As previously reported, effective January 01, 2020, the state is imposing an increased registration fee for plug-in electric vehicles (“EVs”) and hybrid vehicles. After several requests, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”) has just informed OADA how it will implement this new process.
A summary follows:
Determining whether a vehicle is EV or Hybrid
Pursuant to the transportation budget, which was passed in 2019, any consumer driving an EV will have to pay an additional $200.00 while those driving a traditional hybrid will have to pay an additional $100.00. These fees are in addition to the current registration fees and will be assessed annually.
The statute defines EVs and hybrids as follows:
• Plug-in Electric Motor Vehicle – A passenger car powered wholly or in part by a battery cell energy system that can be recharged via an external source of electricity.
• Hybrid Motor Vehicle – A passenger car powered by an internal propulsion system consisting of both the following:
– A combustion engine; and
– A battery cell energy system that cannot be recharged via an eternal source of electricity but can be recharged by other vehicle mechanisms that capture and store electric energy.
For the purposes of determining whether a vehicle is an EV or hybrid, the BMV uses the VIN Decoding Program provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) to determine what is the vehicle’s fuel type. NHTSA’s VIN Decoder is a public program and allows dealers to look up specific vehicles to determine its fuel type. The VIN Decoder website can be found CLICKING HERE.
Based on OADA’s discussions with the BMV, we have prepared a step-by-step guide to assist dealers in finding this information. You can find that guide CLICKING HERE. An additional resource to assist dealers in determining the fuel type is the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center, which allows dealers to look at vehicle makes and models to determine the vehicle’s fuel type. The DOE’s website can be found CLICKING HERE.
Registration Requirements and Costs
Upon initial registration or changing the registration, the Deputy Registrar’s system will search NHTSA’s system to determine the fuel type and whether the additional registration cost applies to that transaction. In situations where the VIN Decoder Program cannot determine the vehicle’s fuel type or the consumer wishes to contest the decision of the VIN Decoder Program’s results, the consumer may complete the BMV Form 4741, Vehicle Fuel Type Affidavit for Registration, which can be found CLICKING HERE. That designation will remain on the record unless the VIN, title number, or model year associated with that plate number are changed
Remember, this charge is additional to existing registration fees and is assessed at the time of registration and renewal. Dealers need to consider including this additional registration cost when finalizing a lease transaction or if the dealership assists customers in registering vehicles they have purchased. At this point, we are not aware of any disclosure requirements at the time of purchase.
Finally, remember that this is in addition to the existing registration fees. For example, if a consumer purchased either an EV or hybrid and the registration was $34.50, the total due would be as follows:
OADA will continue to provide updates and more information as it becomes available.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your local Deputy Registrar or OADA Legal Counsel, Sara Bruce at (614) 923-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt Chacey at (614) 923-2232 or email@example.com.