Albuquerque woman penalized after confusing situation with vehicle emissions test

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque woman was shocked when she renewed her vehicle registration but just two months later, was told it was suspended. She says she was never given a heads up as to why, and it turns out, she’s not the only one.

In order to legally drive a car in Bernalillo County, it has to have an emissions test every two years.

Two months ago, Katherine Garza got a notice to renew her car’s registration. It was something she expected.

“There was no mention of an emissions test, but I mailed in the check and the form to get it renewed,” she said.

She figured it just wasn’t her year to get another emissions test since in years past she had been given a notice.

Then she got hit with a letter from the MVD this past Friday.

“My registration had been suspended due to lack of vehicle emissions,” said Garza. “Also pay $30 to get it reinstated,” she continued.

Frustrated, Garza obeyed and took her car to get the emissions test and but did not pay the fine.

According to the owner of Quik Check Emissions on San Mateo near I-40, Garza has not been the only one caught off guard.

“It happens everyday. We see it everyday,” said Sherry Wible.

Wible says drivers used to get a postcard in the mail to let them know when it was time to get an emissions test.

Now, she says drivers are just expected to remember. So Wible is offering help.

“We have a system that’s called ‘text to remind’ and you can opt it. We will just send you a text reminder in two years when your next emissions test is due,” she said.

It is a service Garza will use, but she hopes the MVD will hear her plea.

“I think it’s necessary to have some sort of reminder when you’re going to suspend someone’s license and charge them $30,” said Garza.

Back in March 2017, News 13 reported the MVD would bring back the postcards, after they received a lot of backlash for not sending them anymore in September 2016.

We reached out to the MVD for comment but did not hear back, but KRQE News 13 understands it is a weekend. We will post the MVD’s response as soon as we get it.

Drivers can text the word: ‘remind’ to 505-985-5775 to get reminders on when their next emissions test is to avoid fines.

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