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CHP ramps up car registration program to catch drivers who need to register their car in CA


The California Highway Patrol is ramping up a new version of its Registration Enforcement and Guidance Program to reduce out of state registration violators.

The cost to register your car in the state of California is expensive, much more than other states.

Anyone with out of state plates who thinks they are exempt, the California Highway Patrol is cracking down with some strict guidelines behind who must register their vehicles in California.

If you are new to CA you have to register your vehicle within 20 days of your arrival, once you've got a job or established residence.

“People often think well hey I just got a registration as long as it's valid it doesn't matter what state. But each state has laws pertaining to this,” said CHP Public Information Officer Mike Poelking.

The CHP Registration Program closely monitors who may be required to register.

“Anything that basically affords you something as a CA resident, will trigger the fact you will be treated as a resident,” said Poelking

Therefore if you own a home in CA and receive a home exemption you must register your car.

And if you are residing in CA but driving someone else's out of state license plated car you have to pay up too.

“Those cases the vehicle might not be registered to you however you would have to have that vehicle registered in CA given the fact it is being leased to you as a CA resident,” said Poelking.

There are some cases where one doesn’t have to register. Say, if you own a home, but again didn’t get a home exception. Then you're off the hook unless you have a California driver's license or have a job in California.

“For example, if you are a snowbird and you are not employed in the state of CA, but own a home, or maybe are just here in your RV traveling around. In those instances the CA registration wouldn't be required,” said Poelking.

If you think you can go under the radar without of CA state registration, think again.

“Every month the CHP receives over 1500 anonymous tips via our website that is on the CHP public website,” said Poelking.

The program initially started in 2004, bringing in $26 million dollars in registration fees. In 2018

the CHP recovered over $3.2 million dollars from residents avoiding registration.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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