According to recent figures from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), more Californians are reporting newcomers for failing to register their vehicles. California law states people have to register their vehicles within 20 days of establishing residency.
So far this year, the CHP has recovered more than $1 million in fees and is on track to surpassing all previous years, thanks to a program called CHEATERS -- Californians Help Eliminate All The Evasive Registration Scofflaws.
The CHEATERS online form on the CHP's website allows people to anonymously report drivers who they think are evading the law by filling out information that includes a license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle. The CHP then sends letters to vehicle owners who have been flagged, demanding that they pay the registration fees. Those who don't are referred to the local CHP and subsequently required to go to court.
The CHP recovered $1.7 million in 2013 and $1.4 million in 2012, but estimates it may be losing as much as $10 million a year in unpaid registration fees. The CHP said the most common reasons for failing to register include people being unaware of the laws, evading fees and taxes, and being unable to comply with air pollution control laws.