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CHP cracks down on out-of-state vehicle registrations

'Cheaters never win'

Posted: June 5, 2009 1:06 p.m.
Updated: June 5, 2009 6:00 p.m.

In 2004, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) invited Californians to join the fight against out-of-state registration.

Now, five years later, the CHP's "CHEATERS" (Californians Help Eliminate All The Evasive Registration Scofflaws) program has helped return more than $4 million to its rightful owner, the state of California.

"Every year, the state loses millions of dollars in revenue from California residents who unlawfully register their vehicles in other states or countries," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "With the help of the public, and our investigators, we're able to return much needed funding to the state to help maintain our infrastructure."

Last year, the "CHEATERS" program enjoyed its most successful year with more than $1 million in total fees collected from violators.

State law requires an owner to register a vehicle within 20 days of accepting employment or establishing residency in California. Failure to comply with the law will result in penalties.

Anyone who spots an out-of-state license plate can report it anonymously to the CHP's website at It is important to include the following: state of plate, license plate number, date and time observed, where it was observed, make, model and color of vehicle and any other additional comments (decals, license plate frames, bumper stickers, etc.).

Once the information is submitted, it is automatically fed into the "CHEATERS" database. If there is enough information to prove that the owner or driver of the vehicle is a California resident, a compliance letter will be sent requiring the owner to properly register their vehicle.

"These violators are in California using our services, but not paying their fair share of the costs," Farrow said. "It's time for vehicle registration cheaters to end their free ride, and pay their fair share."


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