Oklahomans Will Be Paying More In Fines, Fee This Year

Tuesday, August 9th 2016, 5:45 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

The Oklahoma Legislature may not have raised taxes this past session, but more money will likely be coming out of your pocket to pay for government services.

One example is your license plate. The state will be issuing new license plates, but if you want to keep your old license plate number it going to cost you $18. All those at the Classen Tag agency Tuesday morning probably didn’t realize it, but they were saving $5. That’s because beginning Aug. 26 it will cost an additional $5 to renew your vehicle registration.

“I think they are probably trying to make up for the budget shortfall wherever you can, even though you don’t know it’s coming,” said David Fenno a customer at the tag agency.

Some of that money will go toward the cost of re-issuing new license plates next year.

“In January, essentially when you come in or your 2018 renewal, instead of getting just a decal you’ll get a new license plate with a new decal on it, with a new design,” explained Classen Tag Agency owner, Jeff Segell.

But a majority of the money will go back to the state.  The new registration fee is one of many the state passed at the end of last session in an attempt to balance the budget. Others include:

  • The cost of filing for divorce is up $40. 
  • Filing a civil lawsuit increases $5.
  • Electronic access to birth or death records will increase $4.
  • The cost of issuing a summons is increasing from $5 to $10.
  • The prosecution assessment on all traffic tickets and misdeamors will double.

Opponents of the fees argue they will hurt the state's poorest citizens who are already struggling. But Segell argues the agency points out at least when it comes to his customers he knows it could be much worse.

“I remember when I first got started in this we would have car tags that were eight and nine hundred dollars a year and that was really not fun.”

The state estimates they will bring in $12.7 million by re-issuing license plates the increase in court fees will bring in an additional $4 million.