From the office of Assemblyman William Colton:
Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst) and community leader Mark Treyger are asking Governor Cuomo to issue an executive order requiring the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to waive and refund costly registration and plate transfer fees that have socked thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims. Assemblyman Colton penned a letter to the governor asking him to proceed with this proposal as part of the state’s overall response plan to assist victims who have been severely affected by the wrath of Sandy.
In addition to the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy evidenced across the tri-state region, it is estimated that over 200,000 cars were lost in the NY area alone due to the salt-water packed storm surge that pummeled the Northeast during Sandy’s landfall.
As countless victims are still trying to pick up the pieces of their lives following Sandy, many are being forced to confront unfair and costly fees to replace their lost vehicles. New York State residents who purchased or leased another car to replace a car they lost because of the storm are being charged hefty registration and plate transfer fees. One Coney Island resident, John Quintana, who along with suffering extensive damage to his home, was hit with an exorbitant fee totaling over $800 to replace three vehicles lost to Sandy’s wrath. Mr. Quintana is one of the thousands of Sandy victims that is grappling with financial burdens as he tries to recover and move on with his life after Sandy.
That is why Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst) and community leader Mark Treyger are urging the DMV to act swiftly and waive all registration and plate transfer fees for Sandy victims. “Victims of Hurricane Sandy are going through too much in their lives to be told to pay up a lot more. The DMV needs to do the right thing and exempt Sandy victims from these exorbitant fees,” asserted Assemblyman Colton, who is a member of the New York Assembly’s Ways and Means committee. “This is the least that the government can do to help struggling Sandy victims recover and move on with their lives,” added community leader Mark Treyger, who has been working closely with Assemblyman Colton on advancing this relief plan.
Their proposal would also retroactively apply to those victims who have already replaced their vehicles and paid either new registration or plate transfer fees since the storm. Once verified by insurance claim paperwork, the state would reimburse or waive the hefty fees levied against New York victims.
The DMV is currently waiving the fee to replace lost registration documents and license plates due to Sandy, which can add up to $28. However, the agency is not waiving the more hefty cost of registering a newly acquired vehicle or transferring plates from the replaced vehicle, which can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars. “Since it is estimated that over 200,000 cars were lost in NY due to Sandy, New Yorkers are not asking the state to mail them a replacement registration for their lost vehicle. Instead, New York victims are being told by the DMV to pay up the cost of registering a new vehicle or transferring plates to a new vehicle,” insisted Colton.
As Assemblyman Colton and community leader Treyger await word from Governor Cuomo on their relief proposal, they are urging Sandy victims, who have had to pay these costly DMV fees to replace their lost vehicles, to contact the assemblyman’s office at 718-236-1598 and ask for Mark Treyger. They will make note of all cases and present them to state leaders while urging them to expeditiously implement the proposed relief plan.