Licence plate program generating much-needed funds in Shasta County

An effort by CHP to identify residents with out-of-state licence plates is bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for Shasta County.

Posted: Nov. 13, 2017 6:53 PM
Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 6:53 PM

An effort by CHP to identify residents with out-of-state licence plates is bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for Shasta County.

It's called the CHEATERS program, which stands for Californians Help Eliminate All The Evasive Registration Scoff Laws.

CHP Officer Jason Morton is in charge of the program in the Redding area.

“And it's to where people are moving here or live here, try to register their vehicles in an another state, usually surrounding us,” Morton said. “Usually a lot of Oregon, Texas. We get occasionally Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, those types of states here.”

It's been around for a many years, but it's been particularly successful in redding the last few years bringing in over a million dollars in that time.

The way it works is volunteers act as the eyes and ears for CHP reporting out-of-state licence plates they see while out and about.

“And as we see them around our community , they write them down on cards, they hand them into myself, which then I pass them over to my senior volunteer program,” Morton said. “It's all pretty much run by them.”

A letter is then mailed to the driver or owner of the vehicle letting them know what the rules are and when they're required to register.

“Buying a house and claiming your homeowner's exemption, renting a house when you sign a lease for rent, you get a California driver's license, you take a job, you're here for school,” Morton said. “Anything that's going to make you be here for more than 6 months.”

In Shasta County, money from the CHEATERS program helps fund several county agencies, as well as roads and the CHP.

“I believe it's $21 goes to, of every vehicle registration goes to fund the California Highway Patrol,” Morton said. “So we're not paid out of your regular taxes.”

Morton said a common misconception is that you don't have to register your vehicle in state if you're a student, but he said that exemption was done away with last year.

“So now if you're Shasta College student here, Simpson College, Bethel School, all the schools all have to register, so within 20 days,” he said.

20 days is the rule when moving to California for work or school.

If you don't register your vehicle within that timeframe, ‎you can be hit with hefty fines from DMV as they can backtrack.

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