New law suspends fines for late vehicle registration renewals

The Secretary of State will be prohibited from imposing a delinquent registration renewal fee if a vehicle’s registration expires during a period of time in which no notice was sent to the vehicle owner.

Signed into law Aug. 25, House Bill 4334 was introduced in response to the Secretary of State’s decision to suspend registration reminder notices in an effort to save money during the long-lasted budget impasse. As a result, the Secretary of State’s office estimates that there were approximately 476,000 late registration fines assessed between January 1 and mid-July of 2016, which translates into late fees of upwards of $9 million. Additionally, motorists were at risk of being ticketed by law enforcement driving on an expired license.

The practice of mailing the reminders was halted in October and motorists were encouraged to sign up for electronic reminders.

Since the June 30 passage of the stopgap budget, the mailing of vehicle registration renewal notices has resumed.

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