Beginning Sept. 1, more than 1,700 fee categories used by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to calculate registration fees will be reduced to nine weight classifications.

The simplified structure should make it easier for vehicle owners to know what they owe and reduce administrative costs, the department said.

According to Darlene Chambers, Somervell County tax assessor-collector, these changes will impact what Somervell County residents will pay to register cars, light and heavy-duty trucks, motor homes (RVs) and trailers, including travel trailers.

“The good news is some fees are being completely eliminated, and some residents will see a cost reduction,” Chambers said.

Vehicle owners with registrations ending in August already are seeing the new fees on renewal notices.

Following are highlights of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles' fees changes:

*Cars or trucks (6,000 lbs. or less) will pay a base registration fee of $50.75, plus applicable fees listed below

*The $1 fee for the automated insurance verification program is still in effect

*In Somervell County, $1 will be charged for automation. Revenue will be used to automate more of the TxDMV processes and online services.

*Somervell County vehicle registrants pay a $5 road and bridge fee.

*New cars should see an $8 reduction.

*Older cars or light trucks will see a small increase - around $10.

*The $.30 reflectorization fee, which was used to purchase the reflective license plate sheeting, has been eliminated.

*License plate replacement fee has been standardized at $6.

*Trailers under 6,000 lbs. will pay a fixed annual rate of $45.

*Those with heavy vehicles more than 6,000 lbs. will find their registration fees fall into seven weight classifications instead of the 100-pound weight increments previously used.

“Gone are the 1,600 fee categories that these heavy vehicle owners had to use to determine what they owed,” Chambers said.

The seven weight classifications “should make it easy for fleet owners and individuals to determine their costs,” she added.

The simplified fee structure should enable most customers to know what they owe. But anyone needing assistance can stop by the Tax Assessor-Collector office at the Somervell County Annex.

ne to do just that. For those of you who need our in-office assistance, we are always here for you.”

The standardized fee structure is not designed to make more money for the state or the county, Chambers added.

Its purpose is to “apply common sense and fairness to what was a very complicated and complex fee structuring system that was difficult for many customers to understand and expensive for the state to maintain,” she said.

In addition, the new categories ensure the state does not lose any registration revenue for building and maintaining Texas' roads and bridges.

For more details about the fee changes, go to www.TxDMV.gov.