A new vehicle registration bill that has been stirring up mixed reactions among Oklahomans goes into effect next week.
The key change behind Senate Bill 1339 is that the license plate on an individual’s vehicle remains with the owner, Oklahoma Tax Commission Director of Communications Paula Ross said. Prior to the new legislation, an individual’s tag would go with the car if he or she sold it.
After July 1, individuals who purchase a new car will have to go to a tag agency or a tax commission to register the vehicle and then put his or her old plate on, Ross said. This is intended to resolve confusion that arose with the old system.
“What that does is it helps Oklahoma citizens, so when somebody takes your car that they purchased and they get traffic tickets or turnpike tickets, or that type of thing, they will no longer come to you, they’ll go to the new owner,” Ross said. “So your tag is yours to keep.”
The bill also requires that individuals keep their vehicle registration papers in their glove boxes.
“All it is is that little sheet of paper that you get when you go get your monthly sticker every year where you renew your tag,” Ross said. “It’s just the one sheet registration paper.”
Those who have misplaced or no longer have their vehicle registration paper can purchase another for $1 at their local tag agency or tax commission. The OTC is also hoping to make it to where individuals can find a copy of their registration online for free, Ross said.
Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, said he has seen a large number of complaints concerning the new legislation. And other local officials like Oklahoma House of Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore, said they have seen similar reactions.
“I don’t understand the complaints myself,” Simpson said. “All we’re talking about is keeping a piece of paper in your glove compartment. I usually stick mine in there anyway even though it wasn’t required. I probably have registrations that go back to 2005.”
Some of these reactions may be in part to misconceptions about the bill, Simpson said.
“I don’t think that it’s going to be that big of a problem myself,” he said.
Ross said the cost of registering a new vehicle should remain the same after July 1. In fact, some might save money during the process, she said.
Those who paid for a new registration only a few months before selling their vehicle previously would lose money, Ross said. “Now you will actually get some of that portion towards your new registration,” she said.
Ross said the OTC hopes to have free copies of individuals registration papers available online within the next few days. To find out more, visit www.ok.gov/tax/.