PHILIPSBURG–Although the Department of Civil Registry will resume the printing of driver’s licences, the Department is still facing some hiccups regarding the printing of Identification Cards (IDs), which it hopes to soon rectify.
Civil Registry Head Kathy Snijders told The Daily Herald that due to the Ransomware virus that attacked Government’s system late last year, the Department can only access its 3M system that deals with the printing of IDs via some of its computers. “We don’t have full access to the system,” she said.
Snijders said the Department will be starting the process of printing driver’s licences and it is now at the stage of verifying and approving the ID cards with the limited access available. “We have some difficulties with the printers also so we want to have all batches ready. Hopefully we can print them by next week. Also we are awaiting extra supplies to print all cards. The company that is the producer of the cards is no longer supporting this line of business and therefore will no longer support St. Maarten’s ID and driver’s licence software/system. Therefore we had to find another supplier for ourselves.”
Government is in the process of securing a completely new National ID and driver’s licence card system. An information meeting was held at the Department with interested bidders on Wednesday. The intention is for the successful bidder to purchase the necessary hardware, design and customised application solution and installation of an ID and driver’s licence card system, including maintenance and support for the Civil Registry.
A public tender for the project appeared in the Government Information Page in this newspaper for several days. According to the ad, bids for the project have to be submitted in duplicate in a sealed envelope at the Civil Registry Department’s back office by 2:00pm on Wednesday, January 18. Envelopes will be opened at the Civil Registry Department in the Marriage Hall on January 18, at 2:00pm.
On October 25, 2016, the Department announced in a press release that the issuance of driver’s licences and ID cards had been suspended until further notice due to “technical difficulties.” The Department said at the time that cards cannot be issued, but noted that it had been “working diligently” to “get the matter resolved.” The Department promised to inform the public once the issuing of the cards has resumed.
The Department at the time also urged the public to check the validity of their documents and if necessary, they can visit the office and begin the renewal application process for their cards. Applications that comply with requirements will be accepted and clients are required to supply a hardcopy passport sized photo not older than six months.