Capitol Notes

Proposed $1 DMV convenience fee not dead yet

With days until the state budget is due, the battle lines over a new $1 DMV convenience fee are clear.

On one side you have Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed the surcharge in his January state budget as a way to support “customer-friendly modernization efforts” at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, and on the other side are the Democratic majorities in the state legislature, who axed the measure from their one-house budget proposals earlier this month.

In a Friday interview with The Capitol Pressroom, Senate Transportation Committee Chair Tim Kennedy said lawmakers had a lot of questions about the governor’s proposal, including how the money would specifically be used and who would benefit.

“I’m not sure we’ve really received those answers, which is why I believe any fee proposal is questionable,” the Buffalo Democrat said.

Whether the governor ends up getting the fee into the final budget remains to be seen.

“Our goal is to get it flat out rejected in the final budget and we hope that happens,” Kennedy said.

The fee, as originally proposed, would apply to “transactions of registration, reregistration or renewal of a registration of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, historic motorcycle, snowmobile or vessel and the issuance of any original, duplicate or renewal learner permit, driver license or non-driver identification card,” according to a legislative memorandum.

◄ Back to News