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Illegal to take STT rental vehicles to STJ on the car barge?

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Illegal to take STT rental vehicles to STJ on the car barge?

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(@blaze)
Posts: 119
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

We saw this article by John Barnako on his "News of St John" website stating that it is illegal to take rental vehicles from St Thomas to St John on the car barge. This will seriously mess up my transportation plans for our ten day trip, split between villas on STT and STJ.

Say it isn't so!!!!! :S

http://barnako.typepad.com/news_of_st_john_usvi/2012/04/government-warns-against-stt-car-rentals.html?utm_source=NewsofStjohn.com&utm_medium=twitterhttp://

Government warns on car rentals

If you're one of those people who rents a car at the St. Thomas airport, gets groceries at Tutu, and then takes the car barge across to Cruz Bay, read this. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has just reminded VI rental agencies and the barges it is illegal for a car rented on one island to be used on another. A St. Thomas-registered car cannot go on the barge to St. John. So if you want to have a car, while staying on St. John, you have to rent from a STJ agency.

The notice (read it here, thanks to NoSeeUm's blog) says vehicles can legally be used "… only on the island … and may not be used on any other island … and shall not be transported for use on any other island." Violators could be fined a minimum of $1,000.

What's this mean to you? Well, if a St. Thomas rental company does rent you a car, and you take it to St. John, they risk having their business license revoked - and there are plenty of people who will be happy to turn them in. For instance, the car barge companies employees are likely to be reminded how to ID a St. Thomas car. (Not so subtle tipoff: the license plate begins with STT.) Second, folks who operate St. John car rental companies can be expected to be looking for STT cars on the island - and reporting them to Motor Vehicles.

There is no question that renting a car at the airport and then driving to Red Hook is easier than enduring 'taxi dispatch hell' at the airport and the annoyance of taking a cab but stopping at four hotels on your way to Red Hook where you may, or may not, catch the next ferry. Then again, there are those who question whether the convenience of tourists is a high priority for STT cab drivers.

 
Posted : April 18, 2012 12:16 pm
(@shelleyvideo)
Posts: 25
Eminent Member
 

We rented from Budget and took the car barge over to St. John in July 2010. At the time we understood that if you rent from Hertz you're not allowed to take the Hertz car over to St. John.

Steve

 
Posted : April 18, 2012 12:23 pm
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3316
Famed Member
 

If you hop onto the relocation forum on this site you'll find an ongoing thread on the subject. Hertz has never allowed their vehicles to go to STJ, primarily because they used to have a fleet of vehicles over there.

 
Posted : April 18, 2012 12:30 pm
(@blu4u)
Posts: 295
Reputable Member
 

good luck enforcing that one.

 
Posted : April 18, 2012 8:27 pm
(@lprof)
Posts: 17
Active Member
 

There is a petition circulating... if you would like to sign it. petition

 
Posted : April 18, 2012 8:40 pm
(@rosesett)
Posts: 2
New Member
 

this is such a ridiculous law. we have been visiting st john for 15 years. We always rent to car on st thomas because it's more convient, not to mention much cheaper than renting on saint john! I'm traveling to saint john this summer and my mother is joining us later in the week. does this mean I can't take my rental car (that I'm NOW forced to rent on stj at a premium cost) to greet and pick up my 78 yr old mother who's never traveled to the virgin islands before???? How about shopping? I have to take the passenger ferry over? This is 1 big inconvenience to tourists with no flexibility for this ruling. I will think twice before booking my next trip to the virgin islands. in my opinion, this is just another way to make more money off tourists and with no regard to making peoples hard earned vacation a pleasant experience. They should all be ashamed of themselves. I wish I could cancel my trip but it's too late. Guess it's time to find another island to spend vacations on....preferably one that cares about helping tourists have a pleasant vacation.

 
Posted : April 18, 2012 11:37 pm
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3316
Famed Member
 

The crisis has been averted and the Governor has nixed the law indefinitely.

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/04/18/governor-says-no-new-rental-car-rule

 
Posted : April 19, 2012 5:17 am
(@blaze)
Posts: 119
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

Great news. 😛 Glad the Governor was able to make a good decision for both the tourists and businesses on STT and STJ. The law needs to be totally overturned by the legislature so it doesn't rear it's head in the future.

