• Report: #833129

Complaint Review: CA DMV

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  • Submitted: Thu, February 02, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, February 04, 2012

  • Reported By: Tyler — Santa Barbara California United States of America
CA DMV
Santa Barbara, California United States of America

CA DMV REGISTRATION RIP-OFF Santa Barbara, California

*UPDATE Employee: calif dmv renewal and penalties

*Consumer Comment: Little sticker on your plate

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I have been the victim of the CA Dept. of Motor Vehicle registration scam. Okay, here is how it works: (1)They claim to send out a registration renewal notice 3 months before it is due. I never got mine but they claimed they sent it to me. I can't prove I didn't get it, but who pays bills 3 months before they are due? (2) If they do not get payment on or before 30 days after the due date they send another notice to you telling you that the vehicle registration is late and then they dump the fines on you. I got charged $30 for a "current Registration Late fee". I was charged another $30 for the California Highway Patrol Penalty. How the CHP got involved in this is a mystery. I was charged $108 for "current Vehicle License Fee Penalty".

Total penalties for being 31 days late in paying $168.00 Here are my Registration renewal charges:

(1) current Registration Fee $ 43.00
(2) current CHP $ 23.00
(3) current Vehicle License Fee $180.00
(4) current SAFE $ 1.00
(5) Smog TRF/REN $ 2.00
(6) Current FID $ 1.00
(7) CY Smog HPR $ 4.00
(8) SMG APT AIR $ 6.00
(9) Alt/Fuel Smog $ 8.00
(10) Current Auto/DUI $ 1.00
(11) Current Air QLT $ 6,00
(12) ALT FUEL RF $ 3.00
(13) Current Reg Penalty $ 30.00
(14) CHP Penalty $ 30.00
(15) Current VLF Penalty $108,00

Total Due-------------------> $446.00

Yes, that is correct, $446.00 to register my car for 11 more months. This is more than the fine would be from the courts for driving without registration!! $16 in smog fees? This is a 2009 Infiniti sedan with one of the lowest emission systems around! They even wave the smog check requirement yet still charge me $16 in smog fees. Lets face it, this is a huge government scam and I would love to be included in a class action lawsuit against the state for gouging it's citizens with unreasonable late penalties after they fail to send out registration notices as they claim to do or send them out 3 months early in the hopes that they will get lost or misplaced. The government is broke and they have turned to fraud to squeeze every cent out of innocent citizens.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/02/2012 08:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/CA-DMV/Santa-Barbara-California-93111/CA-DMV-REGISTRATION-RIP-OFF-Santa-Barbara-California-833129. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

calif dmv renewal and penalties

AUTHOR: 1HotMVFR - (USA)

Your renewal notice is a courtesy notice.  The registration card clearly states that if you do not receive your renewal notice before the expiration date you can use the card itself to pay the renewal fees. 

The notice is processed 90 days before the due date  and mailed shortly thereafter. This allows the owner time to budget for the annual expense.  It also gives them time to get their smog if needed.  Make repairs if it failed.  So they have the renewal completed before it expires.  You can pay the fees  60 days prior to the renewal if you want.

If you have trouble remembering when your bills are due OR if you suffer from short term memory loss I suggest you make a note on your calender or enter it into your calender on your cell phone so you won't forget next time.

Now let me see if I can explain some of the fees and penalties.  The registration fee goes to DMV to pay operating expenses.   

Your VLF is tax deductible if you itemize on your state taxes.  It is basicly a property tax.  This money goes to the state, local and county govt.  It is also based on the value of your veh and decreases as the veh gets older.  If the budget needs money to balance this is where they get more money.

DMV acts as a collection agency for state, city and county depts.  The CHP fees (including CHP penalty) Pays for their operating expenses.  A couple years ago they increased the penalties because of the budget cuts. 

The smog fees go to the various agencies involving air resources.  Again these go to state, city and county boards.  If you have several fees involving smog then you live in an area that the city and/or county has decided they need these fees for their various programs. 

There are counties that don't have as many smog fees but they have a fee for abandoned vehicle disposal.  Thats because people will drive their clunker into the hills and dump it. Someone has to pay to haul it away.  

DMV also collects for parking tickets that have become delinquent. 

So if you do not want to pay a high VLF fee then I suggest you sell your 3 yr old car and buy a $100 car.  If you do not want to pay penalties then make sure you pay your renewal on time.  If you can't trust yourself to remember to pay on time then mark it on a calender, put a reminder somewhere visible in your car.  You remember to get it serviced don't you?   

By the way, the stiff penalties were put in place because of people like you.  Irresponsible adults who "couldn't remember" or "didn't get a notice".  You aren't an innocent victim.  Grow up and pay your bills on time.  It will save you money and make you a better person.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Little sticker on your plate

AUTHOR: patti - (United States of America)

That little sticker with the expiration date on your license plate is your first clue to when you are due to renew your tag.  If you don't receive a notice then contact them.
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