How do you get a golf cart permit?
Our golf cart was shipped over to Belize back in March, but we have not been able to drive the golf cart yet because we were waiting to get a golf cart permit. Bill turned in the completed application and paid the $50.00BZ application fee six weeks ago. We already had the golf cart made street legal by adding tail lights, a horn and a rear view mirror. We just needed our permit.
List of things we had to submit with our application to apply for a golf cart permit:
1. Copy of valid driver’s licenses (we used our US driver’s licenses)
2. Certificate of title (bill of sale)
3. Documents showing proof of Permanent Residence (Bill is on the QRP-Belize Retirement Program)
4. Pictures of golf cart and where it will be kept when not in use.
We took several pictures of the golf cart on each side. We also took pictures showing that it has been made street legal. We also had to show pictures that we had off road and enclosed parking for the golf cart as well.
We were waiting for the San Pedro traffic department that approves all of the permits for vehicles and golf carts to have a meeting. There has recently been a new administration that had just been put into office and they had not met yet. They needed to hire three more traffic officers before approving any more permits. We had also been told that there were 83 permits waiting for approval (not good) and we were told that they may not get to review all pemit applications in the first meeting. We knew we would be having our very first visitor, my dad that is coming to the island in two weeks and we really needed to be able to use our golf cart with him here. It would be too difficult for him to try to walk or bike any where.
So after talking to a friend, Bill decided to go down first thing Monday morning and ask for a meeting with Danny Guerrero, our new mayor of San Pedro. He is the only one that can approve the permits without a traffic committee meeting. Bill talked to his secretary Yolanda and set up an appointment for 9:30am Monday. Knowing we are on Belize time, it was 10:30am before Bill actually got to see the mayor. Another member of his staff Mr. Santos, brought over our file for Mayor Danny to take a look at. Bill explained our situation and after a few questions, Danny gave his stamp of approval. Bill paid another $320.00BZ for the permit and away he went. Now we had to get insurance.
Atlantic Insurance was recommended, they have their office on Middle Street in with Graniel’s Dreamland. Like most businesses here in San Pedro, people run several different businesses out of one location. Graniel’s Dreamland has some beautiful handmade wooden furniture and accessories and they sell insurance for your golf cart too.
Ok, so we go head over to Atlantic Insurance and see about getting insurance on our golf cart. We had to show that we had a valid drivers licenses. I had made sure and renewed my US licenses before I left the states in January since I knew my licenses were going to expire on my birthday in February. Bill still had a few years on his US licenses, so he was ok. You can drive in Belize on a US drivers licenses for one year.
There is basically one insurance that you get for your golf cart and it covers, well let’s just say it covers nothing on your golf cart. The cost is $65.00BZ. It does not protect us for fire, collision or theft on our cart. If we hit someone else’s golf cart and we are on a PUBLIC road, it will pay for repairs on their golf cart, any injuries to them and if we happen to kill them in the process up to $400.00BZ ($200.00US) toward funeral expenses. Now if we are on a PRIVATE road, it pays nothing. We asked if we could upgrade and Ruby said yes, but Atlantic Insurance would have to insure our home as well to be able to upgrade. Well we don’t own any real estate in Belize, but we asked what would we get if we upgraded. Rubys answer was all of the above, but it would also include PRIVATE roads. Yipee!! So our next question was, well what if someone hits us on our golf cart and they don’t have insurance. She says nothing but we could sue them if we wanted to. I am not sure if this makes you want to cry or laugh.
After we left from getting our insurance, we decided to head to the Caribena Gas Station to fill the golf cart up with gas. They still have gas attendants in Belize that will fill up your car or golf cart for you. Anybody remember those days back in the US? The golf cart only had about 3 gallons in it from when it was shipped over from the states. We had put only enough gas in it so it could be driven on and off the trucks during shipping. It cost $35.04BZ ($17.52US) for 2.985 gallons. Gas is currently $11.74BZ ($5.87US) a gallon on Ambergris Caye. He waived the 4 cents. That sure beats filling up my Ford Edge in the states.
Gas is currently (5/2012) $11.74BZ a gallon.
We went and had our permits laminated at Gecko Graphics. This is good so they don’t get wet and we can attach them to the golf cart seat now.
They were out of licenses plates on Monday, but the traffic department called this morning and said our new plates were in. So we went by and picked them up today. They also issued us a title to our golf cart. So we are ready to roll. It rained pretty heavy last night and early this morning, so it is nice to have the golf cart for the muddy roads today.