 
Posted : April 19, 2012 11:57 am
(@rosesett)
Posts: 2
New Member
 

let's hope it sticks8-)

 
Posted : April 19, 2012 5:58 pm
(@a-davis)
Posts: 563
Honorable Member
 

the governor is not able to actually change the law itself, but he did offer a reprieve. here is the law, for the record, and i am sure that since it was enacted in the 1960's that it was an attempt to keep down traffic congestion by limiting rental car numbers on each us virgin island. so the same applies to st. croix.

i seek to reform and not rebuke here. search for car rentals in the vi code and you will see the law: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/vicode/

a review of this law would be good for all three islands... but what people have been doing instead is simply ignoring it, and putting guests in jeopardy. i don't agree with that. so finally the law is being enforced and people affected are up in arms. if you don't agree with a law you work to amend or repeal. you don't break the law. that's my two cents. one should show respect for the "law of the land" and work for change if that is what's warranted in one's opinion.

20 V.I.C. § 422

VIRGIN ISLANDS CODE ANNOTATED
Copyright © 2011 by THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR for THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

Statutes current through Act 7278 of the 2011 Regular Session
Excludes Acts 7264

TITLE TWENTY Highways and Motor Vehicles
PART II. MOTOR VEHICLES
Chapter 38. Regulation of Car Rental Business

20 V.I.C. § 422 (2011)

§ 422. Numerical limitations

(a) The Director of Motor Vehicles shall establish maximum numerical limitations for each island on registration licenses and license plates (referred to as "licenses" in the remainder of this section) for drive-yourself cars (which phrase, as used in subsections (a) through (f) of this section, shall not include drive-yourself cars rented or exclusively available for rent to another person for a period in excess of one hundred and eighty (180) days). The Director of Motor Vehicles shall establish the initial numerical limitations under this section by April 15, 1968. Thereafter, the limitation for each island shall be reviewed and, if determined necessary, amended at least once each year, prior to April 15, beginning with 1969. The original numerical limitations and any annual review or amendment shall be preceded by public notice and hearings, and any such numerical limitations or any amendments thereto (referred to as "limitations" in the remainder of the section) shall be effective upon approval by the Governor. Every limitation under this section shall be based upon the determination by the Director of Motor Vehicles that such limitation is necessary to protect the public safety and welfare. In making the determination, the Director of Motor Vehicles shall consult with such departments and agencies of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands as he deems necessary, and he shall then consider such factors as traffic safety, traffic flow, and the numerical needs or demand for drive-yourself cars on the respective islands, and all such other factors as he may deem pertinent to the establishment of limitations hereunder.

(b) Each licensee is entitled to the number of licenses to which he was entitled at the time immediately preceding the effective date of the then current limitation. The number of licenses to which each licensee is entitled may be increased as provided in subsection (c) of this section, or may be decreased by forfeiture as provided in subsections (e) and (f) of this section.

(c) In addition to the number of licenses to which each licensee is entitled, each such licensee shall become entitled to additional new licenses as they may become available from time to time. Additional licenses may become available (1) by the termination of a licensee's business license, for valid cause, (2) by a licensee's forfeiture of the right to a license because of his failure to utilize a license as required by law, or (3) by a change in a limitation established by the Director of Motor Vehicles. When additional licenses become available, the Director of Motor Vehicles shall determine the number of such licenses available for distribution, and shall distribute such licenses consecutively in accordance with the list of priority established by subsection (d) of this section.

(d) In order to establish a list of priority of distribution of new licenses under the provisions of this section, the Director of Motor Vehicles, immediately prior to April 15, 1968, shall cast lots on each island among persons who held valid car rental business licenses, under the provisions of chapter 9, Title 27 of this Code, on the respective islands on the effective date of this Act, and whose licenses are valid and effective at the time of the casting of lots. Written notice of the time when and the place at which the lots will be cast shall be served by the Director of Motor Vehicles to each car rental business at least three days before the casting of lots. Any person who obtains a car rental business license after the effective date of this Act shall be assigned to a position on the list of priority according to the time when he notifies the Director of Motor Vehicles that he has obtained a valid license. The Director of Motor Vehicles shall keep the list current, and shall delete the name of any person whose license to engage in the car rental business has terminated, for valid cause. He may not assign to the list the name of any person (1) whose name either already appears, or is affiliated with any partnership or corporation whose name already appears, or (2) who the Director of Motor Vehicles determines has obtained a business license in order to otherwise circumvent the purpose and intent of this subsection.

