May 28, 2023

Cayman Islands: Need to transfer registration

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From Cayman Islands Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licencing

If you are selling or buying a vehicle, it is imperative that you follow the transfer of ownership to completion. Ideally both parties should attend the DVDL and the seller should ensure that the vehicle is transferred to the new owner before leaving DVDL. If this transfer does not take place the current owner (seller) could be liable for violations of the law with respect to the vehicle, such as the use of the vehicle by a disqualified driver, excessive tint, or the recovery of illegal drugs in the vehicle. Failing to transfer the vehicle in and of itself is a violation of Section 9 of the Traffic Law (2011 Revision) and a criminal offense.

The transfer of ownership for a vehicle could be witnessed by a Notary Public or Justice of Peace, however, the onus lies with the registered owner (seller) to see that the transfer is complete. Signing in front of a witness has one drawback in that if the buyer fails to attend the DVDL and turn in the vehicle transfer documents, the vehicle will remain in the seller’s name. Sometimes this may mean that fees are accumulating in the seller’s name.

There are still other risks to the seller, should the car not be properly transferred, and be used to commit a crime.

Acting Chief Inspector Spence of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service states, “The transfer of vehicle ownership after sale is something that protects the seller of the vehicle. If a vehicle you have sold is still registered in your name, and then used in the commission of a crime, you could be contacted in the context of the enquiry into that crime. This is certainly something that most people would want to avoid, so please make sure a vehicle you no longer own or control is no longer in your name.”

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