Higher vehicle and driver fees kick in for motorists

Get ready to pay a little more to keep your car on the road in Pennsylvania.

Vehicle registrations, drivers’ license renewals and dozens of other fees imposed by PennDOT increased Tuesday. The fee increases were one of the major funding components – along with an increase in the state’s taxes on gasoline – included in the $2.3 billion transportation infrastructure bill passed by the General Assembly last year.

The revenue from the transportation bill is going toward fixing bridges, mending potholes and funding mass transit operations, but residents will foot the bill next time they visit PennDOT.

Registration fees for cars and motorcycles increased $1 on Tuesday, while registration fees for pickup trucks climbed by $1.50. Further increases are planned for 2017 with annual increases tied to inflation in subsequent years.

Drivers’ license fees increased by $1, to $22 per year, with further increases planned to match inflation.

Bigger increases will hit in other areas. The cost for a certificate of title jumped to $50 from $22.50, while certified copies of PennDOT records jumped by 400 percent to $22 from $5.

And don’t lose your drivers’ license. The old fee for a replacement was $5, but it will now cost $19.

Other fees will increase in July.

Drivers who want to display a special message with their license plate should get their applications in soon. Vanity plates will cost $76 after July 1, compared to $20 now.

According to the governor’s Transportation Advisory Commission, the average Pennsylvania driver can expect to pay $22 more this year and $132 more in 2018, when all the fee and tax increases hit their high-water marks. The commission’s 2011 report formed the basis for the transportation plan passed last year.

Eric Boehm is a reporter for PA Independent and can be reached at Eric@PA

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