(e) At the time the Director of Motor Vehicles distributes the available licenses pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, he shall designate reasonable dates, based upon the needs and practices of the car rental industry as established at the public hearings required by subsection (a) of this section, by which dates either (1) every vehicle which is to utilize one of the new licenses must be validly registered, or (2) proof, satisfactory to the Director of Motor Vehicles, that a bona fide order has been placed for the purchase of such a vehicle is presented to the Director of Motor Vehicles. The date specified for registration may not be more than six months after the effective date of the distribution, and the date specified for the submission of proof of a bona fide order may not be more than three months after the date of such distribution. If the vehicle is not registered or if satisfactory proof of a bona fide order is not submitted within the respective time limitations, then the licensee's right to such new license shall be forfeited and the corresponding license shall be further distributed in accordance with the list of priority.

(f) Every licensee shall immediately notify the Director of Motor Vehicles after the transfer, by sale or otherwise, of a validly registered and licensed drive-yourself car. After the initial limitation has been established, such licensee may obtain a replacement license for a new drive-yourself car, which is intended to replace a drive-yourself car validly registered and licensed by such licensee; provided that--

(1) such licensee must return to the Director of Motor Vehicles the license plates from the car to be replaced and the Director of Motor Vehicles shall cancel the registration of the replaced car before he may register the new car;

(2) if a licensee does not utilize a replacement license available under this section, either by validly registering the new drive-yourself car within six months after the transfer of the car to be replaced or by submitting to the Director of Motor Vehicles proof, satisfactory to the Director of Motor Vehicles, that a bona fide order has been placed for the purchase of a replacement car within three months after such transfer, his right to such new license shall be forfeited, and the license shall be distributed in accordance with the list of priority.

(g) A person may transfer, by sale or otherwise, his car rental business, or any part thereof, together with all or any part of the number of licenses to which he is entitled under the then current limitation; except that this subsection does not authorize or entitle a person to transfer, by sale or otherwise, a car rental business license in contravention of the provisions of the last sentence of subsection (d), section 301, Title 27 of this Code.

(h) From January 3, 1968, each registration license for each drive-yourself car shall designate (1) whether the car is for rent for a period of on hundred and eighty (180) days or less, or for a period in excess of one hundred and eighty (180) days, and (2) the island for which it is issued. The registration license and corresponding license plates shall be valid for rent only for the period designated, and only on the island designated and may not be transferred to or used on any other island or any other motor vehicle, except that the Director of Motor Vehicles may assign a license plate number, previously used on a drive-yourself car, which has been replaced, to a motor vehicle which is being registered as a new drive-yourself car. All drive yourself cars shall be operated exclusively on the island for which the registration license and corresponding license plate(s) were issued and shall not be transported for use on any other island.

(i) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (h) of this section shall be subject to a fine of not less than one thousand (1,000) dollars for each vehicle transported, or revocation of their business license for a period of not less than six (6) months or both.

HISTORY: --Added Jan. 3, 1968, No. 2092, § 1, Sess. L. 1967, p. 554; amended Feb. 2, 1968, No. 2094, § 1d-f, Sess. L. 1968, Pt. I, p. 5; Aug. 30, 1995, No. 6077, §§ 2(A), (B), Sess. L. 1995, p. 201; May 19, 2006, No. 6839, § 50, Sess. L. 2006, p. 81.

 
Posted : April 20, 2012 7:51 am
(@exit-zero)
Posts: 871
Prominent Member
 

is it possible to read the 1995 and 2006 amendments? Thanks.

 
Posted : April 20, 2012 9:36 am
(@a-davis)
Posts: 563
Honorable Member
 

Statutes current through Act 7278 of the 2011 Regular Session

 
Posted : April 21, 2012 7:05 am
(@a-davis)
Posts: 563
Honorable Member
 

saw today in the visource, that car rental companies on st. john will now have the ability to have more vehicles on the island. no word on whether once this takes place, the governor's reprieve on the law will change.

http://stjohnsource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/10/01/st-john-car-rental-quota-rises

 
Posted : October 2, 2012 7:18 am
(@trapper9872)
Posts: 8
Active Member
 

Just in the news. STJ rental increase.
http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/10/01/st-john-car-rental-quota-rises

 
Posted : October 2, 2012 9:40 am
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3316
Famed Member
 

Trapper9872 wrote:
Just in the news. STJ rental increase.
http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/10/01/st-john-car-rental-quota-rises

Well done Trapper - just as Anita linked a couple of hours ago. :D:D:D

It'll be interesting to see how this will or won't affect the current situation. As pointed out in the article, so many visitors rely on the convenience of renting on STT although staying on STJ, and taking away that option will create a real broohaha. As the island turns but I don't think we're likely to see any change in the near future as island time inexorably groans along with four steps back for every two steps forwards ...

 
Posted : October 2, 2012 10:03 am

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