Controversial $5 Registration Fee Takes Effect

January 18, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will immediately begin collecting a $5 vehicle registration local use fee for all non-exempt vehicles, Luzerne County Manager David Pedri announced Friday.

The fee will be used for the upkeep and construction of roads and bridges in Luzerne County, and cannot be used for other purposes, he said. Luzerne County Council approved the fee last year, making this county the 23rd in the state to enact such a fee, he said.

The fee is projected to generate about $1.4 million in annual revenue plus matching funds from PennDOT, although the match is only guaranteed for one year.

The fee had been long-debated in the County Council prior to its ultimate approval last May. The implementation was delayed for months because PennDOT officials did not like a provision county council added when it approved the fee: If PennDOT withdraws its promised dollar-for-dollar matching funds for fee revenue devoted to bridge repair, the county will rescind its approval.

However, Pedri said last month that the issue appeared to have been resolved.

The fee will be collected by PennDOT as part of the vehicle registration process.

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