Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Bill to eliminate vehicle registration stickers making progress

by BPT Staff
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(The Center Square) — Louisiana vehicle inspection stickers could be junked if a bill in the Legislature becomes law.

House Bill 344 would end the requirement that most vehicles receive a $10 safety inspection. Drivers are cited if their inspection sticker is missing or out of date.

The bill has been recommitted to the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives after being approved by the Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works.

The bill is supported by the Pelican Institute and opposed by the Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Police Chiefs Association and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association.

“Every time I’ve brought this, I’ve been overwhelmed by the emails, the texts and the calls to please pass this,” said Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, at the Transportation Committee hearing on Monday of last week. He’s the sponsor.

“There are only 11 states that require inspection stickers and we’re the only red state,” he said. “This whole issue is long past killing. No one has ever given me a good reason to keep them.”

Bagley also said an expired inspection sticker provides probable cause for law enforcement officials to search vehicles, and force a driver to submit to an inspection and a test.

A fiscal note says eliminating the inspection stickers would cost the state about $14.5 million in annual revenues, which Bagley says he wants lawmakers to replace if the bill is signed into law by Gov. Jeff Landry. Revenues from the stickers are distributed to the shop performing the inspection ($4.75), with the remainder going to the state Department of Public Safety & Corrections and Public Safety Services.

The exception would be for the five parishes – Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and West Baton Rouge – that are under the oversight of the U.S. Clean Air Act, which requires annual emissions inspections for vehicles.

Commercial vehicles and school buses will still continue to be inspected if the bill becomes law.

While Texas has a vehicle inspection regime, Louisiana’s other neighboring states do not.

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