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Driver’s licences to be renewed every 5 years

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By Alagie Manneh

The government, through the interior ministry, has revealed plans are afoot to making driver’s licences renewable every five years in the country, instead of one.

Gambians and non-Gambian drivers alike are forced to renew their licences every year, despite the Transport Act stipulating a period of every five years.

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But the interior minister said government plans to rectify the issue, and will soon make yearly renewals a thing of the past.

“The ministry of interior in collaboration with key stakeholders has begun discussions on five – ten years period renewal arrangements,” he told the National Assembly yesterday. 

He was responding to a question raised by Alhajie Mbowe, the NAM for Upper Saloum, who wanted to know why drivers in The Gambia are required to renew their licences on a yearly basis.

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“I think it’s a very good idea to change the way licenses are renewed,” the minister admitted. “Before, it used to be every December and we all suffer when we have to travel to Senegal and so on. So, we decided to renew it on the anniversary of the issuance so that people would not have to go to the renewal point at the same time. We are discussing and coming up with an idea to make it either five or ten years, but that is a process that we have to go through,” he said.

Unsatisfied, NAM Mbowe refers the minister to the Transport Act insisting that the yearly renewal is an outright violation of the law.

“That is why I am calling your attention to look at it [the Act] and do the needful as quickly as possible,” he demanded.

Banjul South NAM Touma Njie then asked minister Sonko if he was aware that the Transport Act which stipulates a renewal of every five years is being violated and disregarded. “You are breaking the law,” she charged.

“I am aware honourable speaker, that this is the act… but it [the issue of annual renewal] has been going on for a long time and we are now trying to rectify that and come up with a very good position and move on as a country,” he replied.

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