Issue Five Year Driver’s License to Senior Citizens


Submitted by Wayne Cadogan, Retired Garment Manufacturer, Trainer, Consultant

Recently the Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology (MIST), Senator Kay McConney, while she was speaking during an interview on CBC TV8 announced that Barbadians will be able to renew and pay for their driver’s licenses online by the end of June this year.

Yes, while this is an excellent and welcomed initiative, the government needs to revisit the legislation where at seventy years of age you can no longer get a five-year driver’s license. The government needs to come in line with the rest of the world, where all over the world five-year licenses are issued to drivers regardless of age.

The issuing of a one-year license at the age of seventy is a lot of red tapes, a hassle in all the running around to get a doctor’s certificate as well as having to stand in a long line to pay, a waste of material, paperwork and most important a waste of human resources that could be spent on more important internal matters.

There are many people in our society over seventy years that are in better physical shape than a lot of people under the age of seventy years, who are more responsible and adhere to and respect the motor laws of the country. They are a lot of younger people who have physical challenges and eye challenges and are allowed to have a five-year license. There are a number of other changes that need to be made to the road laws and one of them definitely would be the extending of the one-year license to five years.

Although the reason for the one-year license might be more of an income revenue earner for the government which in my mind I cannot see it raking in that amount of taxes as compared to five years and the waste of human resources as well as all the hassle for the license holder.

Another point that should be taken into consideration would be the many short and long term tourists that come to our shores each year and have to go through the same hassle as the local license holders in obtaining a license for a short period of time that they are here[. More than likely, all these tourists would be holders of a valid five years’ driver’s licenses from their respective countries.

Madam Minister, I am making an appeal for myself and on the behalf of those over seventy years that the government would amend the legislation on this law to bring it in line with some international countries

41 thoughts on “Issue Five Year Driver’s License to Senior Citizens

  1. I have no particular problem with the conditions surrounding the issuing of licenses to the over seventies. When one reaches seventy, one can expect all sorts of illnesses ( dementia, poor vision and so on). Issuing of licenses online should be done .The medical certificate whilst not a guarantee is better than nothing. A lot of over seventies die behind the wheel or have very slow reflexes .

  2. @Robert Lucas

    So what your saying Robert is the Barbados licensing authority is a JOKE of a department run by incompetent civil servants and politicians which gives out licenses based on ???
    Like the article author says it’s a tax/money grab which has its implementation linked to Moranic thinking and judgement. Wily has never paid to get a Barbados over 70 drivers license, although he holds a valid CLASS A LICENCE from an other North American jurisdiction the let’s him drive 135,000lb multi axle/trailer vehicles throughout North America. Wily is well past the 70 and is in the sunrise of 80.

    This licence issue is a real problem for 70+ senior tourists that would typically rent a vehicle for a holiday. Wily has heard from several that they go to other Caribbean jurisdictions for holidays to avoid this unnecessarily licensing hassle. Just another example of Barbados poorly implemented TOURISM PHYLISOPHY.

  3. @ Wily Coyote May 3, 2020 7:45 AM

    Sweet, sweet wild coyote ‘black’ humour!

    BTW, WC, in driving those “135,000lb multi axle/trailer vehicles throughout North America” did you ever make any road-kills for a meal out of those roadrunners? LOL!!

  4. Why 70? What magically happens at 70 that doesn’t happen at 69 or 59? Is it based on the bible Psalm that states that natural life is three score and ten? I saw an article recently about early onset dementia among Bajans so based on that the Gov’t should change the age to 50. Why doesn’t BARP challenge the law?

    It is another of those laws e.g. camouflage clothing – that should be thrown in the dustbin.

    • @Sargeant

      Do we give the government credit for supporting the decision with evidence from insurance sector for example?

  5. You have my support, Wayne……. I am also over 70 and hold a 5-year license issued by an overseas country … no doctor was necessary…..the Licensing Office just performed the standard Eye Test Chart and I was good to go.

    Like you, I consider myself in better physical condition than many under 70’s and I don’t speed or break our traffic laws…… I drive on the cautious side and have not had to claim from my car insurer in over 50 years but I am forced to pay a doctor $50-$80 each year, & stand in a long line for a long time!

    Would like to see our Police, or insurance companies, issue statistics on Age of Drivers responsible for accidents and/or traffic violations.

  6. that licensing department pisses me off to no end. a year ago i got my UK licence transferred to a Bim licence and they did it for 1 year. that makes no bloody sense. why not 5 years? that means i should have come to Bim around April to stand up for a couple of hours to renew a licence. bollocks.

    we can do better than this.

    that one needs a medical certificate to renew a licence if you are a certain vintage is quite understandable.

