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License and Registration, Please

Police Cracking Down on Vehicles Registered Outside Bali but Operating Permanently on the Island

(5/31/2013) While Bali police have repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to curb the extended use of vehicles with non-Bali police registrations, efforts have been renewed to discourage Bali-based vehicle owners from operating cars, trucks and motorcycles with “out of island” license plates 

BeritaBali.com reports that the Denpasar District Court recently heard a spate of cases where drivers have been cited for using non-Bali registrations. The violators were caught during routine vehicle checks carried out on the Island’s roadways.

During a court session on Friday, May 31, 2013, a number of vehicle owners paid fines in excess of Rp. 100,000 (US$10) when called before the judge.

On Friday, judge Gunawan Tri Budiono found Bali-based companies using vehicles registered outside the island thereby causing a loss in local road tax revenues for the Province. Provincial rules state that vehicles based in Bali (as opposed to visiting for a brief period) must bear “DK” license plates denoting local registration.

Other rules stipulate strict limitations on the ability to localy register vehicles aged between 5-10 years.

The judge told the drivers called before the court to advise their vehicles' owners that they will be fined repeatedly if they continue to operate “non-DK” vehicles in Bali. Gunawan said out-of-island vehicles should either be returned to their point of origin, re-registered in Bali or replaced with locally purchased transportation.

Among the companies from Badung regency called before the Court for illegally operating vehicles were PT Wings Surya, Luluk - paint company on Jalan Anggungan and a company selling dry goods.

Budi of PT Wings Surya admitted before the Court that his company operates five panel trucks with “L” plates signifying registration in Surabaya. Each of his vehicles were fined Rp. 300,000 (US$30).

The judge asked each of the drivers netted in raids if they preferred to pay the fines or, alternatively, serve time in jail. All those ticketed quickly elected to pay the fine.

One enforcement official said some 200 owners of non-Bali vehicles have thus far paid fines before the court.

The fines paid were relatively modest in comparison to the maximum penalty allowed under the law of Rp. 5 million (US$500) or 3 months in jail.

Enforcement to date has been limited to trucks and public transportation. Police, however, say enforcement may soon be extended to include motorcycles and private vehicles.

Said one official, “If you operate a vehicle in Bali, you better pay taxes in Bali.”