DLCA Issues 90-Day Moratorium to Renew Expired Business Licenses

Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Richard T. Evangelista Esq. (Source file photo)

The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs encourages persons with expired business licenses to immediately contact the department and arrange to make their licenses current.

“DLCA is willing to work with persons who have experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19 related setbacks and have been unable to renew their license that has expired on or after March 13, 2020,” said Commissioner Richard Evangelista.

DLCA also encourages persons with licenses that expired prior to March 13 to contact DLCA within 90 days to enter into a payment agreement to make their license current. Although there is a penalty assessed for each month that a license is expired, the Office of the Commissioner has the discretion to waive some of the incurred penalty fees.

To request a waiver of accrued penalty fees, one simply needs to submit a letter addressed to the Office of the Commissioner to request a waiver of penalties and to explain what setbacks caused one to fail to renew on time.

After 90 days of the instant moratorium, if necessary, DLCA will begin to issue citations, hold administrative hearings and refer persons to the Department of Justice for prosecution.  Whoever willfully fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of the DLCA statute will be liable to a fine not to exceed $500 and imprisonment not to exceed 30 days — or both.

“DLCA wants to issue a current license to everyone who is operating a business.  Compliance is simpler and more cost-efficient than enforcement,” said the commissioner.

As a reminder, DLCA may still be contacted by using its main telephone lines at 713-3522 on St. Croix, 714-3522 on St. Thomas or 474-2800 on St. John. DLCA receptionists no longer have use of multiple lines; therefore, sometimes calls may be delayed.

If someone is experiencing these delays, DLCA has an employee cellphone listing to contact a representative directly. Consumers may view this listing by visiting the website at www.dlca.vi.gov and clicking on contact and then employee directory.

If there are any questions, concerns or issues with the instant press release or any other issue concerning DLCA, contact the Office of the Commissioner at 713-6916 or 725-5129 or via email at [email protected].