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Tag fees for electric, high-fuel mileage vehicles to raise

Drivers of more efficient vehicles will pay more to register and renew their tags so they contribute more for use of the roads.

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - Drivers of electric vehicles won't be happy to hear that they're going to have to pay significantly more in registration fees than those using traditional gas or diesel vehicles beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

As a result of legislation passed in 2017, passenger vehicle registration fees are now based largely on the vehicle's fuel efficiency rating. Drivers of more efficient vehicles will pay more to register and renew their tags so they contribute more for use of the roads. The reason? The state knows these drivers are contributing much less (or nothing, in the case of all-electric vehicles) in fuels tax while using roads just as much.

In 2020, drivers of vehicles that are rated at 40 miles per gallon or better now have a choice: pay a full fee for two or four years up front, or pay a lower fee and a monthly per-mile charge for miles driven in Oregon by joining OReGO.

Typically, drivers pay two to four years' worth of registration fees in advance when purchasing a car or renewing their registration. With electric and high-mpg vehicle fee increases occurring in 2020 and 2022, the combined up-front registration fee could amount to hundreds of dollars.

But if they are enrolled in OReGO, drivers of electric vehicles or those rated at 40-plus miles per gallon do not have to pay the registration fee increases. Instead, they pay just the base registration — $43 per year — plus a monthly road charge of 1.8 cents per mile.

Drivers can compare what they would pay in OReGO versus what they currently pay in gas tax by plugging their car's mpg rating and the typical number of miles they drive into the OReGO calculator at www.MyOReGO.org/calculator.