Its not too late to change these fees

Few things about the increased vehicle registration fees adopted by the state Legislature in 2009 angered Coloradans as much as the late fees, which could run as much as $100, on top of the new, higher registration costs.

State Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, is trying to roll the late fees back to their pre-2009 level of $10, and we hope he’s successful.

The higher late fees were ostensibly to encourage people to keep their registration up to date for all vehicles each year. But, as many people noted, there are a variety of reasons for not registering vehicles each year.

Campers, utility trailers and trailers for hauling recreational equipment may not be used every year, and therefore it is unfair to penalize those who choose not to register the trailers each year.

Last year, lawmakers did a partial fix by reducing late fees for these kinds of trailers.

However, there may be good reason for not registering a motor vehicle each year, as well.

For instance, the owner may be repairing or restoring the vehicle, and not driving it. Again, it seems unfair to charge higher fees once it’s ready to go on the road again.

The late fees punish behavior that, in many cases, was entirely legal and completely rational prior to 2009. Furthermore, as Baumgardner noted, the state never counted on a significant revenue stream from the late fees.

Legislators of both parties should get behind Baumgardner’s plan to reduce the late fees to the level of two years ago.


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