PHILIPSBURG:— The Bill of Sale document is now an official document which is mandated by all insurance companies on St Maarten, to be completed by buyers and sellers of used vehicles (used describe as not being bought from a dealership) before one can acquire auto insurance. This project seeks to standardize the document and to make it official so that the buyers of such vehicles will be protected from purchasing unsuspected stolen vehicle, which usually results in a loss of their investment.
Why now 🙁 Curb the Car theft problem and protect the Buyer. )
As of June 2015, a spike in car theft was noticed, after an in depth analysis was carried out by the police department, it was uncovered that there was an alarming number of reported stolen cars on both the Dutch and French side of the island.
Statistics further indicated that between January 1st 2013 and June 1st 2015, approximately 400 vehicles where reported stolen on the Dutch side of the island and approximately 700 vehicles on the French Side during the same period.
While several of these vehicles were never recovered, investigations showed that the stolen vehicles were not shipped off island. What was discovered was that car theft was a lucrative business. Once the vehicle is stolen the VIN numbers are then altered and then resold or the vehicle was stolen and immediately resold several times within a short period, so that tracing it back to the original owner is almost impossible and the vehicle eventually ends up back into circulation with a new owner who most times is unaware that the vehicle they have purchased was stolen property.
Who are the parties involved:
After the internal discussion, a plan of action on how best to tackle the problem was formed. Our goal was to curb car theft on the island. In reaching this goal, we chose to use a different approach, by getting the parties together who are most affected by this criminal practice to work with us, this then would make our efforts more effective.
Therefore, we met with the St. Maarten Insurance Association and proposed a plan of action to them, with which they got on board from the get go, as they to have sustained hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses as a result of car theft.
After much brainstorming and an in-house review by KPSM was done as to what happens to the stolen vehicles on the island, it became clear that the best possible solution to curb this situation was to structure the procedure of transferring ownership of vehicles. Hence the project to change and standardize the Bill of Sale was born.
In the past anyone selling a vehicle, could easily make their own Bill of Sale sometimes even handwritten ones and the vehicle would be transferred between the seller and the buyer without any possible control or real time information of the vehicle, the buyer or seller. By regulating this document, it removes the uncertainties as it relates to ownership of the vehicle and protects the buyer from possibly purchasing a stolen vehicle and losing their hard earned money in the process.
After coming up with the concept of the “Bill of Sale “we got input from the following partners:
– Insurance Association
– Government IT
– Charles Brown (Graphic Designer)
– Inspection Department
– Receivers Office
– Simpson Bay Service Center
– Public Prosecutors’ office
All these partners were very influential in the creation, reviewing and finalizing of the document. We moved from having a simple document transformed into a user-friendly official document. This new standardized document will be the ONLY accepted Bill of Sale accepted by all insurance companies and their agents and brokers on Sint Maarten.
One of the main aspects of the new Bill of Sale is that it will only be available online. This document will be available only on the Government’s website, where you will be prompted to fill in the form and once all the required fields are completed, then you will be instructed to download and print your Bill of Sale. To complete the process, the document must be signed by both the buyer and seller before being taken to the insurance company. Please note the documents that must accompany the Bill of Sale when acquiring insurance for the vehicle are;
• Copy of the sellers valid ID (Valid driver’s license/ ID card or Passport
• Copy of the buyers valid driver’s license
• Copy of the vehicles last insurance policy
• Copy of the vehicles inspection car
• Original Carte Grise
• Nafl:5,- stamp
One other control features of the new Bill of Sale is that a random 12 digit number is generated by the system which can later be used to provide proof of ownership, should the vehicle be stolen and later found.
The target date for implementing this bill of sale document is Sunday May 1st 2016. After aforementioned date, the insurance companies and brokers will only accept the new digital bill of sale that can be generated online. (With exceptions)
The website and de procedures of use will be given out before the implementation date.
The document can be generated from the comfort of your home if you have a computer with internet connection free of charge. The possibility also exist that document can be done at the Simpson-bay Service Center or at your insurance company or broker if you don’t have access to internet service.
Other information regarding the website and how it should be used will be explained in the near future.
Source: St. Martin News Network Police launched Official Bill of Sale for motor vehicles.