EV Renewal Registration Fee

So I just got my registration renewal notice for my 2020 Bolt LT: $512! This came as a complete shock. Curious if anyone else were shocked when they got their renewal notice. Sucks as we already barely drive it and now with the battery recall we’re unsure if we want to keep it.

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That’s normal for CA. Get $2500 on one hand, pay $1500 in registration on the other.

My Volvo registration renewal was $495 - how much were you expecting? Or compared to other cars you have registered in CA?

There’s a $100 tax on EVs for not using enough gas as part of the registration. They included this as part of the gas tax hike bill to penalize EV drivers for not using enough gasoline and thus depriving the government of tax dollars.

I wonder if they’ll start taxing smoking abatement programs and nicotine patches for not contributing to cigarette tax.


You guys have to re-register cars every year in CA?

The gas tax allegedly, supposedly, is designed to pay for roads. EVs still use roads. The only fair thing would be to tax registration per mile driven and remove the gas tax. What would happen is gas tax is going to keep increasing under the guise of pushing people towards EVs and EVs are going to be taxed separately because what are you going to do, not drive?

That would be very politically inconvenient to say the least.

Yup, CA registration is due annually and on a new car, easily sits at $500+ per year. Goes a bit lower every year, but always hurts.

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They included this as part of the gas tax hike bill to penalize EV drivers for not using enough gasoline and thus depriving the government of tax dollars.

Isn’t that the point of EV cars though? The “EV tax” should be an equivalent based on use, not a flat amount. Do hybrid vehicles get subjected to the same EV tax since they do not use as much gas? These days I work from home and drive a mere 5,000 miles. The equivalent of a 50MPG Prius with gas tax at $0.50 n CA would amount to a $50 “EV use tax” on my registration. Given these EVs are all connected and collect all our data it shouldn’t be hard for the state to obtain the data annually if not from the manufacturer, from the insurance providers.

I wonder if they’ll start taxing smoking abatement programs and nicotine patches for not contributing to cigarette tax.

This made me chuckle.

2019 BMW 3.30 = $508
2015 QX60 = $299 this year, and $308 last year.
2010 Volvo s40 = $128

I expected the BMW to be higher given the higher MSRP. Granted the older the vehicle the lesser the amount. Even if there is an EV tax built into the EV registration, it came as a shock. The “EV tax” others have stated are not listed as separate line item in the registration renewal which would make it more clear as to why the amount is so high.

Long term I am still saving money on this Bolt lease: I did a one-pay and got the effective monthly down to $88. The high registration fees brings the savings down (about $8-12/month assuming the EV tax is $96-$144/year). Now I know to check the registration fees on the cars I try to hack.

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Not trying to start shit, but I swear I don’t understand why anyone wants to live in CA. My 3 year registration was less than your yearly renewal. I mean NJ has it’s own stupid problems, but CA is just on a whole different level.

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Here is your equivalent of VA property tax, to some degree.


Not trying to start shit, but I’ve never heard anybody say “oh boy I can’t wait to move to New Jersey. You don’t even have to pump your own gas there and get your clothes dirty.”


Pretty much everyone currently living in 5 boroughs of NYC and working in NYC.

And not pumping own gas is awesome. Regardless of weather outside not having to get out of the car is pure win.

California doesn’t need me to stick up for it, but as someone who was born and grew up in NY, lived in DC/NoVa for 15 years, stopped over in Ohio for a couple before California (a place where on my first visit, I left my appendix in the first 24 hours), and spent just under the domicile limit in 2018/2019/2020 in your fine state - there is nothing NJ could offer me to move there I had several great offers to move and stay: but it’s this very attitude (among other things) that so turns me off. I don’t second guess why anyone chooses to live where they do (assuming they chose, most staunch defenders didn’t) — I don’t understand why others care so much?

If I wanted the NJ attitude and no income tax, Phoenix is closer and has less humidity. Everywhere you live will take their “fair share”, I don’t think twice when my registration arrives, or when I pump gas, because I can literally live anywhere I want, and right now that happens to be where my appendix was stolen.

The concept of “it’s not for me” is quite a life hack if your OS supports it. I understand why many people live in Ohio and love every single thing about it, and I would get on a plane a visit for a few days (the Wholefoods in Dublin, OH makes these amazing buckeye cookies with chocolate shortbread and peanut butter frosting during football season), but I’ll never have another Ohio driver’s license - it’s not for me. I could rant and rave about how I paid as much tax in Ohio as I do in SoCal, or a million other things: it’s just not for me.

Just enjoy what you have and the choices you make, try not to worry so much why others make the choices they do, even if doing so is a Jersey thing. You have a fine state, but I’m never going to have one of your driver’s license.


Last time i checked, if you wanted to get around paying the road tax with evs you had to go the phev route…you can still drive on electric but you won’t get the added ev registration fee. But seriously, you probably took the $2k CA rebate so to complain about $100 per year seems petty.

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My 24-mo lease on the LEAF was not eligible, so I shall continue to complain! Haha


Wasn’t meant to come off as a complaint, just shock. You’d think they would separate the line on the registration to explain why the fee is as high as it is.

Born and raised here. I have no desire to call anywhere else home. @jeisensc couldn’t have laid it out better…

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If you drove as much as the average American (~12k miles a year) you would pay about $120 a year in gas tax. It’s not perfect, but without mileage-based road taxes, it’s far and away the most cost-effective way to make up the loss in gax tax revenue. CA is trying to get ahead of where Europe is today, where very small-fuel-efficient cars have caused a huge revenue drop from a lack of gas taxes that they’re trying to now back-fill.

Look at the bright side: You could avoid the taxes, but then you’d have to live in New Jersey :nauseated_face:

Aren’t the most frequently used freeways/highways/expressways in NJ tolled? Transportation infrastructure has to be paid one way or the other, whether through vehicle license fees, general fund tax revenue, tolls, or a mileage-based user fee. Different states have different infrastructure needs based on the age of infrastructure, deferred maintenance, demographic trends, etc.

In CA there was a referendum a few years ago to repeal a recent gas tax and vehicle license fee increase, but voters turned it down. Some of the gas tax and VLF revenue goes toward public transit, and I think a lot of folks who live in the state see the value and need for building out transit and expanding transportation options, given the gridlock that many drivers face in metro areas.


I’m not worried about the choices people make, I’m in the process of figuring out where to move out of this as YOU called it “fine state”. In my original post I said that “I mean NJ has it’s own stupid problems”, which was a polite way of saying NJ sucks! Your entire post while being a complete mellow “you do you” thing comes from the point of someone who by your own admissions is not attached to a place by anything, and can afford to live anywhere. While I’m in the same boat, which is why I’m looking for a new location, I still don’t like wasting money, which very quickly excluded CA. Nice place to visit, not a good place to live. It’s not a “NJ thing” its a simple financial calculation.

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