Clerk to keep mailing reminders

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Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Elaine Sullivan knew people wouldn't be happy if the Clerk's Office stopped mailing reminders for vehicle registration renewals.

"I knew it would be an inconvenience because that's what people rely on," Sullivan said.

But she didn't know her decision to stop mailing the reminders would bother as many people as it did, she said.

The Clerk's Office had planned to stop mailing the notices on Jan. 1.

But after enough people complained and told the Clerk's Office they relied on the reminders, Sullivan decided this week to keep mailing the notices.

Businesses with numerous vehicles were particularly upset when they heard the clerk wouldn't mail reminders, Sullivan said.

The Clerk's Office mailed out more than 17,000 renewal reminders in 2005.

Clerks mail a reminder for every registered vehicle in the county, including trailers and motorcycles.

With the county commissioners requiring a 5 percent budget cut for all the departments in 2006, Sullivan said she had hoped to save about $3,500 next year by not mailing the reminders.

It cost the clerk 65 cents to mail each postcard in 2005, she said.

With the U.S. Postal Service raising rates in 2006, that cost will rise.

The Clerk's Office isn't required by the state to mail out the reminders, so Sullivan said she thought stopping the service would be a good way to save money.

Now, Sullivan is considering charging a handling fee to offset the cost of mailing the reminders, a suggestion by one of the business owners who called to complain.

"What in this life aren't you charged a handling fee for?" Sullivan said.

The handling fee likely would be about 65 cents, and the clerks would collect it when people renew registration, Sullivan said.

The Moffat County commissioners must sign off on any handling fees for the Clerk's Office.

But even with the reminders, Sullivan said she expects a few drivers to be late in renewing their registration.

The Clerk's Office charges a $10 fee for late registration.

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