Vehicle registration fee approved by Clackamas County Board; Will help meet local transportation needs

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners has approved an ordinance setting a $30 per year countywide vehicle registration fee (VRF). The action followed a second public hearing Thursday.

The VRF will apply to cars, pick-up trucks, vans and other passenger vehicles registered in Clackamas County. The fee for motorcycles will be $15 per year. Since Oregonians pay vehicle registration fees two years at a time, that is a potential increase of $60 every two years for most motorists and $30 every two years for motorcyclists.  

By state law, the fee will not apply to the following vehicles:

  • Registered farm vehicles
  • Travel trailers, campers and motor homes
  • Heavy trucks (which pay state weight-mile taxes)
  • Snowmobiles and Class I all-terrain vehicles
  • Fixed-load vehicles
  • Vehicles registered to disabled veterans or former prisoners of war
  • Vehicles registered as antique vehicles or as vehicles of special interest
  • Government-owned or operated vehicles including school buses or school activity vehicles, and law enforcement undercover vehicles

Commissioners approved the ordinance following years of analysis and discussions with the community, businesses and cities in the county.

By state law, 40 percent of the VRF revenue will go to cities in the county. Of the remaining 60 percent, which normally would all go to the county, 10 percent will be paid into a strategic investment fund for the county and cities to fund multi-jurisdictional projects and the remaining 50 percent will go to the county for the unincorporated areas.

Transportation & Development Director Dan Johnson said the county will use its funds to relieve congestion, maintain local roads and implement safety improvements. “We have a long list of needed projects in our Transportation System Plan that was created with extensive public input several years ago,” he said. “Between that list, our urgent need to maintain local neighborhood roads, and to make needed safety improvements, these local VRF funds will allow us to provide transportation improvements on roads throughout our county.”

Johnson also noted that staff will work closely with residents and businesses throughout the county to determine which projects will receive funding. In addition, the county will set up a special program to help the public track the revenue the county receives from the VRF and how that money is spent.

Clackamas County vehicle owners will pay the additional registration at the same time they pay the state fee when they register their vehicles every two years. The state will send the revenue from the new county VRF to the county and the county will distribute 40% of it to cities in the county, based on population.

More information about the VRF is online at www.clackamas.us/transportation/vrf

Contact: Mike Bezner, Assistant Director for Transportation

Phone: 503-742-4651

Emailmikebez@clackamas.us