August 29, 2019
STATEMENT FROM DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES COMMISSIONER MARK J.F. SCHROEDER
“The hypocrisy and misstatements from certain legislators seeking cheap press hits are irresponsible and need to be clarified.
“The fee for new license plates has been $25 for over ten years – it was set by a law passed by the legislature and that law has been in place pre-dating this administration, since 2009. The legislature has not acted to change that fee, continuing the $25 charge every year since, under both Republican and Democratic control.
“Some legislators have now expressed an interest in lowering the fee. The Governor would like to lower the fee. If the legislators are sincere and want to lower the fee immediately, although they haven’t in the past decade, the Governor has made clear he invites them back for a Special session to do it.
“The second issue is to make sure license plates are in good condition especially as we are now moving to statewide electronic tolling which uses cameras reading license plates to charge tolls. If a plate is damaged or the reflective coating is degraded the camera will not work and the person will not be charged the toll. The revenue loss will be borne by other drivers which is unfair. The national standard by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators is that 10 years is a license plate’s useful life. It is possible that a plate may still be in good condition after 10 years but that determination would need to be made on a plate by plate basis after inspection. If the legislature can agree to a cost effective and practical plate inspection mechanism to determine what plates are still in good operating condition after the 10 year life and thus do not need to be replaced we would welcome the opportunity to be cooperative. The 10 year life replacement program does not go into effect until next April so we have time to work with the legislature to explore alternatives. We support reducing costs wherever possible.”