Washington forgot to charge this car fee, and now wants drivers to pay up

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Tens of thousands of vehicle owners in Washington state may owe the state Department of Licensing a $15 fee they were never asked to pay.

The DOL reportedly failed to collect the fee from 32,749 vehicle owners between December 2016 and 2017. The charge is for an "Out of State Vehicle Check" fee. It's a check that verified vehicles from out of state aren't stolen.

“We have to collect the fees. State law says we can’t not collect it,” Krista Carlson, director of communication and education for the department, told The Everett Herald.

The state has lost $491,000 because of the failure, according to a news release from DOL.  The fees help fund highway safety programs.

Customers will need to pay this outstanding balance prior to their next renewal and can pay in-person at a vehicle licensing office or online at dol.wa.gov.

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