Hawaii News | Kokua Line Kokua Line: What’s up with car registration renewal fee? By Christine Donnelly email@example.com Nov. 29, 2022 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Question: Auwe! I’ve been registering my car online for years and never had to pay extra. Now all the sudden there’s a service fee. Why? Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Question: Auwe! I’ve been registering my car online for years and never had to pay extra. Now all the sudden there’s a service fee. Why? Answer: As of Nov. 16, motorists who use Honolulu’s online system to renew their motor vehicle registration must pay a 2.35% credit/debit card service fee, which goes to the financial institution processing the card payment, not the city, said Harold Nedd, spokesperson for the Honolulu Department of Customer Services. This change made the online system consistent with credit/debit card payments at Oahu satellite city halls and DMV Now self-service kiosks, which have long passed this processing fee on to the customer, he said. For years the city absorbed credit/debit card fees only for motor vehicle registration renewals done online, Nedd said, which means that Oahu taxpayers were footing the bill. The cost exceeded $1 million a year, he said. Vehicle owners can avoid this fee by renewing in person at any Oahu satellite city hall and paying with a check or cash, or by renewing by mail and paying with a check or money order, according to the city website. For details about renewing a motor vehicle registration on Oahu, see honolulu.gov/csd/mvinformation. Kokua Line has heard from numerous readers surprised or annoyed by the processing fee, but most said they still preferred the convenience of renewing online. On a renewal bill of $325, the credit/debit card service fee would be $8.60, for example. Oahu’s municipal government first offered online renewal for motor vehicle registration in November 2000, when consumers had to be encouraged to use an unfamiliar system; in early years the lack of a service fee was a selling point. As online renewals become common, the city’s costs grew. Of 586,826 Oahu vehicle registration renewals in 2021, 197,720, or nearly 34%, were done online, Nedd said, and the city covered credit/debit card fees exceeding $1 million. Q: Was there another federal stimulus that we can claim on our taxes coming up? A: No. “Unlike 2020 and 2021, there were no new stimulus payments for 2022 so taxpayers should not expect to get an additional payment in their 2023 tax refund,” the Internal Revenue Service says on its website. The IRS also reminds filers that several tax credits are reverting to pre-pandemic levels, including the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Dependent Care Credit. This means that filers eligible for these credits “will likely receive a significantly smaller refund compared with the previous tax year.” For example, “those who got $3,600 per dependent in 2021 for the CTC will get $2,000 for the 2022 tax year. Similarly, eligible taxpayers with no children who received roughly $1,500 in 2021 will now get $500 in 2022. And the Dependent Care Credit returns to a maximum of $2,100 in 2022 instead of $8,000 in 2021.” Auwe Auwe to the driver of a white pickup truck driving northbound on the Moanalua Freeway around 2 p.m. Saturday continuously throwing trash out of your driver-side window! Shame on you for littering! — V.Y. E kala mai Apologies for sitting in my parking spot after shopping. I didn’t turn off my car because I needed AC. With the car running, people didn’t realize I wasn’t going anywhere. I was waiting for the rest of my group. — Black Friday shopper Mahalo We want to thank a wonderful family of three having breakfast at Zippy’s on a Friday in Pearl City, Waiau. We visited Zippy’s twice on a Friday hoping to thank them in person with no success. My husband and I send our heartfelt “thank you” for paying for our breakfast. That surely made our day. Mahalo! — The Lees Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous Story Tech View: What to look for when purchasing a smart TV Next Story Kokua Line: How can I help Operation Santa?