Nolan says state should go after Nevadans who don’t register cars here |

Nolan says state should go after Nevadans who don’t register cars here

by Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

Nevada needs to go after people who move here, but never register their cars with the state, said Sen. Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas on Wednesday.

State law says new residents must register their vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of moving to Nevada. Nolan said there may be up to 100,000 vehicles in the state in violation of that law.

He said estimates are the state is missing $8 million to $12 million a year because it has no system for finding and fining them.

He said the reason is most surrounding states have much lower registration fees. Nevada charges a governmental services tax each year based on the value of the vehicle — often $300 or more per car.

Nolan asked the Senate Finance Committee to support SB214 which would set up a hot line for people to call and tell on their neighbors and co-workers who have been living in the state, in some cases for years, without registering their vehicles.

“I see them in my neighborhood and it makes me mad,” he said. “I’m paying large fees on my vehicles.”

But Nevada Highway Patrol Maj. Robert Wideman told the committee troopers are aware of the problem and write tickets when they stop vehicles with out of state plates and discover the driver is a resident.

“We issue about 1,000 citations a month for registration issues,” he said.

Troopers are also very familiar with annual tags from other western states and often spot expired plates even when they’re not Nevada plates, Wideman said.

Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, said DMV and the NHP have the power to set up a hot line without legislation.

“They really always have had the authority to fix this,” he said, adding the increased revenue should help pay any costs.

Wideman said they already provide a phone message to callers in Las Vegas inviting them to report people who have out of state plates for years on end.

The committee took no action on SB214.