Your vehicle will need to be inspected and licensed every year by the DVDL (unless the car is brand new and then it can be licensed for three years). Avoid doing this on rainy days (they will not inspect the cars if it is raining) or at the beginning and end of the month as they get very busy. You can have your car inspected and its registration renewed for up to 30 days before the expiry date.
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The law does not require you to have a Cayman licence to register a car in your name, but if you are registering it in the name of a company, you must have a certificate of good standing from the Registrar of Companies, located on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building. The minimum cost for one year’s inspection and licensing for a regular four-seater car or SUV up to 2500cc is CI$215 (CI$180 registration, CI$35 inspection). Any vehicle that exceeds 2500cc costs CI$235. A Hummer costs between CI$535 and CI$1,035 per year. A truck up to 8500 lbs costs $400 per year ($40 for inspection). Disabled vehicles have no annual licensing fee unless you own two, in which case you must pay standard fees for the second vehicle. Scooters, trucks and taxis have different prices for both inspection and licensing. Vehicle inspections are offered at the Crewe Road and Breakers locations, but not at the West Bay location. You can also have your vehicle inspected at various automotive repair shops and many people will combine an annual car service with the car inspection process. You can find a list of approved private garages here. The garage will issue you with a Certificate of Roadworthiness, which you then take to the Vehicle & Licensing Department when you go to renew the licence on your car. Alternatively, renewal for the vehicle’s license can now be completed online through the DVDL website. Print out the online transaction receipt and keep it in your vehicle.
Depending on the age of the vehicle, it can be inspected for any period up to a maximum of 62 months and licensed for one, three or five years. For five years, the vehicle must be brand new and not previously licensed in any country. Vehicles licensed for three years must not be older than ten years from the date of manufacture. The purchase of licence plates is CI$75 per set. Personalised plates can also be purchased for CI$400 per set (replacements cost $30). With the new Electronic licence plates, you are required to place the coupon at the top of the windshield, in the centre, directly below the place the rear-view mirror is placed. This makes it easily accessible for scanning by law enforcement. However, if you still have old plates, place the coupon within six inches of the edge on the driver side, with the time period facing outside of the car.
Certificate of Roadworthiness
A Certificate of Roadworthiness will be issued if your car meets the following requirements (as taken from the DVDL Vehicle Inspection page):
- All lights are clean and in working order; including turn signals, licence plate lights, parking and headlights.
- Brakes are in good working order, and can halt a vehicle within the required distance of 50 feet when traveling at 25 miles per hour.
- Glass in windows are free of holes, breaks or cracks and not be tinted darker than what is allowed by law.
- Windscreens comprise of clear glass (a strip of tinted glass, of any degree of light transmission, is allowed; however this may not exceed six inches in width measured from the top of the windscreen).
- Mirrors are not broken and display a clear view to rear of the vehicle
- Windshield wipers are fully operational and rubber blades are in good condition
- Tyres are free of bulges, no fabric showing, no bald areas and no cuts. Tread depth must be at least 1 millimeter around the circumference of the tyre and across 75% of its breadth. (Also applies to the spare tyre)
- Horn is fully operational
- Muffler effectively reduces sound of engine exhaust. (No leaks in exhaust system)
- There are no gasoline or fluid leaks.
New Electronic Vehicle Registration System
There are plans in place to roll out a modern and sophisticated Electronic Vehicle Registration system.
In time, all vehicles will be fitted with specialised licence plates and registration coupons, both tagged with mini chips, which are capable of communicating with roadside monitors and portable devices. The monitors will track every passing vehicle, recording the expiry date of each registration coupon and car insurance contract and issuing tickets automatically when appropriate. The system could also act to monitor traffic patterns, as well as locate offenders. The new licence plates are on a white background with black numerals for private cars, green for rentals, red for other hire vehicles (such as taxis and tour buses) and blue for disabled. The process to replace all old or temporary plates started in February 2018 and is expected to take three years.
Locations: The Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL)
The DVDL is authorised to inspect and test vehicles, register motor vehicles and maintain the register, issue licences in respect of motor vehicles and drivers, and conduct driving tests.
The Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) has three locations in Grand Cayman
- 990 Crewe Road, Red Bay, Tel: (345) 945 8344, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Web: www.dvdl.gov.ky. Open: Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm
- 9 Reverend Blackman Road, West Bay (Across from the West Bay Police Station) Tel: (345) 949 7231, Email: email@example.com or Web: www.dvdl.gov.ky. Open: Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am-4pm
- Breakers, Frank Sound (across Sea View Road from the South Coast Bar and Grill) Tel: (345) 244 5528, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Web: www.dvdl.gov.ky. Open: Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am-4pm
Without a shadow of a doubt the busiest DVDL office in Grand Cayman is the one in Red Bay which is very near the Hurleys roundabout. Expect a two hour wait when you go to get anything done. Also worth noting is that the West Bay location does not have a car inspection bay so you must take your car to either Red Bay or Breakers to be inspected. You can then take the paperwork to West Bay to be processed.
The Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman:
- Cayman Brac District Administration Building. Tel: (345) 948 2222. Open: Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm
- Little Cayman District Administration Building, Tel: (345) 948 1051. Open: Every other Thursday 9am-2.30pm
For more information visit their website.
COVID-19: Temporary Certificate of Exemption
In response to the government-issued shelter-in-place orders, an amendment to the Traffic Act was issued which enabled vehicle owners with expired licenses to renew them online without an up-to-date inspection certificate. The Temporary Certificate of Exemption (TCE) became effective on 30th April 2020 and allowed for a temporary six-month renewal period for vehicles with an inspection certificate that had expired from 1st Feb 2020-30th April 2020 or would expire between 1st May 2020-30th June 2020. This exemption automatically applied for vehicles in the two categories specified above.
A valid Certificate of Insurance which satisfied the requirements of The Motor Vehicle Insurance Act was still required.