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DMV feels: Staying street legal in West Virginia gets more expensive Saturday


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va.  — Staying “street legal” in West Virginia gets more expensive after midnight tonight.

Leigh Ann Koehler, left, and Lisa Stanton, employees of the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, wait to assist customers in processing West Virginia vehicle registrations.
(Photo by Joselyn King)
The West Virginia Legislature this month passed a measure increasing fees charged by the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles — the first increase in three decades. The higher fees are expected to generate $130 million annually for a state that has had both infrastructure issues and a growing budget deficit in recent years.

Effective with the start of the new fiscal year on Saturday, vehicle registrations for Class A plates will jump from the current yearly rate of $30 to $51.50 — an increase of $21.50 per vehicle. Those obtaining special license plates will pay the additional $21.50 in addition to the cost of the special plate.

Drivers with July and August renewals who already have received their registration renewal paperwork in the mail will need to pay the additional $21.50 beyond what is listed in the renewal notice, as is stated in the legislation.

Those who have already paid for a two-year registration sticker will not be billed an additional fee for 2018, said Leigh Ann Koehler, an employee with the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department who processes DMV registrations. The two-year sticker is available at the DMV office in Moundsville.

Brand new fees that will go into effect under the legislation are for title and registration transfers to legal heirs, which will now cost $15 and $10.50, respectively.

Koehler reported the office has been busy with requests from vehicle owners seeking to beat the July 1 increase.

“There are going to be some unhappy people come Monday,” she said.

Calls to DMV headquarters in Charleston were not immediately returned Thursday.

In addition to registration fees, the following are among vehicle fee changes effective Saturday:

Vehicle sales tax increased from 5 percent to 6 percent.

Title fee, $10 to $15

Duplicate title, $10 to $15

Salvage title/cosmetic loss, $15 to $22.50

Reconstructed title, $10 to $15

Legal heir title transfer, $15 (previously no charge)

Lien recording, $5 to $10

Registration transfer, $5.50 to $10.50

Legal heir registration transfer, $10.50 (previously no charge)

Duplicate decals, plates, and registrations, $5 to $10

The additional $130 million the higher fees are expected to generate could be put toward paying off bonds for an estimated $2 billion in road work across the state if West Virginia voters approve. Residents will go to the polls Oct. 7 to decide the issue.

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