This is the time of the Legislative Session in Olympia where lawmakers are working on the weekends to move bills out of their chamber of origin.  On Saturday the House moved a bill tied to the reporting of your odometer reading to the State Department of Licensing.

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House Bill 1736 (HB1736) would require the Department of Licensing to collect odometer information from car owners at the time of vehicle registration, be it in person on online

Why Do They Want My Odometer Reading?

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The lawmakers supporting the bill believe the State needs to gather more information regarding the amount of travel along with travel patterns statewide.  They also believe having this information will help with transportation planning efforts at the State level as well as help figure out the all important funding mechanisms involving the department of transportation.

Opponents of the bill believe it is the reporting of odometer readings is not necessary as the gas tax, along with electric vehicle charges, provides the funding mechanism for the department of transportation and the State has no need, or reason, to know the driving patterns and habits of residents.  The best part about the passage of this bill is the catch.

So What is the Catch?

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The catch is...there is no penalty associated with NOT submitting your odometer reading.  The bill requires the department of licensing to ask for your odometer reading, but you do not have to provide it.  Your part in this equation is strictly voluntary...for now.

I say 'for now' because some lawmakers would like the voluntary odometer reporting requirement to be for the first year, then require residents to submit their odometer reading the following year if the fail to do so in the 'voluntary' year.  The penalty may be refusing to register your vehicle until the odometer info is received.

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