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11/7/2017 Metts urges DMV to reconsider $250 fee for those whose inspections expire
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Harold M. Metts is urging the Division of Motor Vehicles to reconsider its plan to begin charging Rhode Islanders $250 to reinstate their vehicle registration if it is suspended due to an expired inspection sticker.

Senator Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) said the plan will have a very negative impact on the poor, who already struggle to pay existing fees and repairs that may be necessary for their vehicles to pass inspection.

“This is a plan that will weigh most heavily on those who can least afford it,” Senator Metts wrote in a letter sent to DMV Administrator Walter R. “Bud” Craddock today. “Many Rhode Islanders live paycheck to paycheck, struggling just to cover basic expenses, and for them a $250 fee is an absolute roadblock. It’s the kind of substantial problem that causes desperate people to turn to predatory payday loans or to continue to drive in violation of the law because they have no other way to get to work so they can pay the rent and feed their families. While a fee that high may indeed serve as a deterrent for many, what about the many Rhode Islanders who let their inspection stickers lapse because they can’t afford the repairs necessary for their vehicles to pass inspection? For them, this fee puts compliance even further out of reach.

“While I’m pleased that the new DMV computer system has been working well and can now perform important tasks like identifying registered vehicles with expired inspections, I urge you to use this tool in a way that encourages compliance without making it more impossible for those who are struggling to get by. Please consider revising your proposal in a way that is more sensitive to the plight of the poor, for whom a car is often the key that allows them to get to work and support themselves and their families.”

The DMV’s new computer system has allowed the division to identify vehicles that have expired inspection stickers and suspend their registration. The DMV included in its 2017-2018 revised budget request to the governor a proposal to begin suspending those registrations and charge a $250 fee to restore registration starting Jan. 1. Those fees are expected to generate an estimated $2.5 million in revenue.

Since its new computer system went live July 1, the DMV has already begun sending letters to owners of vehicles whose inspections have expired notifying them that they need to have them inspected.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923