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New cars get plates good for four years

While admiring a handsome new BMW the other day, I noticed it was wearing license tags that expire in October 2006. Do luxury cars get special license plate deals, or is DMV offering something I missed?

' Bill D., Rogue River

It's not just Beemers that get those extended-term plates, Bill. All new cars started getting four-year plates last year.

The Legislature passed a law in the 2001 session creating the four-year plates. Someone realized that most motorists keep their new cars for more than two years. Issuing four-year plates cuts down on the number of renewals, reducing the workload for the folks at Driver and Motor Vehicle Services.

DMV spokesman David House said the four-year plates are issued only to brand-new cars, and only for a single four-year term. They cost &

36;60 ' exactly twice as much as the ordinary &

36;30 two-year tags. Nobody's making any extra money on the deal.

Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to . We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.