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Following Coronavirus Shutdown, Some Colorado Drivers May See DMV Fee

DENVER (CBS4) The Division of Motor Vehicles is working through an immense backlog after having been closed for several months during Colorado's stay-at-home order. The state permitted counties to waive late fees for vehicle registrations and renewals.

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The City and County of Denver extended that waiver through the end of July, but a glitch in the online renewal service is adding late fees by mistake.

According to Denver's Department of Finance, if you live in Denver and renewed your registration online after July 1, you were charged a late fee. The state DRIVES programming that waives late fees expired on June 30 when the state's extension expired, but Denver's waiver was extended.

If Denver residents attempt to renew online and notice a late fee is being calculated, they're encourage to complete the transaction by calling 311, by mail, through one of Denver's DMV drop boxes or, if necessary, in person. If Denver drivers were charged a late fee, they may request a refund by completing this form.

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"Some folks are getting a message when they go to do the online transaction that says they're ineligible. If you get that message, we encourage you to call 311," said Julie Smith, Communications Director for Denver's Department of Finance. Smith says the Denver DMV may be able to solve your issue over the phone.

Jack Homa ran into trouble renewing his registration online with the Adams County DMV in April. He couldn't renew online because he needed proof of insurance, but the DMV locations were already closed due to covid. He received a letter from the Department of Revenue, confirming his inability to register to avoid citations.

"It says I'm legal to drive on expired plates. This letter is valid until 60 days after the governor ends the emergency order," said Homa.

When he was finally able to get an in-person appointment on July 8, Adams County's late fee waiver period had already ended. Homa was charged the late fee.

"The first available appointment I could make was a month out," said Homa, "It was out of my control."

After CBS4 contacted Adams County DMV about Homa's late fee, they noticed the mistake. According to Christa Bruning, Communications Director of Adams County, Homa's fee will be refunded.

"Even though there are multiple avenues to renew, it's not always quick, easy, or provides the customer service experience we expect. We're opting to waive the late fees that were applied during the closure," said Bruning.

Drivers who believe they were overcharged, and live in counties with extended late fee waivers, may request a refund through the Department of Revenue.

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