OReGO drivers of electric and high-mpg vehicles can avoid Jan. 1 registration fee increases

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December 18, 2019

SALEM, Ore. – Do you drive an electric vehicle or a vehicle that gets more than 40 mpg? Your registration fees will increase significantly starting January 1. But you have an option to avoid those increases: if you enroll in OReGO, Oregon’s road usage charge program, you pay only the base registration fee (not the higher rate) plus the road charge.

As a result of legislation passed in 2017, passenger vehicle registration fees are now based largely on the vehicle’s fuel efficiency rating. Drivers of more efficient vehicles will pay more to register and renew their tags so they contribute more for use of the roads. Why? Because these drivers are contributing much less (or nothing, in the case of all-electric vehicles) in fuels tax while driving just as much.

Choose how you pay

Drivers of electric vehicles and passenger cars that are rated at 40 miles per gallon or better now have a choice: pay a full fee for two or four years up front, or pay a lower fee and a monthly per-mile charge for miles driven in Oregon by joining OReGO.

Typically, drivers pay two to four years’ worth of registration fees in advance when purchasing a car or renewing their registration. With electric and high-mpg vehicle fee increases occurring in 2020 and 2022, the combined up-front registration fee could amount to hundreds of dollars.

But if they are enrolled in OReGO, drivers of electric vehicles or those rated at 40+ mpg do not have to pay the registration fee increases. Instead, they pay just the base registration ($43 per year) plus a monthly road charge of 1.8 cents per mile.

How much will I pay?

Here is a summary of the new registration fees for high-mileage passenger vehicles (new vehicles are registered for four years at first, then every two years):

High-mileage passenger vehicles

Fuel economy                                  Four years           Two years

40+ mpg NOT in OReGO                $304                     $152

40+ mpg enrolled in OReGO           $172                     $86

Electric NOT in OReGO                  $612                     $306

Electric enrolled in OReGO             $172                     $86

Oregon residents with vehicle tags expiring on or after Jan. 1, 2020, will see these new fees in their renewal reminders.

Should I pay by the mile instead?

For OReGO drivers, the road charge is calculated monthly and paid by the driver via an account manager they select at MyOReGO.org. If you drive an electric vehicle, the road charge may amount to a few dollars per month ($18 for 1,000 miles). If you drive a fuel-powered vehicle, you get credit for fuels tax paid at the pump, which reduces the road charge.

Drivers can compare what they would pay in OReGO versus what they currently pay in gas tax by plugging their car’s mpg rating and the typical number of miles they drive into the OReGO calculator at www.MyOReGO.org/calculator.

Some drivers (particularly those that don’t drive a lot of miles) could save money by joining OReGO. “All told, the best benefit may be for electric vehicle owners because their registration fees will increase the most. If they drive less than about 6,100 miles a year, they will probably save money by enrolling in OReGO and paying by the mile instead,” said Maureen Bock, OReGO program manager. (Note that, if a driver leaves the OReGO program before their registration period expires, they will be billed for fees waived.)

Why did Oregon create OReGO?

Oregon raises money to take care of roads and bridges through gas tax paid at the pump and vehicle registration fees. With more vehicles getting much better fuel efficiency, many people are paying less in gas taxes while using the road just as much. OReGO was designed to ensure drivers pay for what they use – miles of road – instead of what they consume – gallons of fuel.

“The historic implementation of OReGO, the nation’s first road usage charge, provides a fair and sustainable path to transition from a per gallon charge to a per mile charge. The system is going to enable us to maintain and improve Oregon’s infrastructure in the face of growing fuel efficiencies,” said Governor Kate Brown at the bill signing last June.

Charging by the mile has been recognized by transportation and business leaders across the country as a way to generate sustainable transportation funding and make sure everyone pays their fair share for use of the roads. Taking Oregon’s lead, many other states are considering charging by the mile, and members of Congress are exploring taking this approach national. As the leader in road usage charging, Oregon is working to improve the system by exploring new technologies and leading a coalition of western states that is working through how this system could operate across state lines, so out of state travelers would pay their fair share to use Oregon’s roads.

OReGO has more than 1,600 vehicles enrolled to date. Learn about OReGO, enroll as a volunteer driversign up for the interest list, and more at MyOReGO.org.

Learn more about the OReGO registration fee exemption at https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Programs/Pages/OReGO.aspx.

Need help signing up? Contact OReGO customer service at (503) 986-7827 or myOReGO@odot.state.or.us, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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