Vestavia Hills begins car tag renewals

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — Vestavia Hills is now the first city in the state to process tag renewals for its residents.

The program is possible due to a bill that passed during this legislative session.

It’s a response to the long lines and wait times that people have experienced at Jefferson County courthouses in recent years.

Several other cities within the county may do the same if all goes well in Vestavia.

Vestavia’s finance director was nervous about tackling the first wave of tag renewals.

“I actually spilled coffee all over my tie,” said Walter Turner, Finance Director, City of Vestavia Hills. “All eyes are on you, but there’s nothing we can’t overcome. We embrace the idea.”

Coffee aside, Turner says day one of the program got off to a smooth start. Vestavia Hills residents seem excited about the opportunity. For starters, they don’t have to pay for parking.

Paul Christensen was willing to let his tag expire, so he could renew it at City Hall.

“But the $15 penalty was actually worth it to pay that, because it took me all of like four minutes,” said Christensen. “It’s usually a two- or three-hour wait.”

The city hall option only impacts Vestavia Hills residents who are renewing tags.

“If they’re a title transfer or a new registration you actually will have to go to the county,” said Dotson.

That’s not what Dan Dotson wanted to hear when he pulled up to City Hall in a new still he left with a smile on his face. Dotson says that wasn’t the case last time he updated his tag.

“Aside from the hair pulling and the kicking and gouging and standing in line, pretty much, I can see it’s quite a difference here when I went inside, there was one person ahead of me,” said Dotson. “… very excited at what we got in the future here as far as the renewal parts.”

Vestavia Hills residents may renew vehicle or trailer tags, but not motorcycle or boat tags, according to the finance director. There is a five dollar fee charged by the city. The program is only available to residents of Vestavia Hills. Fifty-eight tags were renewed at Vestavia Hills City Hall on the first day of the program, April 1, 2014.

Irondale Mayor Tommy Joe Alexander tells CBS 42 that Irondale is on track to begin renewing vehicle tags starting June 1, 2014.

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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