Washington DC

DC Vehicle Registration Will More Than Triple for Some SUVs, Trucks by 2024

Washington, D.C.'s annual registration fee for vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds will go from $155 to $500

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Registration is going to get a lot more expensive for D.C. residents who own heavier SUVs and pickup trucks.

The 2023 budget the D.C. Council approved includes a provision that raises the annual registration fee for most vehicles. The provision would take effect in 2024.

Owners of vehicles that weigh more than 6,000 pounds will have to pay $500 per year. That's more than triple the $155 that those owners currently pay.

Fees will jump from $155 to $250 for vehicles that are more than 5,000 pounds.
Vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 5,000 pounds will go from $115 to $175.

D.C. will not raise the $72 fee, however, for cars weighing 3,500 pounds or less.

Council members said there are three reasons for the increases.

"One: It effects our roads greatly. Second: It's bad for the environment. Third, and here’s something I want people to think about, if you are struck by one of these heavy vehicles … you're two to three times more likely to die from that encounter if you're a pedestrian or a cyclist," Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh said.

But some say the provision hurts the middle class.

"D.C. already charges the most in sales tax, but we're supposed to be helping the working class citizens. You know, these folks that are dry wallers or plumbers or painters. You know, these vans that they need, they're all over 6,000 pounds," said David Comfort, the general manager of King Buick GMC in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Families who need larger vehicles will also have to pay the increased fees.

"So what am I supposed to do if I decide to have a family of five. What am I supposed to drive? So now I'm getting penalized because I want to have kids or if I have a child that needs a wheelchair and I have to put a wheelchair lift in a van," Comfort said.

Cheh said the fees are expected generate about $40 million over the first five years.

"This money will be devoted our programs for safe streets to schools and to protect our school children," Cheh said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to sign the budget in the next few weeks.

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