The Cook Islands police say changes of vehicle ownership must be notified to the BCI.
“You are required to provide the BCI the name and address of the new owner and a $20 fee must be paid to the bank,” said police spokesman Trevor Pitt yesterday.
“Buyers are advised to check and verify with the BCI that the vehicle you intend to buy is fully paid up with the annual registration fee that is applicable to the vehicle.
“Otherwise you might inadvertently inherit the unpaid years of registration if the payments have not been kept up to date.”
Pitt said if any vehicle owner anticipated that their vehicle may be inactive and off the road for a lengthy period – more than around 12 months, they should advise the BCI as soon as convenient and not “after the fact”.
“Such vehicles may be exempt from the full registration fee if there is a record of inaction,” Pitt said.
“These measures are necessary to avoid disputes and arguments over vehicles, which have changed hands without due notification and fees paid.
“The current registered owner of the vehicle is the legal owner and not the person simply in possession of the vehicle.
“The only legal claims on the vehicle are those of the registered owner.
“So please ensure the ownership is settled and made clear in all transactions and changeovers.”