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Motorist Fee Notice Disappears

Notice of proposed motorist fee increases had been removed from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Admininistration Web site as of this morning.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) nixed the proposed hikes, affecting fees for driver's licenses and nearly three dozen other services yesterday, amid a round of political fingerpointing between his office and Republicans about who was to blame for the increases.

Sen. E.J. Pipikin (R-Queen Anne's) drew attention to the increases yesterday morning with a news release headlined: "O'Malley Launches Sneak Attack on Taxpayer's Wallets."

By mid-afternoon, O'Malley's press office had countered the GOP senator with a released proclaiming: "G-O-FEE FLIP FLOPS ON MVA FEES."

O'Malley aides contended that the MVA felt it had no choice but to raise the fees because of provisions included in 2003 and 2004 laws that former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) championed and most GOP lawmakers supported at the time. The provisions require the MVA to cover its costs almost entirely out of fees charged to motorists.

By John Wagner  |  June 7, 2007; 9:36 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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boy, that Ehrlich is to blame for everything.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"G-O-FEE FLIP FLOPS ON MVA FEES." Wow, that's a very childish title for a press release from a state governor's office.

Posted by: Mac | June 7, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

So if they raised fees, would they send notices *before* suspending my registration?

Nah, didn't think so.

Posted by: MB | June 7, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This is yet another area where O'Malley and friends criticized Ehrlich for raising MVA fees during the campaign and what does O'Malley try to do in his first six months? Raise MVA fees. Then he and his hacks come back with some grade school playground chant of GOFee? This is only more proof that he is not competent to hold the office of any public official, let alone governor.

Posted by: BG from PG | June 8, 2007 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I rather pay the $10 driver license fee for 5 years then have additional taxes on gasoline, sales or other tax I have to pay all the time.

Posted by: Paul | June 8, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I used to work for the MVA, and they are required, by law, to recover a certain percentage of their operating and capital expenses through their fees outside of registration fees and titling fees.
The Ehrlich administration ensured that the fees would go up even more than in the past, because until Ehrlich was governor, the cost recovery was a lower percentage and it only included operating expenses, not capital. While Ehrlich was governor, that caused increases in a huge number of MVA fees, besides the ENORMOUS increases in vehicle registration fees that Ehrlich proposed and was, unfortunately, approved by the legislature.
If you don't understand the fee structure for motor vehicles in Maryland, educate yourself at, click on
Everything Else, then click on Legislative Handbook Series (2006). Once there, go to the volume entitled Maryland's Revenue Structure. In the transprotation section, you will gain a basic understanding of how the fees work and why.
Once you've done that you can have an informed discussion on the subject, rather than the petty sniping that you are engaging in.
Yes, the legislature is also at fault, because they approved the atrocious proposals submitted by Ehrlich, but they were his administration's idea - Ehrlich didn't want to raise "taxes", but thought nothing of pulling money out of our pockets through "fees" as though our checkbooks can tell the difference.
Call a spade a spade, and yes, blame the Ehrlich administration and the general assembly for the fee increases the MVA tried to have approved.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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