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West Virginians head to DMV before fees go up

KANAWHA CITY, W.Va. — Residents trying to take advantage of cheaper fees at West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles offices Friday had to wait in long lines. Increased fees for vehicle and driver services take effect Saturday.

“The increase doesn’t bother me,” said Billy Mimms, of Montgomery, who was in line at the DMV office in Kanawha City Friday morning. “It’s the way they’re doing business here. They’re not ready for the demand of people who want to jump ahead of the increase.”

Mimms was at the DMV to renew his driver’s license. The new state law includes a $5 hike to license renewals from $20 to $25. Mimms said that didn’t bother him.

“I think it’s been a while since they had an increase, so I’m pretty much ready for that, but I was trying to take advantage of it anyway,” he said.

MORE: WV is one of 7 states raising gasoline tax July 1

MORE: Saturday brings increase to list of DMV fees including vehicle registration renewals

SB 1006, including fee changes for DMV services, was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jim Justice this Special Session.

The most notable increase will be the annual vehicle registration fee, which is set to go up by $20 from the current $31.50 to $51.50 for standard issue plates on passenger vehicles.

The additional money will go toward fixing West Virginia’s roads. Repairs are needed, according to Clendenin resident Anita Clinton.

“There’s places that were flooded last year that the roads are still bad. Why haven’t they fixed it yet? Going to my mom and dad’s, there’s still a road that is half missing, so it’s a one lane road and the haven’t fixed it yet. It’s been over a year,” she said.

Clinton was also in line to renew her driver’s license. She said the increase is good for fixing roads, but the additional money should not come out of the pockets of state residents.

“I think it’s not a bad thing, but it’s taxing the people. They say we’re not going to raise the tax, but they’re going to raise it in a different place,” she said.

Mimms admitted the roads are bad.

“The roads are pretty jacked up right now. We need the work done for sure. If they do what they’re supposed to, I don’t have any beef with them,” he said.

The state Division of Highways has a list of road projects totaling up to $30 million. Work is scheduled to begin next month.

For a full list of DMV fee increases, CLICK HERE.

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