The Delaware legislature has sent a bill to Governor Ruth Ann Minner to increase a variety of motor vehicle fees to meet the state's transportation needs.
The package approved by the House and Senate would double registration fees for most vehicles from $20 to $40. The documentation fee on vehicle sales would increase from 2.75% to 3.75% over the next two years, while title fees would increase from $15 to $25. Driver's license fees would double, from $12.50 to $25.
Tolls on I-95 would increase by $1, and the overnight EZPass discount for commercial vehicles would be eliminated.
Commercial tolls on Rte. 1, the state's major north-south artery, would increase between 25 cents and $1 during the week, depending on the toll booth location, and between 25 cents and $2 on weekends. Passenger tolls at two Rte. 1 locations would double to $2 on weekends, and the 15% EZPass discount would be eliminated, according to news reports.
The bill is expected to generate $164.5 million over two years. However, legislators said even with the higher motor vehicle fees, the state transportation trust fund will still be some $600 million short of the amount needed to pay for approved road projects over the next five years.
Governor Minner has said she will sign the bill, telling the Delaware State News, "This certainly fills a hole in the Transportation Trust Fund and allows us to move forward with road construction. People were concerned that if we didn't, it would hurt economic development in the state."