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Trucking group sues Oregon over new DMV fees

An industry group representing truckers in Oregon is embroiled in a civil dispute with the state over a proposed increase in a fee charged to companies that employ truck drivers.

The trucking association, as well as seven other groups, wants the state's departments of administrative services and transportation not to increase the cost of obtaining a driving record from the DMV by 450 percent.

The state has proposed to increase the cost of purchasing a copy of the record from $2 to $9.68. Trucking companies, by law, must buy the driving records of any employee who drives for the company before hiring that person. Insurance companies review the records to set insurance rates, and the trucking companies use them to check the driving history of a new hire.

The trucking-industry group is serving as the lead plaintiff in this case. In its case, the group contends that the state department of transportation cannot ask the administrative services department to issue the reports through a third-party private vendor and that the amount received for the reports violates regulations.

The litigants are seeking a declaratory judgment in the Marion County Circuit Court.

The trucking-industry group's president said Oregon trucking companies stand committed to a high level of safety and want to keep competent drivers on the road. Still, the cost of the paperwork is too high, she said. Another group that has joined the coalition against the fee increase called it "unnecessary and unreasonable."

As state budgets get tighter, Oregon and other states across the country are seeking ways to bring in extra revenues and compensate for a lack of funding from other sources. Any groups that believe they have been unfairly or unequally targeted always have the right to seek remedies through the courts, just as the trucking and insurance industries in Oregon are doing in this case.

Source: Fleet Owner, "Trucking group sues Oregon over 450% DMV fee increase," Deborah Whistler, May 21, 2012

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