California loses millions every year when drivers don't register vehicles

(KTVL/Mike Marut)

Every year, California loses millions of dollars because drivers don't register their cars in the state.

Instead, drivers who live in California either register their cars in states that have cheaper registration and title fees - like Oregon.

"We see it every day - multiple times a day," Officer Shawn Gordon, with California Highway Patrol, said.

According to the Oregon DMV, there's a reason for the delay in registration changes or false registrations.

"Oregon has one of the lowest registration and title fee structures in the country," David House, Public Affairs for the DMV, said.

Because people are avoiding registering their vehicles in California, that could lead to other problems too.

"Insurance fraud. There are people who live here in California, work here in California with Oregon registration and on their insurance it shows their address out of Oregon," Gordon said.

CHP works with the Siskiyou County District Attorney's office in those cases. The DA says those cases happen, but not regularly.

"A lot of times through a program, like the CHEATERS program, you will see people be given a citation or an investigation be started and they remedy the problem a lot of times," Kirk Andrus, the DA, said.

For those who do live in Oregon and work in California, they need to register too. Gordon adds there is a solution for those commuters.

"If you live within the prescribed jurisdiction relative to California, you can apply through California DMV for a commuter sticker this way you're paying a much smaller registration fee," Gordon said.

CHEATERS: Californians Help Eliminate All The Evasive Registration Scoff Laws

Every month, CHP will actually receive about 1500 tips letting officers know about residents who don't register their vehicles properly in California.

"Nobody likes having to pay extra money, neither do I," Gordon said. "I like to keep it thrifty. However, I live in California. I pay my registration in California so I get to enjoy the roads and other commodities."

The CHEATERS program started in 2004. Nearly $20 million have been recovered through the CHEATERS program.

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