Register your car or pay up. Waterbury is the first city in the state that will soon start fining residents with out-of-state plates.
The Waterbury Board of Aldermen passed the amendment unanimously, but they said this isn’t about punishing people, it’s about making sure they do what’s already required by law.
Drive anywhere and you’ll probably see out-of-state plates, but not everyone is just passing through. Once a state resident, you have 60 days to register your vehicle here, but not everyone does.
This year, the state passed legislation giving municipalities the ability to fine people who fail to register their vehicles, and Waterbury acted on it.
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“Waterbury is a great place to come and live. We have a lot of amenities, great parks, school systems, and you just have to pay your fair share on your property tax on your vehicles,” said Waterbury Alderman George Noujaim.
Noujaim said the city’s newly adopted amendment imposes a $250 fine for those who don’t register their car after 90 days. But if you register your vehicle before your court hearing, the fine goes away.
Drivers we spoke to say they don’t have a problem with the new rule.
“You see New Jersey, you see New York, you see North Carolina even,” said driver Alexis Fredette.
“I feel like everyone needs to pay their part, do their share,” said driver Quanesha Copper.
Noujaim says the city will have a third party as well as police scan license plates. He hopes other cities and towns follow with fines of their own and get drivers to finally change those plates.
“I would like a more unified plan throughout the state, but I’m proud that Waterbury is the first on the map to put something like this together,” said Noujaim.
Noujaim said there are exceptions to the amendment, like students living on campus.
The amendment takes effect in Waterbury on October 1.