SACRAMENTO – California Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) has introduced a bill that would allow working-class individuals to pay for their vehicle registration fee in monthly installments.
Lackey is among the few legislators working to provide a solution for working-class families to afford the sky-rocketing fees required when registering a vehicle.
“As the cost to own and operate a vehicle in California continues to rise, it hurts working-class families the most,” Lackey said. “In his State of the State address, Governor Newsom underscored the necessity of affordable transportation for the working class who are the backbone of our State’s economy. This bill goes to work for those people.”
In California, the average vehicle registration fee is $246 and owners are required to pay the fee in full by its midnight deadline. After only one month of deferred payments, a motorist faces up to $100 in fines and those fines will continue to rise until the payment is made. This disproportionately affects low-income families and individuals.
The Franchise Tax Board estimates that of the nearly 33 million vehicle registration renewal notices issued every year, about 3.73 million vehicle registration accounts will become delinquent. When those registrations lose accreditation, the FTB initiates automatic bank transfers from the debtor’s account and the FTB takes the wages until the debts are fully repaid.
“If a person can’t afford to pay their car registration on time the state should not be taking people’s cars to compel payment. This response is disproportionate and worse doesn’t get the DMV fees paid anyway,” said Mike Herald from the Western Center on Law and Poverty. “The state needs to find a way to help poor people afford to pay their registration as proposed in AB 461.”
AB 461 allows monthly installment payments, and through the DMV, shows support for individuals that need the most help and allows them an opportunity to fulfill a common necessity.
Lackey represents the 36th Assembly District, which contains portions of Kern, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties, including the communities of Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Quartz Hill, Acton, Boron, Littlerock, Pearblossom, Mojave, Rosamond, California City, Phelan and Piñon Hills.