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August 16, 2019

Changes coming to vehicle safety inspection requirements, processing fees as legislation takes effect this month

JEFFERSON CITY

The Missouri Department of Revenue is highlighting some of the changes coming to state motor vehicle and driver licensing laws later this month. Legislation impacting vehicle safety inspection requirements, driver license and vehicle registration processing fees and more will take effect Aug. 28, 2019.

“There are several measures passed during the 2019 legislative session that affect our state motor vehicle and driver licensing laws,” said Ken Zellers, acting director for the Department. “We encourage our customers, especially those needing to get license plates or a driver license, to do their research and reach out to the Department with any questions.”

Currently, motor vehicles are exempt from biennial safety inspection requirements for the five years following their model year. Senate Bill 89 modifies state law so that vehicles are exempt for a period of 10 years following their model year, provided the vehicle has fewer than 150,000 miles.

State law mandates that the Department notify each vehicle owner of the requirement to show proof of insurance or financial responsibility at least 30 days in advance of their registration expiration. The Department must pull renewal information in advance of the 30-day requirement to allow adequate time for notice processing. Because of this, some customers — particularly those with September renewals — may have received notices indicating an inspection is required; however, on or after Aug. 28, if a vehicle has fewer than 150,000 miles and is 10 years old or less (based upon the year the vehicle was manufactured), an inspection is not required. The Department considers a vehicle to be 10 years old through Dec. 31 of the 10th year following its manufacture year. For example, a vehicle manufactured in 2009 is considered to be 10 years old through Dec. 31, 2019.

The Department is stressing to customers that changes to the state safety inspection requirements have no impact on emissions inspection requirements. Individuals with vehicles registered to operate in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Franklin County or Jefferson County must continue to meet emissions testing requirements as required by state law.

Processing fees related to driver licenses and vehicle title and registration transactions are also changing. The license office processing fee for a driver license or permit issued for three years or less is increasing from $2.50 to $6; for licenses and permits issued for three years or more, it is increasing from $5 to $12. The annual vehicle registration processing fee is increasing from $3.50 to $6 and the biennial registration processing fee from $7 to $12. The title application processing fee is going from $2.50 to $6. These fee increases are provided for in House Bill 499.

“It’s been over 20 years since Missouri last increased processing fees for driver licenses and vehicle registration,” added Zellers. “Although these fees are increasing, we want customers to understand that other costs will remain the same at this time. For example, if a customer visits a license office today to renew their $24.25 license plate registration for one year, they would pay the annual registration fee of $24.25 plus a $3.50 processing fee, for a total of $27.75. Starting Aug. 28, the annual registration fee would still be $24.25, but the processing fee will cost $6, for a total of $30.25.”

House Bill 499 also requires the Department to revoke an individual’s driving privilege upon notification from law enforcement that the individual was involved in an accident where their vehicle struck a highway or emergency worker in a construction or emergency zone. The driver will have 18 days from the date of the Department-issued notice to appeal the action if they wish; otherwise, the individual will be required to take and pass the written and driving portions of the driver license examination in order to have their driving privilege reinstated.

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