FASTER bill may make Garfield County vehicle owners move quickly |

FASTER bill may make Garfield County vehicle owners move quickly

John Colsonjcolson@postindependent.comGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Garfield County residents who have a vehicle parked somewhere on a long-term basis, and not registered with up-to-date tags, might be in for a shock come June 1.That is when the state will begin charging $25 per month for every month a vehicles plates are expired, or its registration is allowed to lapse, up to a maximum amount of $100.The new late fees, along with new resident registration requirements, increased vehicle registration fees in general and increased add-on fees, are part of the recently passed state legislation known as F.A.S.T.E.R., or Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery.Conceived as a way to dig Colorado out of a fiscal pit in terms of transportation funding, it is expected to generate about $252 million annually for transportation projects, including improvements to more than 100 structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges.Regarding the late fees, vehicle owners have until June 1 to bring all their registrations up to date. The only exemptions are commercial vehicles idled for more than a year, and the personal vehicles of active-duty military personnel.For the normal registration fees, as of July 1, vehicle registration fees will nearly triple in some instances, and generally will rise considerably over what they once were.For example, the most basic fee for registering a motorcycle has been $12.75, according to Garfield County Clerk & Recorder Jean Alberico.Under the new rules, that fee will rise by $22.50, including a one-time road safety fee of $16 and an annual assessment for bridge construction of $6.50, bringing the total to $35.25, or nearly three times the existing basic fee.For larger vehicles, Alberico said, the fee hikes are not so steep. She also pointed out that the bridge-construction fee will be increasing over the next couple of years.Vehicles exempt from these fees are rentals; horseless carriages, or antique vehicles built prior to 1942; and farm trucks and tractors.Also passed by the legislature are increased add-on fees such as a $2 fee per vehicle to pay for emergency medical services (up from $1), and 60 cents per vehicle (up from 25 cents) for peace officer standards and training or POST expenses.In addition, the legislation contained a provision that increases the requirement for qualifying as a resident of the state, from the previous 30 days to 90 days. Colorado residency is defined as owning or operating a business in the state, or living in the state continuously for 90 days, or going to work at a steady job in the state.The new residency requirements went into effect on March 2.For a fuller explanation of the fees, residency requirements and other issues, contact Albericos office at 945-2377.Contact John Colson:

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