Photo: Joseph Sohm (Getty Images)
What happened to you, Vermont? You used to be cool. You were America’s DMV, handling vehicle registrations nationwide without regard for pesky things like “titles” or “really any sufficient proof of ownership, honestly.” You let folks ignore inspections, pay reasonable fees, and slap extremely cool green plates on their motor vehicles — but now, all those memories will be lost.
The Vermont registration loophole, allowing non-residents to register vehicles by mail, has finally shut. The state now requires a “legitimate connection to the state of Vermont” — your out-of-state residency will no longer get you those sweet sweet green and white license plates.
Jalop alum Mercedes Streeter has the full story over on The Autopian, detailing what changed in Vermont and why. It seems the state was simply dealing with too many third-party providers, taking out-of-state money to process in-state registrations in bulk:
The short version of the story is that along with people circumventing their states’ rules and fees regarding vehicle registration, there appears to have been some shady business going on. Some people, as I predicted long ago, were using Vermont to register stolen cars. It seems some people were also registering vehicles in Vermont to avoid having car insurance and to avoid having a driver’s license. I wasn’t even aware Vermont was sending plates out to unlicensed drivers. Overall, it sounds like a lot of people were causing the state a lot of headaches.
It’s a shame to see the Vermont loophole close, but it’s also understandable from the state’s point of view — being known for easy access to vehicle registrations is one thing, being known for stolen cars and sketchy business practices is another. Fortunately, existing registrations are safe, but it seems your next car will have to be registered in your state — dumb, non-green plates and all.