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Answers to your I-976 questions

The Pierce County Auditor's office has compiled an excellent question and answer document regarding the passage of I-976. I am forwarding it to you for your information.

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What is I-976?

I-976 is an initiative that repeals or lowers certain vehicle registration fees and taxes. It’s commonly referred to as the $30 car tab initiative.

When does the initiative go into effect?
Most fee changes will go into effect December 5, 2019. This means for transactions processed, dealer date of sale, or registration renewals that are due on or after December 5 will pay the new fees. See table below

Any changes to Motor Vehicle Excise Tax would be effective April 1, 2020.

Why am I still paying Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET), also known as the RTA tax?
I-976 does not currently affect MVET/RTA taxes due, it gives Sound Transit until March 31, 2020 to take action on changes coming from the initiative. Until that time, customers will continue to pay MVET/RTA tax on their registration renewals.

What vehicle fees are affected by I-976?
Effective December 5, the initiative lowers or eliminates the following fees and tax:

I-976 Information

Why is my fee still more than $30? (for vehicles who register or renew after December 5, 2019)

The initiative only affected vehicle licensing fees listed in the table above. For example, the initiative did not affect the following common fees:
• $8 service fee: Funds are retained by subagent, or funds ferry replacement if renewed at County Auditor/DOL
• $4.50 filing fee: Funds go to the county in which the fee is paid
• $0.75 service fee: Funds are used to support technology used for licensing activities For a more comprehensive list of fees not affected, please visit dol.wa.gov.

Why haven’t I received my December renewal notice?
Paper renewal notices with expiration dates in December have not been mailed out.
DOL will not send any paper renewal notices until we can ensure that renewal notices contain the updated fees resulting from I-976.

NOTE: Email renewal notices have been sent to customers with vehicle expiration dates in December, but do not include fee amounts.

How do I know what fees to pay?
Expiration before December 5
All current fees are effective until December 5. If your vehicle registration is due before December 5, please pay the amount listed on your renewal notice or check online at dol.wa.gov.
Expiration on or after December 5
Updated fee amounts will not be available online or in office until December 5.

Can I wait to pay my registration renewal until after December 5 to save money?
Regardless of when you renew your registration, the fees will remain the same for all vehicle registrations that expire before December 5, 2019.

If my expiration is on or after December 5 and I already renewed, will I get a refund?
DOL is developing a process and will be communicating with affected customers.

What happens if a lawsuit is filed? Will DOL still stop collecting the fees eliminated by the initiative on December 5?
The press has reported that multiple lawsuits could be filed. We are working to understand the effects of these lawsuits and any injunctions. DOL will proceed with implementing the initiative unless directed by the courts to do otherwise.

How do I get more information about I-976?
Please contact DOL Customer Service Center at (360) 902-3770.
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