  7. @ David May 3, 2020 8:49 AM

    we are dealing with an administration of whichever political hue who sees nothing stupid about asking people to produce the same original documents (and signature of some JP or some other archaic and irrelevant post holder) when applying for a renewal of their passports as required for the first application.

    For XP sake, the information on these documents- like the original birth certificate- is already on file whether in a microfiche form or stored on a modern chip.
    We can see the justification for a recent photograph because people’s facial features change with the passing of time but clearly not their DoB.

    Then they have the gall to chatter away and brag about the ease of doing business in Bim.

  8. @Miller

    that is so true. i never understood that. why cant you use your old passport with new photos to rewed your passport?

    i have argued this to no end. the excuse often is that your circumstances re address etc could have changed. that does not even warrant a reply.

  9. @ David you need to hold ur essayist to a higher standard.. 😂

    You can’t just have pet peeves with uninformed data for Sunday breakfast debate, brother.

    The age over-70 goes all the way to 90 and beyond… What is the author REALLY arguing: 1) that there is an issue at DMV … Well duhhh (respectfully); 2) that most seniors between 70 -75 are still competent with their eyesight, hearing and coordination intact to drive well – very feasible if so ; 3) that those 75 – 80 etc should also have the 5 yr licence per the competency of their ‘motor’ skills (a cheap Sunday pun) or WHAT exactly?

    There MUST be a cutoff age for seniors where medical validation is needed so if Bim has set that at 70 because maybe of the size of our roads who are internationalized Bajans to fault that!

    Driving in England or Canada is an ABSOLUTELY different dynamic from being on Bajan or Caribbean roads … So let’s get our facts and perspectives in order …

    Ranting about the DMV lines and inefficiencies is a ho-hum bother of forever so why waste words on that AGAIN …

    So the author needs to update the issues… And give the blog some of those insurance factoids of which you allude to better inform the entire debate.

    Currently a ‘father-in-law’ of mine drives at 90+ and I argue with his daughter all the time that I have a problem with that… Not because of his inabilities but because he invariably will be slower and more deliberate and will have to deal with wild, reckless younger drivers … On Baian roads that’s a recipe for disaster…. I also was not overly happy when my ‘late’ 80s and late father did grandfather afterschool duties either… But he finally heeded and stopped soon completely… because of those same reckless youngsters.

    Yes fix the DMV inefficiencies but please don’t make it any easier for our seniors to hurt themselves (unintentionally) because of some bogus international perspective.

    And about 70 plus tourists driving on our roads … Stuff dat… Rent a taxi… Lots of very nice cars available at decent rates…. Much safer and u can enjoy a better guided tour!

    I gone.

  10. Funny this drivers license issue came up today. I have a friend on the island who hasn’t been able to get a permit to drive because all the license authorities have been closed for a month nearly.

    Did anyone stop to think that the issuance of these should have been returned to the police seeing they are always open?

    • @John A

      Did Minister Kaye announce last week motorists will be able to renew drivers license online in a month or so? Stay tuned!

  11. @David
    Yours @8.49am

    You know something that we don’t know about why the Gov’t established 70 as the cutoff age?

    BTW DPD argues that over 70’s should keep off the road because they can’t handle the reckless tactics of younger motorists.

    Scratching my head.

  12. I go further, we would all be safer on the roads if ZR/minibus drivers had to renew their drivers permit every 48 hours and over 70’s every 5 years. Who is the greater danger to life and limb on the roads today?

    • @greene

      You comments are going to Spam Bucket these days. You have changed software/security at your end. This is an FYI only, the blogmaster periodically checks the bucket.

  13. LOL…😂 “BTW DPD argues that over 70’s should keep off the road because they can’t handle the reckless tactics of younger motorists.”

    That’s classical BU… cut out one part of a premiss that suits YOUR narrative and have a blast 😂

    I believe I also argued that – in context – that over 70s range all the way to 85 and 90 and beyond and asked for writer and debate clarification … And oh that it’s surely quite feasible that those aged 70 – 75 years are quite good enough to drive…

    But that would muddy your fun just a tad, senor @Sargeant .. wouldn’t it.

    Sunday fun writing at its wondrous best!

    BTW, I wonder if u guys would be so aghast if Ms Mottley had said that to avoid cov19 issues – and considering the closed offices – she was going to allow teenagers applying for their first DL to receive it sans the road test… All other parts passed and paid up, of course.

