Motorist fee increases start April 1
By Peter Cameron
Sorry GRTIGER, NCSTMOM and SXYMN76, but the fees for your license plates are going up.
Starting tomorrow, several driver fees, including those for new identification cards and title certificates, will increase as part of the massive transportation bill passed last year by the Pennsylvania legislature to fund the repair of the state's infrastructure system.
A second round of fee hikes, including those for vanity plates, goes into effect July 1.
"The increases are necessary to make sure we have a safe and efficient network of transportation," said state Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118, Avoca, and the Democratic chairman of the House's transportation committee. "Many of these fees haven't been increased for years and years."
Since 1997, to be exact, for most of them, said Rich Kirkpatrick, a spokesman from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The legislation and resulting fee increases represent an investment in Pennsylvania's future by "increasing public safety, driving commerce, creating jobs and providing reliable funding for our transportation needs without leaving the bill to our future generations," he said.
PennDOT estimates the increases will cost the average motorist an extra $2.50 per week and will raise more than $2 billion annually once the increases are completely enacted.
Anyone who has driven in Northeast Pennsylvania has felt the shock of pockmarked pavement or had to take the long way because of a closed bridge. The new funding will go toward improving all facets of the state's transportation system, Carroll said, including roads, bridges, public transport and aviation.
Along with the fee increases, the new legislation also raises taxes on the wholesale price of gasoline. A previous levy of about 0.02 percent had been capped at $1.25 per gallon since it was enacted in the 1980's, despite the wholesale price currently exceeding $3 per gallon, Kirkpatrick said. That cap was raised to $1.87 at the beginning of this year, and will increase again next year before it's eliminated in 2017. Defending the decision to increase taxes and fees in order to fund infrastructure repair, Kirkpatrick said "we just had tremendous needs that are going to get more expensive if we waited longer to deal with them."
"In essence, we did in Pennsylvania what Washington needs to do," he continued. "This is kind of a nationwide problem, and Pennsylvania addressed it in a modest way that is going to pay big dividends in transportation for everybody."
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org, @pcameronTT on TwitterStarting Tuesday, several fees at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will increase.
ID cards, including duplicate driver's licenses: $13.50 to $27.50
Title certificates: $22.50 to $50
Title security interest: $5 to $23
Driver information: $5 to $8
Vehicle information: $5 to $8
Certified records: $10 to $30
Manufacture/dealer notifications: $3 to $5
More fees will increase July 1:
Replacement license plate: $7.50 to $11
Registration plate transfer: $6 to $9
Vanity license plates: $20 to $76
Zoological and railroad special plates: $35 to $54
Inspection stickers: $2 to $5
Motor home registration: $45-$81 to $65-$116
Ambulance, taxi or hearse registration: $54 to $77
Trailers over 10,000 lbs.: $27 to $35
Permanent trailer: $135 to $165