car dealership

Auto dealership.

A reader in Strasburg Township needs to get his car inspected by the end of this month. But there’s a problem.

“I need to get this vehicle inspected by the end of January, but I can’t do it without a current registration,” Rob Helm said.

Helm never received his temporary registration after he purchased the car Sept. 26. His temporary registration expired Dec. 26, but he said he never received the original registration credential from the state Department of Transportation.

Watchdog reached out to John Sauder Chevrolet of Ephrata, where Helm purchased his vehicle. The dealer where a customer purchases a new vehicle is responsible for sending the application to PennDOT. If the vehicle is not financed, a title in the customer’s name is sent directly to them.

A vehicle title clerk at the dealership said that is standard procedure and the dealership would assist Helm in any matters related to getting the required vehicle credentials.

However, Helm wrote he has been in contact with the dealership and was told PennDOT is just running behind in processing the paperwork.

A PennDOT spokesman told Watchdog that wasn’t the case.

“We are not experiencing any back log so there could be other contributing factors like delayed mail delivery during the holidays,” said Diego Sandino, PennDOT’s driver and vehicle services press officer.

Contacted Thursday, Helm said he again reached out to the dealer and was told when he brings his car there to be inspected it would check PennDOT’s database to verify the registration.

Helm said if it can’t be verified, he would reach out to PennDOT.

Other options

According to PennDOT’s website, vehicle registration extension due to the COVID-19 pandemic expired June 30 and was not be extended past that date.

However, Helm and others in a similar bind do have some options.

First, they can visit a local driver and vehicle-licensing agency to get assistance in tracking the status of their vehicle registration. They must provide proof of insurance and a driver’s license.

In addition, a duplicate registration card can be obtained online from PennDOT. No fee is due if the original card was not received in the mail within 90 days from the original issuance date, as was the case with Helm.

For more information, Sandino said people can call PennDOT at 717-412-5300 or go to

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