“The Left Hand Seems to Have No Idea What the Right Hand is Doing”
New York–May 3…The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSTF) could significantly reduce rampant auto registration fraud in New York by cross checking their records with a simple Excel spreadsheet, New Yorkers Stand Against Auto Insurance Fraud (NYSAIF), an organization of concerned New York drivers working to end auto insurance fraud in New York, today charged. Insurance fraud, of all kinds, costs New Yorkers hundreds of millions of dollars per year in higher fees and lost revenues.
New York has not made a serious attempt to crack down on vehicle registration fraud in more than 35 years, according to a recent state senate report [link]. A 1987 analysis of New York city license plates estimated that approximately 10% of city vehicles were illegally registered in other states, in places as far away as Alaska. Industry experts believe the percentage of vehicles in New York illegally registered well exceeds 10% today.
Thousands of New York vehicles are illegally registered in states like New Hampshire that have no sales tax, and states like Pennsylvania that have significantly lower registration, title, and insurance fees. Yet those falsely claiming to live in those states are paying income tax to New York.
“The left hand seems to have no idea what the right hand is doing in New York and that’s unacceptable in this day and age,” said NYSAIF spokesman David Schwartz. “How is it possible that a New York taxpayer can claim to the DMV that he lives in Florida or Texas while telling Taxation and Finance that he lives in New York? In the 21st Century one would think this would be a simple cross check.”
Other states are aggressively pursuing scofflaws. Oklahoma recently created a fine of up to $500 for illegally registering a car. Oregon began an advertising campaign — ”Illegal Registration: Don’t Even Think About It,” and the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation just this week to crack down on auto registration fraud.
NYSAIF called upon DMV and NYTF to review their policies of sharing information.
A bill being championed in Albany by Senator Jeff Klein (S.2575 [check] would begin to address an auto registration fraud crisis growing out of control in New York State.