) birthday. When there are co-owners as well, the owner or co-owner with the first birthday during the calendar year is the one selected for the vehicle's annual registration date. In Bermuda, unlike all countries overseas, persons aged between 65-74 years require a medical and competency certificate every third year. Those 75 years or older require an annual medical and competency certificate.
If your Bermuda Driving License has expired, bring it with you and contact directly the Transport Control Department about when it expired, your age and driving record abroad, whether it can be renewed without testing, what time limits apply if applicable and what the fee will be. Be prepared to wait at TCD until your turn comes to be served.
See Transport Control Dept.
A license granted to drive one type of vehicle (for example, a private car) does NOT qualify the applicant to drive any other type of vehicle. Separate Driving Tests are required for all other types of vehicles. Details of other types of vehicles for which you have passed the appropriate tests and are licensed to drive are entered on your Driver's License.
Bermuda is one of the most expensive places in the world to purchase and operate any motor vehicle, partly because of extremely high import duties on motor vehicles. Plus, there are high annual costs of vehicles - more than twice those imposed by London, 4 or more times the cost of most American cities.
Government import duty on motor vehicle parts was raised less than a decade ago from 22.5 to 33.5 percent of FOB cost for importers, substantially more for consumers. Government import duty on cars was raised at the same time from 55 percent to 75 percent and higher of F.O.B. cost for importers, substantially more for consumers.
Owners of vehicles pay hugely more per square mile for annual licensing of their vehicles than anywhere else in the world.
A system is in effect covering all types of violations.
Drivers in Bermuda of cars or auxiliary cycles or motorbikes or any other type of vehicle caught under the influence of alcohol (the legal limit of alcohol is 80 mgs in 100 mls (mL) of blood) or drugs merit on conviction automatic suspension of all driving privileges for no more than one year and also a $1,000 fine.
This is, unfortunately for Bermuda and its reputation for driving, where there is already a higher concentration of traffic than anywhere else in the world, a low penalty and not a criminal offence - unlike in the USA, Canada and UK where it taken much more seriously for its potential impact on drivers, passengers and the general public. There is no USA or Canada type long automatic suspension of 3 or more years plus mandatory driving class, anger management class or drug or alcohol program. There is a Bermuda Professional Counselling Service DUI program (phone 296-6785 or 799-3938) but it is neither mandatory nor free. As a result, there are more road deaths per square mile and injuries from speeding vehicles than anywhere else in the world on a country-by-country basis. Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is a deadly menace on Bermuda roads. It has a potentially very serious impact on all residents, visitors, tourists and newcomers.
Illegal. Will incur a fine recently increased from $1,000 to $2,000 plus penalties including demerit points and likely disqualification. But innocent motorists pay a penalty too, a surcharge on their insurance rates, as most jurisdictions abroad also impose. (See Motor Insurers Fund).
Illegal. Abusers are disqualified from driving.
Not the type for the physically handicapped or disabled (which must also be licensed and insured by both locals and tourists). Now sold are EVT electric scooters, extensively tested them on Bermuda's roads since the fall of 2006 and deemed to have good performance and reliability. Currently for sale they now have the battery charger already on board allowing the bikes to be connected directly to a regular 110 volt power outlet.
Legislation to update vehicles' emissions testing was passed in the House of Assembly in March 2009 with cross-Party support for it and enactment of the Motor Car Amendment Act 2009 and the Auxiliary Bicycles Amendment Act 2009.The Motor Car Amendment Act 2009 amended the Motor Car Act 1951 to state that examination of motor vehicles now includes testing for compliance with approved emissions standards. The Act also amends the Government Fees Regulations 1976 to increase examination fees to take into account emissions-testing. Bermuda Emissions Control (BEC) commenced vehicles examinations in April 2009, testing exhaust emissions to reduce pollution. Fees rose from $30 to $45 for vehicles with four or more wheels, and from $21 to $31 for those with less than four.
Available for working commuters as well as visitors. See under "Ferries" in Transportation for Visitors.
A Bermuda Government committee under the Motor Car Act 1951 to determine the fitness or otherwise of licensed Bermuda drivers, especially those over 75 years old. See Bermuda Government Boards.
Established on July 1, 1990 at the initiative of local insurance companies who agreed with the Bermuda Government to establish a method of compensation for people injured by uninsured drivers or untraced drivers in “hit and run” cases. All drivers who buy or renew motor insurance in Bermuda pay a surcharge of $5 per bike and $10 per car. However, the maximum payout the fund can make is $250,000. Exists because of a serious problem of uninsured and unlicensed vehicles despite police searches and periodic traffic delays for the purpose. An uninsured vehicle on its own and with a rider are a burden for the Motor Insurer’s Fund should they cause an accident or bodily harm to another individual.
Bermuda Government appointed under the Motor Car Act 1951, members are shown in Bermuda Government Boards.
Unlike in the United Kingdom, etc there are no consumer laws offering Bermuda consumers any protection on used cars. Before buying a used car, take certain precautions. It's hugely important to get from the person selling the car that he or she is in fact the present sole legal owner of the car and can prove this by production of not only the registration certificate but the insurance certificate both in the same name as the owner and his or her driving license. Always insist on the present owner, not you as a possible buyer, getting and paying for a transfer-test for that vehicle from the Transport Control Department. But do not rely in this alone, as it is largely limited to paintwork and lights. Always get a good garage to make a thorough inspection for roadworthiness and make an offer conditional on this. It will cost you to do this but is well worth the cost. Then, get an indication from your insurance company on the present insurance value of the vehicle as an indication of market price. And ask or do the following:
Once you make an offer to buy a vehicle in writing, you will be held to it.
See Get Round. Imported at a Bermuda Government import duty rate of 10%.
Available brands include Bridgestone, Dunlop, Goodyear and Kelly. Sizes for automobiles are 12-17 inches. Most cars in Bermuda are front-wheel drive which means more weight on the front wheels, making the tires wear faster.
Last Updated: May
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