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Virginia Imposes $5 Tax to Wait in DMV Line
Virginia legislature votes to impose a $5 tax for waiting in line to update a vehicle registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

DMV line photo by Jennifer Daniel/Flickr
Waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to update a car registration in Virginia will soon cost an extra $5. The Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday sent Governor Tim Kaine (D) a bill that imposes a $5 tax on motorists who require in-person assistance for registration services. The bill's sponsor, state Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover County), believes that imposing a toll will reduce congestion at office locations where wait times can often stretch for hours.

About one-third of vehicle registrations are currently performed in person at the DMV, meaning the tax could generate $9.1 million in profit. Among other provisions, the measure also allows the DMV to offer, at its discretion, a $1 discount for multi-year vehicle registrations. It also extends driver's license expiration dates from four to eight years. As the state charges $4 for each year a license is valid, the state will collect a $32 renewal fee up-front instead of just $16. This will generate a revenue windfall of $14.6 million per year -- until the fifth year of implementation where it turns into a $13.9 million revenue shortfall.

"(It) will require planning and preparation to navigate the negative cash flow issue that will present itself beginning in FY 2014," the bill's fiscal impact statement explains.

The state Senate approved the measure by a 35-4 vote and the House of Delegates by a 91-8 margin. View the full text of the legislation in a 36k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Senate Bill 116 (Virginia General Assembly, 3/7/2008)

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