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Calif. Bill to Move New-Car Registrations Online

June 07, 2011

A bill in California is making its way through the California Legislature that would require all new vehicles sold to be registered electronically with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Introduced in February by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Sherman Oaks), AB 1215 was approved by the state Assembly by a 75-3 vote on June 2. It now heads to the Senate for a vote.

If passed, dealers would be required to register vehicles electronically. The law also would establish amounts for charges related to electronically registering a sold or leased, an amount dealers would be required to disclosue to consumers. And after Oct. 1, 2012, dealers who are licensed by the state would be in violation of the law if they have not established a contractual agreement with the state to operate an electronic registration program.

Car dealers already have the option of filing electronically, but three out of every five vehicles sold in the 2008-09 fiscal year were registered by paper. Blumenfield’s bill aims to change that. In addition to cutting the wait time for new license plates from six months to one month, the bill would reduce the number of drivers who use temporary license plates to skirt tolls, costing transportation agencies millions of dollars yearly.

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