Assemblywoman Addie Russell announces legislation to aid County Clerks’ Department of Motor Vehicle Operations

March 16, 2010

“Today I am announcing the introduction of a bill that addresses a growing problem that our county governments have been dealing with for several years. The state relies on counties to provide Department of Motor Vehicle services. County Clerk offices across the state have been able to offset the costs for operating these services by allowing them to keep a percentage - 12.7 percent - of registration and other transaction fees. Several years ago, the state DMV set up a central processing center for remittance of DMV transactions. Since residents are directed to mail renewals to this center, counties have lost out on their percentage of the processing fees that they would have received if they mailed them directly to their county clerk. In addition, the DMV now allows transactions to be processed through the state DMV website, which results in additional revenue loss to the counties.

“As a former county legislator, I know the importance of being properly compensated for providing a state service. The fee-sharing agreement was made after taking several factors into consideration. One factor considered was that some transactions are more routine and take less time to process, but others can be complicated and time-consuming. Now, the state is diverting the more routine, less burdensome work to a processing center and website, leaving our counties to handle the more labor intensive work for increasingly less money. A review of how these new initiatives are impacting our county governments requires that we take action and restore the funding that was originally promised to our counties.

“My bill, A.9919, would provide for the remittance of 12.7 percent of fees for transactions processed through the state processing center and the website be remitted to the county of record for each transaction. The state should honor the intent of the fee-sharing agreement instead of turning the provision of DMV services into another unfunded mandate.

“I am very proud to have bipartisan support of this bill in the Assembly and thank each and every one of my colleagues for co-sponsoring this bill with me.”