I woke up to a crisp and cool 54 degrees temperature today, the first day of September. An early start was in order for me because I needed to troop to the nearest DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office. I’m aware that the establishment is open at 8:30, and in anticipation of the usual long lines, I wanted to have a good head start.
I was hesitant to go today, as I was also expecting the delivery of my Amazon books but I wanted to clear out the issue on our vehicle’s registration renewal.
Three weeks ago, we received the notice via mail and not long after that I sent out the renewal payment. My husband and I were aware of an increase in renewal fees thus, even if we found the new fee ridiculously high as compared to the fee two years ago, I went ahead and sent the payment. Yesterday, I got the car sticker and the new registration document.
Last week, I started to investigate and check out the DMV website. A new two year fee of $133.50 as compared to the previous of $72.50 seem unlikely. We surmised, that there may have been an error in the system, hence, they generated an enormous amount. As the website indicated, the new two year fee for the weight of our vehicle is $53.50 plus the two year use tax of $30.00. Thus, there is a discrepancy of $50.oo which led us to believe that there was a billing error. The renewal document from the DMV was presented this way:
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
2 Yr Registration fee: $ 103.50
2 Yr Use tax: 30.00
Amount Due : $ 133.50
RENEWAL NOTICE TWO YEARS AGO:
2 Yr Registration fee : $ 42.50
2 Yr Use tax: 30.00
Amount Due: $ 72.50
Armed with all the documents that I anticipated to be pertinent including a copy of the canceled cheque that I secured from the bank, I patiently waited for my turn to speak with a clerk. At first, she tried to shove me off telling me that the increase in fees are in effect. But I showed her the table of fees that I downloaded. She responded by telling me that the $53.50 should be multiplied by 2 for 2 years. I responded by saying that assuming it is calculated that way, it still won’t come out to $103.50 It was then that she admitted that she has to call someone to help and enlighten her.
Twenty minutes after, I gathered this information from her – that the discrepancy of $50.00 is an additional fee termed as Supplemental MCTD(Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District) fee for two years affecting renewals and original registrations within all the counties of New York City starting September 1, 2009 and renewals for registrations with expiration date of September 29, 2009( our car’s expiration).
I find it really odd that the renewal notice did not specifically indicate this additional fee. In the interest of transparency, they should have spelled it out so that vehicle owners will not wonder. I believe, that the Department of Motor Vehicles should be able to do better than this. Or, did they deliberately do this to mask the additional supplemental fee that they are tucking on to vehicle owners, on top of the increase in the two year registration fee?
This is upsetting. Had they been more upfront, I should not have wasted a trip to the local DMV office.