Monday, March 1, 2010

RMV Hits Drivers With Back-Door Tax

Drivers beware: If you try to renew your license or registration in-person at one of the Registry of Motor Vehicle’s branch offices – or attempt to speak with an RMV representative over the phone – be prepared to dig even deeper into your wallet.

The Boston Herald reports that, beginning today, the Patrick Administration is hitting drivers with a new $5 “back-door tax.” The new fee applies if a customer visits an RMV branch or speaks with an RMV representative on the phone to renew their license or registration; obtain a duplicate license or Massachusetts ID; or request an attested driving record.

Massachusetts drivers are already paying an extra $10 for a license renewal, thanks to a series of fee increases approved last year that are collectively costing the state’s hard-working taxpayers an estimated $75 million more a year. But the new $5 fee – implemented without any advance warning to the general public – shows the Patrick Administration’s policy of nickel-and-diming the public knows no bounds.

It would be one thing if the RMV made customer service its top priority, as it did in the days when Dan Grabauskas was running the agency. But the reality is, the RMV now expects the public to just “pay up and shut up.”

We have news for the Patrick Administration: the public is sick and tired of being asked to pay more money for less service. Rest assured, the Senate Republican Caucus will do everything it can to repeal this ludicrous back-door tax.