Driving & Vehicle Information
Obtaining a Driver's License
To drive in St. Kitts, you must obtain a St. Kitts driver's license. To do this, you must present your current driver's license from your home country. A license can be obtained at the Traffic Department in the St. Johnson’s Village which is open from 8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or the Fire Station on Frigate Bay Road, which is open 24 hours/day. The charge for a license is: three months = EC$62.50 (US$24); one year = EC$125.00 (US$48). You must remember to renew the license every year. Your home country license should always be carried in conjunction with your St. Kitts license.
Note: Obtaining a St. Kitts license is important as random traffic stops occur often. If you are caught driving without a license, you may be fined or taken into police custody.
Vehicle & Road Traffic Act - Many of the traffic and vehicle laws in St. Kitts may differ from your home country. This document contains the full Vehicle and Road Traffic Act of St. Christopher and Nevis (15.06).
Summary of Offenses Under the Vehicle and Road Traffic Act - Contains penalties for various vehicle and road traffic offenses.
Examples of minimum penalties (View the PDF and Full Traffic act for further details):
EC $150 Penalty - driving unlicensed or unregistered vehicle, driving without or expired license, repairing a vehicle in street
EC $100 Penalty - driving at night with missing headlamp or rear lighting, failure to comply with traffic sign direction, failing to comply with lawful direction of member of Police, overcrowding a vehicle, failure to pull-over for emergency vehicle, parking in no parking zone, failure to stop at intersection, failure to display license sticker on window.
EC$100 Penalty – parking on a yellow line.
EC$150 Penalty – cellular phone use while driving.
EC$150 Penalty – driving without a seatbelt.
Important Things to Remember when Driving in St. Kitts
- Driving is on the LEFT hand side of the road.
- The maximum legal speed limit is 40 MPH; 20 MPH in towns.
- When passing another vehicle, it is customary to beep your horn. If driving in areas with curvy roads, you may want to honk as you go into a turn to warn other drivers.
- Be aware that motorists may use hand signals instead of turn signals. Buses with license plates "H" or "HA" rarely signal, so be careful when you travel behind them.
- Make sure your vehicle has working headlights and taillights and that your license plates are made up of a black background with white letters and numbers on the front and back of the vehicle. Also, make sure they are not broken and all the letters and numbers may be seen. The police conduct random checks and will fine for any infractions.
- The police also check for expired registration, license, and insurance. Keep these up-to-date and in your car or on you at all times. Car registration/license/road tax (the sticker on your windshield) shows the month and year your car registration/license/road tax expires. Your driver's license expires one year after the original purchase and on the anniversary thereafter. Your car insurance also expires one year after the original insurance date. You may not get reminders. The police conduct random checks and will fine for any infractions.
Purchasing Vehicles from RUSVM Students
Although St. Kitts is a small island, having transportation is still important. No one ships the car they own in St. Kitts back home, nor does anyone ship cars from the US - it would cost you 85% duty on the deemed value of the car plus EC$5,000 environmental tax. At the end of each semester there are many cars for sale. These cars are from the previous 7th semester students who were not able to sell them before they left and will be on campus for sale during Orientation Week for new students. Your orientation leader will also have recommendations about where to purchase affordable secondhand cars and mechanics to use.
The realistic cost for a used car in St. Kitts is in the US $4,500 - US$7,000 range.
If purchasing a car from an individual, the following steps should be taken
When the seller is on island:
- The Declaration of Transfer form (obtained at the Housing Office) must be completed by both the seller and the buyer.
If the wheel tax has expired when buying a vehicle visit anyone of the following for vehicular inspection:
Hanley’s Automotive Engineering Co. Ltd. – Bird Rock – 869-465-0545
Huggins Auto Service & Rental – Bay Road – 869-465-8080
Automotive Art – Frigate Bay Road – 869 465-7105
The seller must accompany the buyer to the Traffic Department with the Declaration of Transfer form.
The buyer must present the authorized stamped Declaration of Transfer form when purchasing vehicular insurance. SNIC NAGICO and ICWI are popular insurance companies among students.
Within 7 days of visiting the Traffic Department the vehicle ownership must be transferred into the new owner’s name at the Inland Revenue Department.
