Police remind motorists to transfer car ownership

Failure to transfer ownership can lead to fine, jail

Car sellers who fail to transfer the ownership of their vehicles may find themselves held legally responsible for damages after the car is sold, police warn.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said in a statement that police had seen “instances where vehicles that have not been properly transferred after a change in ownership have been used in criminal activities. Prior owners should be aware that in such cases, they can still be held legally responsible for the vehicle and liable for the damage that could occur during its unauthorized use.”

Police also advised new owners who fail to re-register vehicles within 14 days of the sale of a vehicle that they are in breach of the law and liable to a fine of $400 or three months’ imprisonment, or both.

In the statement, police warned that officers will be “strictly enforcing” Article 9 of the Traffic Law (2011 Revision) regarding the timely registration of vehicles. “As such, the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit strongly encourages new buyers of vehicles to complete the transfer of ownership with the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing Department within the 14 days proscribed by law or face penalties,” police said.

Sellers of vehicles also have a duty to ensure that registration of their sold vehicle is properly transferred out of their name into that of the buyer, the statement continued. “Too often, sellers sign the log book and turn the administrative process over to the buyer. In such cases, vehicle transfers may not be finalized, and vehicles used in a crime may be linked back to prior owners,” police said.

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