California motorists with expired vehicle registrations have until March 31 to voluntarily pay their fees without penalty under a new Department of Motor Vehicles amnesty program.
Drivers who go to a DMV office before the deadline without having been stopped by police officers will be able to pay their fees and any additional charges, such as parking citations, without penalty, officials said Friday at a Hollywood press conference.
But motorists who have failed to register or who are cited by police during the amnesty period will be forced to pay a fine of up to $250 plus the original fees, as well as an additional penalty. If the registration has been expired for one year or less, the penalty is 20% of the original fees. For registrations delinquent one to two years, the penalty is 40%, and those unpaid for two years or more are subject to an 80% surcharge.
The primary aim of the program is to boost revenue for local governments, the DMV and the California Highway Patrol, officials said. It is expected to raise almost $40 million, both during and after the amnesty.