Conn. Officials Offer Grace Period for License, Registration Renewals

Connecticut officials are giving residents more time to renew driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations as the state struggles to recover in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

Licenses and registrations that would have expired starting Aug. 27 will remain valid through Sept. 12, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The grace period also covers late fees for expiring credentials.

Officials said police agencies have been notified about the extension, but motorists must renew their credentials by Sept. 12 and late fees will resume the following day. Waivers will not cover late charges assigned before Aug. 27.

Connecticut is still reeling from the effects of the storm that struck Aug. 28, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of residents and making roads throughout the state impassable. Total damages from the storm have yet to be tallied, but the Insurance Information Institute has projected they could be from $3 billion to $5 billion for the entire East Coast.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will open disaster recovery centers statewide on Thursday to help Connecticut home and business owners affected by Irene.

“I am urging any individual or business who has suffered losses or damages as a result of Tropical Storm Irene to visit a center and work with staff there to review what benefits to which they may be entitled,” Malloy said in a statement.

The DMV grace period could save residents of the state money in both the short and long term.

The department assigns a $10 late fee for registration renewal, $20 for emissions tests and $25 to renew a license. And consumers looking to purchase or renew car insurance without a license or vehicle registration could run into complications.

The DMV action is not the first state officials have made on behalf of Connecticut consumers.

In a bulletin issued days before the storm struck, the Connecticut Department of Insurance encouraged the state’s providers of auto, homeowner and other insurance coverages to allow customers a grace period for sending in policy payments.

About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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