When the seller is off island:
- The Declaration of Transfer form (obtained at the Housing Office) must be completed by both the seller and the buyer. Do not date the document.
- The seller must contact the Housing Department (via email) to indicate: 1). the name of the person who will be purchasing the vehicle and 2). to indicate that the vehicle has been paid in full.The buyer must bring the completed Declaration of Transfer form to the Housing Department – Tegreman Hall 111. A letter will be prepared and given to the buyer. If the wheel tax has expired when buying a vehicle visit Hanley’s Automotive Engineering Co. Ltd. or Huggins Auto Service for a vehicular inspection.
- The buyer must go to the Traffic Department with both the Declaration of Transfer form and the letter from the Housing Department.
- The buyer must present the authorized stamped Declaration of Transfer form when purchasing vehicular insurance. SNIC NAGICO and ICWI are popular insurance companies among students.
- Within 7 days of visiting the Traffic Department vehicle ownership must be transferred to the new owner’s name at the Inland Revenue Department.
- Do not drive a vehicle that has not been insured.
- Ensure that the Declaration of Transfer form is fully completed with the requested information.
- Traffic Department is located: 1st left past the hospital, 2nd right, building on left towards end of the road.
- SNIC insurance company is located in Basseterre and NAGICO is located at the IGA Mall.
- Inland Revenue is located on the Bay Road, upstairs of the Post Office.
- Each car needs to be inspected annually. To determine when your car should be inspected, look on the colored sticker on the car windshield for the expiration month. The last digit of your license plate number will determine your inspection month (1 = January; 0 = October).
- Please note that Inland Revenue does not accept checks from Ross University students, so you must pay in cash.
Buying a Vehicle from a Dealership
A listing of car dealerships (with new and used cars) is listed below. Car rental agencies (E.g. Avis, Thrifty, G&L, Hertz, Delisle Walwyn and Huggins Auto Service & Rental) where cars may be available for sale. If purchasing a car from a dealership, the company will be able to help you with the registration and inspection process.
New/Used Car Dealerships:
Caines Auto Services, Honda Dealership
Pond Industrial Site
TDC Automotive, Suzuki Dealership
Ponds Industrial Site (Bay Road),
S. L. Horsford Automotive Division, Nissan Dealership
Leasing a Vehicle
Leasing of vehicles is not a standard business practice in St. Kitts; transactions of this nature should be closely investigated and entered into only if from one of the reputable automobile dealerships. To be on the safe side, do not lease if in doubt and refer to Ross University for further information. Renting long-term should be verified by the Housing Department for authenticity.
You will need to insure your car at one of the many insurance companies in St. Kitts. Please note that premiums are based on: chassis and engine number, engine size, and driver's age. It will be beneficial if you brought along a letter of fitness from your previous car insurance agency, stating current percent of no claim discount for the local company to assign a reduced rate to your new policy.
- SNIC - St. Kitts-Nevis Insurance Co.
Central St. – 869 465-2845
- ICWI – The Insurance Company of the West Indies
1c Bird Rock – 869 466-2490
- National Caribbean Insurance Co.
Church St. – 869 465-5345
- S. L.Horsford and Co., Ltd.
West Independence Square – 869 465-2616
- Delisle Walwyn & Co., Ltd.
Liverpool Row – 869 465-2631
It is part of our mission to ensure we provide the smoothest transition for you upon your arrival. Your orientation leader will be responsible for making sure you are given the opportunity to purchase, insure, and transfer the registration of a vehicle if you so desire. We will assist you during orientation in all possible ways.
Automobile Parts, Repair Centers & Automobile Dealerships
Listed below are automobile parts/repair centers, automobile dealerships, and rental car agencies in St. Kitts. There are also many local independent mechanics. Always get a committed estimate before getting any work done and insist on a phone call to advise you if the work is going to exceed the agreed amount.
Myron Liburd Auto Repairs
Ponds Industrial Site (Bay Road)
General auto repairs, body work
Huggins Auto Service & Rental
Vehicle Inspection, General auto repairs, Wrecker Services
Sylvester Thomas Auto Repairs
Bird Rock 869-466-8823/869-665-5883
General auto repairs
Gordon Manufacturing Enterprises
Ponds Industrial Site,
Radiator & muffler specialists
Island Auto Parts