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Californians Urged To Report Out-Of-State Car Registration Cheats

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) -- The California Highway Patrol is asking residents to report drivers who unlawfully register their vehicles out-of-state.

According to the CHP, drivers who don't register their cars are cheating the state out of millions of dollars.

"If a vehicle is in California and you're employed in California, it needs to be registered in California," said Officer Scott Niemeth of the CHP. "Regardless of what the fees are."

By law, new California residents have 20 days to register their car after moving into the state. But some drivers don't, due to the state's high registration fees.

The CHP is reminding the public of a feature on their website called CHEATERS, short for "Californians Help Eliminate All The Evasive Registration Scofflaws." Residents can enter an offending driver's information, and the Highway Patrol tracks them down.

Last year, the CHEATERS website helped bring in three quarters of a million dollars in registration fees.

"Most of the people in California, the vast, vast majority of them, are good upstanding people. They contribute and pay their registration, and they expect the same from the other people on the roadway," Niemeth said.

According to authorities, the fine for not registering a car in California is around $400.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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