FOX43 Finds Out: What is a restoration fee?

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A Cumberland County man had to pay a $91 restoration fee when he went to pay a fine to PennDOT.

As FOX43 Finds Out, it's all part of a state law.

Scot Wiebner recently renewed his insurance for his Ford Escape.

Although, the Cumberland County man admits he did that a little later than he should have.

"My car was in the shop and I didn`t have any money to take care of it in full. I had to pay little by little so it took a month and a half to two months which I dropped the insurance because of that. And I didn`t realize I had to keep it whether it was in the shop or not," said Wiebner.

Because of that, he was hit with a $500 fine from PennDOT.

A state law requires everyone who owns a registered vehicle in the Pennsylvania to have liability insurance.

Wiebner got a suspension notice in the mail from PennDOT stating he could either pay $500 for a fine, plus a restoration fee or he could surrender his plates for 3 months and pay the restoration fee after that.

He decided to go to PennDOT's headquarters and pay the fine.

He said, "It ended up costing me a lot more, at a bad time."

Wiebner says he didn't know the restoration fee would cost $91 and when he asked why he had to pay that he claims he never got a real answer. "They said it was their policy. That`s all the really said to me was that it`s their policy. And that`s all the manager said to me was it was their policy. Nobody could actually answer the question I was asking."

FOX43 Finds Out got him the answer he was looking for.

A PennDOT official says even though he didn't have to surrender his plates his registration was still suspended and that why he had to pay the restoration fee.

That fee also fluctuates.

It's $91 bucks right now and could go up every other yea, depending on the Consumer Price Index.

The official also says that money contributes to the state Motor License Fund, which is used repair and maintain Pennsylvania's roads and bridges.

As for Wiebner, he says lesson learned and he doesn't plan to let his insurance lapse again.

Wiebner was also confused if paying the restoration fee kind of re-sets the clock on his registration timeline.

For him, his registration expires in June.

PennDOT tells me the restoration fee does not restart the clock, it just reinstates your registration after a suspension.

That means he'll still have to pay his registration fee in June - which is 37 bucks.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out.

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