House passes Costantino legislation to require notification of taxes due prior to motor vehicle registration
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today passed legislation submitted by Rep. Gregory J. Costantino (D-Dist. 44, Lincoln, Smithfield, Johnston) that would force the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles to continue a longstanding policy of sending motorists notice to renew their registrations even though they owe back taxes. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The legislation (2018-H 8117) would require the DMV to provide the normal notice by mail when a vehicle registration is due for renewal whether or not there are taxes owed, which by law would prevent renewal.
“Before the $20 million computer system was launched last year, the DMV would send out the normal renewal notices and stamp them with ‘taxes owed’ if there were unpaid taxes,” said Representative Costantino. “With the new system, owners are not receiving renewal notices if there are taxes due. It is ridiculous to expect any citizen to know the date when their registration needs to be renewed. Every insurance policy, every tax bill, even every magazine subscription sends out a renewal notice and a payment check back. Our state government doesn’t send any notice at all and then prosecutes drivers on the roads in unregistered cars, impounds their vehicles and fines them. This is beyond unfair and outrageous.”
The Rhode Island Modernization System was launched last July to replace the 40-year-old technology that had been in use by the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. Representative Costantino went on to say, “They keep telling everyone that unlike UHIP that the new DMV system is working perfectly; well, we will have to see what everyday people think when they run afoul of this situation.”
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903