Queues double for new licences

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 1997, 12:00am

Extra counters may be opened in licensing offices after motorists complained of long queues during yesterday's introduction of 10-year permits.

More than 4,200 people turned out at the four Transport Department licensing offices to apply for the longer licence - twice the daily average.

Some people waiting at department offices said a separate window was not provided for other services apart from the new licence.

'I have to wait in the main queue even though I'm not applying for a local licence, which is what so many are here for,' one said.

'There should be a separate window and queue for the other services, like they have in the Post Office when they sell special editions.' Staff of the Central Island office, in the United Centre, said about 250 applicants were queuing outside the main entrance before its 9 am opening.

Applicants said the queuing, application and processing time took about three hours.

Renee Au-Yeung Yam-lan said despite passing her driving test in March, she delayed her application to coincide with the longer licence issuance.

'I'm queuing because I can't wait any longer to get my licence and a couple of hours wait is not too bad, I just want to start driving,' Ms Au-Yeung said, adding she would only drive for 'leisure'.

Senior executive officer of the department's Licensing Section, Chow Siu-chung, appealed for patience among non-urgent applicants, saying long queues could be expected for the rest of the week.

Before the 10-year move, drivers had a licence option of one year at $288 or three years at $864, including levies to the Traffic Accident Assistance Scheme. The new 10-year licence for everyone under 60 will cost $900, including the levies.



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