(EL PASO COUNTY) – Whether you’re new to Colorado, or if it’s simply that time of year again, everyone deals with the cost of car registration.
So how much will you pay here in El Paso County? Well, there are two main factors to look at, “The value of the vehicle and the weight of the vehicle,” stated El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman.
As you may have guessed, the heavier or more valuable your vehicle, the more you pay.
If you have a brand new vehicle, your fee this year could be much more than $1,000. However, if you have a vehicle 10 years old or older it could be around $75.
If you want an estimate on how much you’ll pay when you head to the DMV, you can find that number here.
With Colorado’s registration fees running higher than other states, it begs the question, “Why can fees be so high here?”
“[Other states] have different values and philosophies on how they want revenues to come in,” continued Broerman.
According to Broerman, other states that want to encourage people to buy more cars or newer cars will charge less in registration fees.
However, he continued, since Colorado does not have a major automotive industry that drives the economy, the state government decided to make money elsewhere, “We need to raise the revenue to pay for transportation projects and infrastructure.”
There are fees tagged on to the registration fee that go to bridge safety, medical services, peace officer training, animal overpopulation control, and more.
“It affects your everyday life.”
However, the majority of those funds are directed towards road projects, which the county said are becoming more important as the population in El Paso County continues to rise.
“That puts an additional burden on our office.”
From 583,000 registered vehicles in 2012 to 664,600 vehicles registered in December of 2017, the county has seen an increase of more than 79,000 vehicles in five years.
This means the DMVs in our area are staffing more people, but are also working to be more efficient to deal with the growth in population.
New technologies and processes have been added, and later this year, a new app called “Drives” will be implemented statewide to help streamline DMV-related processes.
But another way the DMV here in El Paso County is working to serve more people in a timely way is via late fees. These accumulate at a rate of $25 per month up to $100 after your registration expires.
“We utilize that to augment our staff and keep our wait times low,” said Broerman.
How low? Well, according to the DMV, the average time over the last year is 24 minutes, something Broerman said he’s proud of.
“We are not your parents’ DMV,” Broerman said.
But each driver can cut that time down even further if they choose the right day and time to head to the DMV.
“Stay away from the first and last days of the month, Mondays and Fridays, and hope for a cold snowy day.”
When it comes to choosing a time? Either come in really early, or right around 9:30 a.m., but at all costs, according to the clerk, avoid going around lunchtime.