Province collects an additional $1M in fines after ending registration renewal notices
The Notley government’s decision to scrap the mailing of reminder notices for expiring licence plate stickers and vehicle registrations has created additional income for the province off the backs of those who missed the unsent memo.
Halting the mail-outs was expected to save the province $3 million each year but the collected fines from motorists caught driving without valid registration or with expired stickers on their licence plates has created another source of income.
In April of this year, the province announced it would abruptly stop the practice of sending renewal notices to motorists. The announcement was following by a brief radio advertisement campaign advising Albertans of the change but it appears many Albertans were caught unaware.
- From April 2015 through August 2015, $3.7 million in fines were collected from motorists who failed to produce valid registration.
From April 2016 through August 2016, $4.5 million in fines were collected from motorists who failed to produce valid registration, an increase of $800,000 over the 2015 numbers.
- From April 2015 through August 2015, $1.0 million in fines for expired licence plate stickers.
- From April 2016 through August 2016, $1.2 million in fines for expired licence plate stickers, an increase of $200,000 over the 2015 numbers.
Page MacPherson of the Canadian Taxpayers Federations questions the provincial government’s approach to removing the reminders.
“Really, it’s all needless,” said MacPherson. “If they had just done it a simple way by including (information regarding the end of mail-outs) with your yearly notifications in the mail and allowing people to voluntarily opt in or out of this, then I think that you could have avoided the whole thing.”
“You’re putting a lot of individual citizens through a lot of hardship having to fight these tickets and fines which they feel is unfair.”
In September, the Notley government hired a U.S. company to robocall Albertans notifying them to the fact registration renewals would no longer arrive in their mailboxes. The calls came too late for Albertans who had already received tickets.
During a three month period following the removal of registration reminders sent by mail, there were 207 more disputed registration and licence plate tickets than in the same three month period in 2015.
With files from CTV’s Rahim Ladhani