What are surcharge fees?

Surcharge Fees

A surcharge is basically another name for tax. States impose this fee to help fund other departments or projects. In Colorado, for example, the state recently initiated the Bridge Safety Surcharge and Road Safety Surcharge (paid during vehicle registration) to help provide funds for repairing bridges and roads. While in New Jersey, surcharges are used to fund its Market Transition Facility, which, among its many responsibilities, also provides alcohol rehabilitation for drivers charged with DUI or DWI.

Not every state imposes surcharges. Those that do, follow different surcharge policies. For example, New Hampshire and Colorado apply a surcharge to vehicle registration, based on a vehicle's weight. New Jersey uses surcharges as a penalty against bad driving records, imposing surcharge fees to drivers with excessive points or for DUI. New York charges a boat registration surcharge (based on the vessel's length) and applies the money towards boating safety. And in Massachusetts, reckless drivers are assessed auto insurance surcharge points for a variety of infractions including speeding, DWI and causing an accident. The more surcharge points the higher a driver's auto insurance rates.  

To learn more about your state's surcharge policies, contact your local DMV.

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