Update: Wyoming Senate Approves Driver Fee Increases
UPDATE: Both House Bill 218 and HB 219 passed the Senate as expected on Wednesday afternoon. But the bills will head back to the House for concurrence votes because of changes the Senate made in the versions of the bills compared to what was passed by the House.
A pair of bills which would increase the state portion of car registration fees in Wyoming and double the driver's license fees are slated for third reading in the Wyoming Senate today (March 1).
But even though both bills have already passed the House, they most likely would have to return for a concurrence vote by representatives because of changes made in the original bill in the Senate. The only way that would not happen, unless they are voted down in the Senate, would be if senators were to remove the amendments they have already added to the bills to match the House versions.
House Bill 218 would increase the fees the state charges for registering a typical passenger vehicle from $15 to $25. Fee increases would also be implemented for other vehicles, with the amounts varying depending on the size of the vehicle and what it is used for.
It is worth mentioning, however, that by far the majority of the cost to register a car in Wyoming is levied at the county level.
Those local fees can run several hundred dollars and typically go to help pay for a variety of county government functions. Supporters of House Bill 218 point out the state car registration fee hasn't increased since 1975.
House Bill 219 would double the fees for getting a driver's license in Wyoming. While those fees vary widely depending on what type of driver's license is being purchased, the 100 percent fee increase would apply across the board. The bills are among several proposed this session to increase revenues at a time when taxes from the slumping energy industries are in decline due to low energy prices.
Wyoming is one of only a few states with no state income tax and instead gets most of the money needed to operate state government from taxes on the energy and minerals industries.