Island Wheels Continued: Navigating the St. Croix BMV

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Once you’ve acquired your island wheels, you’ll need to complete the registration process and renew it annually. Here are some helpful hints to navigating the island Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV):

Location / Hours

The St. Croix BMV is located mid-island near the airport. It’s on Industrial Road between Melvin Evans and Queen Mary Highways (look for the police signs, as headquarters is next door).  They are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. except on local holidays (which are often, so check the calendar first).

Driver’s License

When you move to St. Croix, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license. Should you get pulled over or go through a check point, the grace period to do so is generally three months. As long as you have an unexpired stateside license, you can transfer it. You will also need to provide a driving record from the state which issued your license. Do not let your license expire or you will need to retake the road test.

To obtain a driver’s license, bring the following documents:
– Valid U.S. Passport or certified birth certificate
– Social security card or W-2
– Vehicle registration, title or utility bill verifying your address (two required)

If you do not have one or the aforementioned documents, there are substitutions available (see the REAL ID ACT of 2005 for a full list). If you’re changing your name, also bring a certified copy of your marriage license or divorce decree.

Registration

To register a vehicle you just purchased you will need to bring the title, bill of sale and insurance. The first two documents must be notarized. If you have purchased from a private seller, you will need a copy of their driver’s license as well.

Inspection

Inspection must be completed annually (do not let it lapse or you will be subject to a penalty fee). The stalls for inspection are located at the front of the building (not to be mistaken for the cones marking the road test line). Have your registration and insurance ready (they will keep a copy of your insurance, so be sure to obtain two with your annual renewal).  The cost is $69 each year.

Notary

For notary services, there is often a notary public set-up with a card table in the parking lot whom you can pay. Alternately, this service is complimentary for customers at Bank of St. Croix (Gallows Bay location only). If you’re at Marshall & Sterling to obtain car insurance, they also offer notary services for a nominal fee.

Details

Inside the BMV, you first visit the applicable window for the document you are seeking (window one is for licenses, two for registration, et cetera). There you’ll turn in your documentation and be given a number in line. When your number or name is called on the overhead speaker, they will direct you to a new cashier window to pay any applicable fees and pick-up your documents. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

As with any bureau or department of motor vehicles, avoid waiting until the last few days of the month to go, as it will be crowded with people whose documents are about to expire. This office generally operates on island time, so plan accordingly and bring a book.

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