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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 21, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesVENDOR NON-PAYMENT CITED IN LICENSE CUT-OFF

VENDOR NON-PAYMENT CITED IN LICENSE CUT-OFF

The mystery of why no drivers' licenses are being issued in the territory appears to have been solved. A vendor payment problem gets most of the blame.
Police Commissioner Franz Christian said Thursday that new regulations concerning Social Security numbers are not the cause of the holdup. Motor Vehicles Bureau director Lawrence Olive had said on Wednesday that a new federal "mandate" required the territory to stop issuing licenses until the line for the driver's Social Security number was removed from the cards.
Not so, said Christian. He said there are several reasons licenses are not being issued, one of them having to do with Social Security but involving no federal directive.
First, and most important, he said, the Puerto Rico vendor that produced the license forms has outstanding invoices that have not been paid.
The other reasons, Christian said, relate to the fact that the supply of license cards the Motor Vehicles Bureau had on hand were returned to the vendor for replacement with a new design. This, he said, was because:
– The old format is easy to duplicate to make illegal licenses.
– The old licenses fade readily.
– Because of citizen complaints about use of the driver's Social Security number as the license number, the new cards will have a separate license number in addition to the Social Security number.
– The new license cards will have a line for drivers to indicate whether they wish to be organ donors.
Horacio Kier, Highway Safety computer systems manager, said the lack of a seal on the old cards made them easy to duplicate. The new ones will have a holographic overlay that will resolve the problem, he said.
Hugh Mabe, assistant U.S. attorney, and Robert Caraballo, Social Security district manager, said they had no knowledge of a federal mandate such as Olive cited. Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen's staff was looking into the matter. Efforts to contact Olive Thursday were unsuccessful.

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The mystery of why no drivers' licenses are being issued in the territory appears to have been solved. A vendor payment problem gets most of the blame.
Police Commissioner Franz Christian said Thursday that new regulations concerning Social Security numbers are not the cause of the holdup. Motor Vehicles Bureau director Lawrence Olive had said on Wednesday that a new federal "mandate" required the territory to stop issuing licenses until the line for the driver's Social Security number was removed from the cards.
Not so, said Christian. He said there are several reasons licenses are not being issued, one of them having to do with Social Security but involving no federal directive.
First, and most important, he said, the Puerto Rico vendor that produced the license forms has outstanding invoices that have not been paid.
The other reasons, Christian said, relate to the fact that the supply of license cards the Motor Vehicles Bureau had on hand were returned to the vendor for replacement with a new design. This, he said, was because:
- The old format is easy to duplicate to make illegal licenses.
- The old licenses fade readily.
- Because of citizen complaints about use of the driver's Social Security number as the license number, the new cards will have a separate license number in addition to the Social Security number.
- The new license cards will have a line for drivers to indicate whether they wish to be organ donors.
Horacio Kier, Highway Safety computer systems manager, said the lack of a seal on the old cards made them easy to duplicate. The new ones will have a holographic overlay that will resolve the problem, he said.
Hugh Mabe, assistant U.S. attorney, and Robert Caraballo, Social Security district manager, said they had no knowledge of a federal mandate such as Olive cited. Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen's staff was looking into the matter. Efforts to contact Olive Thursday were unsuccessful.