Improper registration upsets some

Residents with out-of-state plates should pay their fair share, some say

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— Routt County residents don't seem to be getting the message that vehicle license plates are not identified by county anymore.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said her office is getting complaints from residents who believe their neighbors' cars are registered in different counties and the residents are not paying their fair share of road costs in Routt County.

At one time, Routt County residents all had either WZ, VXA, VXB or VXC on their license plates.

Weinland said Colorado no longer gives out license plates based on what county residents live in.

"If a resident moves to another county, they don't have to switch their plates. They just need to update their address in the clerk's office," Weinland said.

However, Weinland did say some residents had legitimate complaints about people with out-of-state plates who now live in Routt County.

These people are still paying their vehicle registration to another state but are using Routt County's road infrastructure.

"People are obviously upset," Weinland said.

"But we're not in charge of enforcing. If they want something done about it, they need to complain to the local law enforcers."

Routt County Sheriff John Warner said his deputies do pursue complaints from residents who suspect neighbors aren't paying their fair share.

"We see it as a serious violation," Warner said.

"Colorado is probably losing hundreds of thousands of dollars with all this growth because people are not registering their vehicles in the state of Colorado."

Weinland said there are many states with lower vehicle registration fees and people just don't want to pay more.

Warner said deputies have called violators or visited their homes to warn them about Colorado law and how residents must register their vehicles 30 days after becoming a resident.

Colorado residency is established when: a person owns or operates a business in Colorado; resides in Colorado for 90 days; or obtains employment in Colorado.

Police and deputies can also issue tickets during traffic stops for not having the vehicle properly registered.

The ticket has to be addressed in court and can cost a violator up to $1,000.

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