To generate $55 million needed to meet state spending demands, the state Board of Transportation has proposed a slate of higher Registry of Motor Vehicles fees, on the heels of last year’s three cent per gallon increase in the gas tax and a law tying future gas tax hikes to inflation.
A public hearing process is required before the Registry fees are increased, the State House News Service reported.
Under the plan, the road test fee for individuals seeking their first license would increase from $20 to $35.
Non-commercial registration fees would go up from $50 to $60. The typical $40 additional fee for specialty plates will remain the same. The annual motor vehicle inspection fee would increase from $29 to $35 with $1 of that $6 increase going to the service stations that perform the inspections.
“We have targeted three fees for simplicity’s sake,” Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey said at a MassDOT board meeting. He said, “We all knew that reform alone was not enough to fix a broken transportation system.”
Service stations currently receive $22.50, the bulk of the charge on vehicle inspections, as the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation share $4.49, and $2 is paid to the inspection vendor, Parsons. With the increase, an additional $5 would go to MassDOT.
The fee increases are projected to raise between $55 million and $62 million in gross revenue, and MassDOT said excess funds would go toward improved customer service, road and bridge projects and moving employees from the debt-funded capital budget onto the operating budget.
The RMV plans to hold public hearings in May and must file its new fees by June 6, in order for them to go into effect by July 1.