DMV Reform Amendment Act Of 2004 Provisions Take Effect
Includes hybrid vehicle excise tax break, higher commercial registration fees, consumer title protection and tag-covering fines
Washington, DC - The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles Reform Amendment Act, enacted last December, went into effect this week, allowing the introduction of a myriad of changes in regulation, customer service and consumer protection.
"Things are changing at DMV", said Anne Witt, DMV's Director. "These legislative amendments assist in our quest to balance reliable regulation with consistent customer service."
Effective immediately, owners of hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles will not pay an excise tax and will have a reduced registration rate, while excise tax rates for heavy passenger vehicles (over 5,000 pounds) will increase to 8% (from 7%). Also, commercial vehicles, including taxis and other vehicles for hire, will be subject to higher registration fees. Commercial fees had not been increased for over 30 years.
The Act also brings a set of consumer protections previously absent in the District, by creating an obligation to report damaged vehicles to the DMV and the ability for DMV to place a corresponding salvage, flood-damaged, or non-repairable vehicle "brand" on the vehicle's title, ensuring these conditions are not hidden from subsequent owners.
The Act also amends a number of traffic violations enforced by the Metropolitan Police Department, including the institution of a $500 fine for any covering applied to a license plate, and a $100 fine if an opened alcoholic beverage container is found in a vehicle. It further requires that liability for a photo radar ticket can only be re-assigned if a driver's license number is provided.
"I applaud the growing partnership between MPD and DMV", said Metropolitan Police Department Chief Charles Ramsey. "The same cooperation that resulted in the dramatic turn-around in temporary tag abuse is now being extended to other areas of motor vehicle enforcement."
Details on the above-mentioned provisions are attached and, as they are implemented, DMV's website at www.dmv.dc.gov is being updated to reflect the new information. For DMV locations and normal hours of service, please visit www.dmv.dc.gov or call the DMV call center at 202-727-5000.