    Radically cool I think … And good ‘conservative’ minded thinking.

    And a query Mr Blogmaster…. Were citizens liable during the time of non renewed licenses or were they automatically valid ‘until offices reopened’… Is there legal precedent on that.

    • @Dee Word

      Two BRA offices (fee collecting agencies) were opened during the CURFEW period.

  14. So are u saying… that folks could renew a DL … or simply pay the fine for being charged with driving with an expired licence ? 🙏🏿

    • The BRA collects fees for renewals, traffic fines are paid at the respective district court the offence occurred.

  15. @David

    They only said they were planning to use the Alphabet thing and I think Seniors go on one morning a week.

    • @John A

      He would be hard pressed to catch you in your Bata slippers or dog muzzles whichever is your preference of the day.

  16. The policy intents are to save lives
    There are times when it is not altogether possible to accommodate all and sundry conveniences
    As now being exhibited by the Corona Virus
    Rather prefer to know that policy makers have preventive measures in place than to try to please many or even a few all at the price of losing lives

  17. @David

    lol. i was about to accuse you of not posting them but i held back. sometimes i have to thank myself for my discipline or dont carishness. yes my software security has expired

  18. @ John A

    @ David BU

    Since I cannot rely on you two to report the facts. I have to drive around to see the effects of your economic policies and strategies. I am by nature a researcher. I apply everything to a series of stress tests.

  19. @ David BU

    I went to my favourite supermarket today. There was no queue. My favourite brand of corned beef was missing. Your agitation has resulted in its removal. I am happy that the system for reducing contagion is working.

    There was a significant reduction in local fruits and vegetables.

  20. I just read an article stating, young people applying for drivers license no longer have to take the road test. Don’t know if it’s a true fact but if it is, what a disaster wating to happen. My point is, if states are going to lessen the laws for first time drivers, then do the same for senior’s. Why after a certain age they have to retest. Why not retest all drivers after five years. Senior’s have rights too. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Our nation is sick, blind, drunk, mentally, and emotionally unstable and strung out. And even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Give the seniors a brake.

  21. @David

    “Did Minister Kaye announce last week motorists will be able to renew drivers license online in a month or so? ”

    Funds running low, TAX GRAB BOCK ON.

    • @Wily

      This is one of several initiatives the government announced pre COVID to digitized some jobs.You may recall it was mentioned at the time there was an issue with issuing certificates of character.


  22. CL

    Our nation is sick, blind, drunk, mentally, and emotionally unstable and strung out. And even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Correct with the govt heading the list of instability

  23. @ Vincent

    Go in the market Saturday and you will get your vegetables. The old girls down there not asking to see no ID or nothing so!

    Plus left out the cornbeef that got in nuff salt and not good for old people with high blood pressure etc.

  24. @Sargeant May 3, 2020 8:47 AM “Why 70? What magically happens at 70 that doesn’t happen at 69 or 59? ”

    The life expectancy of a Bajan male is: 73.1 years

    Barbados: Life Expectancy According to the latest WHO data published in 2018 life expectancy in Barbados is: Male 73.1, female 78.0

    So I am here scratching my head and wondering why Bajan males want a 5 year license beyond age 70, when most of them will be dead,dead, dead as a doornail by age 73.1.

    I know that we like to fool ourselves that we will live on this earth forever. That our vision [and our sex organs] will not deteriorate That our vision will not fail. That we will not become demented. That we will not die. That we are as good at 70 as we were at 20, or 40 or 50.


    I can’t tell you the number of horror stories that I have heard about elders who went driving on errands and then could not remember how to get back to the home where they have lived for 50+ years. Of families who “took the car to the wufless mechanic” and never brought it back home as a ruse to prevent daddy or uncle or mummy or auntie from driving anymore. Because when people get dementia they typically do not know that they have dementia, or are unable to perceive the extent of their dementia.

    Barbados has a very sensible rule. If the doctor believes that you are fit to drive he or she will document your fitness and then you can with the permission of the Licensing Authority continue to drive.

    If the doctor believes that you are not fit, then you have no permission to drive.

    Does anybody know why no 70 old has ever won a gold medal in the 100 meters race at the Olympics?

    Because no 70 year old can.

  25. Was on the supermarket shuttle one time, and there was a lady on you could not remember which gap or which house she lived in. The driver had to take her back to the store which had to contact her family to come for her.

    Between leaving home, shopping, and returning home she had lost it.

    Good thing she was not driving herself.

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