Vehicle Registration Fees Change Sept. 1

Some car owners will pay more now that fees are based on vehicle weight instead of age

By Susy Solis
|  Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011  |  Updated 10:19 PM CDT
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Changes made by the state legislature in 2009 to Texas vehicle registration fees go into effect Sept. 1, which means drivers will soon see the new fees appearing in their mailboxes.

Susy Solis, NBCDFW.com

Changes made by the state legislature in 2009 to Texas vehicle registration fees go into effect Sept. 1, which means drivers will soon see the new fees appearing in their mailboxes.

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Changes made by the state legislature in 2009 to Texas vehicle registration fees go into effect Sept. 1 -- which means drivers will soon see the new fees appearing in their mailboxes.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles mails out registration renewal notices two months in advance, so drivers whose registration expires after Aug. 30 will affected by the new fees.

Roy Adair said he was surprised to see his vehicle registration increase.

In previous years, he paid $40.80 to register his sport utility vehicle. This year, he'll pay $62.75.

Adair said he's kept his 13-year-old Toyota because it's been paid off for years and the registration fees for older cars were more affordable -- until now.

The new fees are based on weight instead of age, the DMV said.

Starting Sept. 1, all cars and light trucks will pay a flat fee of $50.75. Large vehicles, those weighing 6,000 pounds or more, will be charged $54 to $840, depending on weight class.

Currently, fees range from $40.80 for cars older than 2005 to $58.80 for cars from 2009 and later. Light trucks are charged based on weight, which usually favors the owner.

A mandatory $2 statewide fee is added but not itemized on the bill. Each county adds it own fee, which is usually about $10.

The new fees mean a price drop of $8 for people with newer cars, but a price increase of nearly $10 for the owners of older vehicles.

"Obviously, I would love to go and buy a new car, but you know, being budget-conscious, I want to get the most out of the vehicles that I have," Adair said.

Lawmakers said they wanted to reduce confusion over fees by creating a standardized base fee.

Kim Sue Lia Perkes, of the Texas DMV, said that more than 79 trailer, vehicle and truck fees were consolidated into three fees.

To see a complete list of the changes, click here.

NBC DFW's Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

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