Virginia Highway Use Fee causes problems for drivers

Cheryl E Preston
Virginia highway user fee is upsetting driversPhoto byNagy SzabionUnsplash

Virginia drivers are frustrated about an additional DMV fee

In 2020 the General Assembly introduced the highway use fee in Virginia and ABC13 revealed that it launched an investigation that revealed that the Division of Motor Vehicles had overcharged thousands of individuals because the code was misinterpreted. Drivers in the Old Dominion are only supposed to pay this fee if they are registering a fuel-efficient or an electric motor vehicle. The Code of Virginia "defines “fuel-efficient vehicles” as vehicles that have a combined fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon".

The Code also indicates that the purpose of the fee is to make up for the fuel taxes that drivers with fuel-efficient vehicles would not be paying because they are not filling up as much. According to News 10 drivers have become frustrated over the past 3 years at having to pay this additional money. Jessica Cowardin with the DMV explained.

For the first time in Virginia history vehicles miles traveled increased, and motor fuel taxes, what has been collected decreased,”

One man was charged $150 extra

One Virginia resident Bov Carpenteri who purchased a Tesla to save on fuel prices said he was charged an extra $150 last month when he renewed his registration. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers of electric, hybrid, or fuel-efficient cars who pay the state highway use fee can enroll in the voluntary Mileage Choice Program when they renew their vehicle registration.

This allows drivers to only pay for "the actual number of miles they drive throughout the year, rather than paying an upfront fee at registration renewal"

DMV says customers who drive less than the state average of 11,600 miles per year, will save money but those who drive more will not pay more than their typical highway use fee. This is no consolation for those like Carpenteri who are being penalized.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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