In my State the DMV will do whatever they can to make people pay reinstatement fees regardless of how illogical and how stupid the reason is.
I would expect nothing less from any other DMV or government agency.
If you were allowed to pay a $50.00 RMV reinstatement fee that was supposed to cost $500.00 and the RMV has now learned that a mistake was made, I would imagine that you are responsible for the difference. I don't know if this is "legal" or not and you can always challenge it, but don't be surprised if you lose. However, I certainly would encourage you to challenge it. The argument that you want to make is that you reasonably relied upon a RMV agent, who you had every reason to rely upon and believe. It is agency law and there is law that supports this position. The problem is that the RMV has an awful lot of autonamous authority and if they report your license as revoked, you could end up with more charges to challenge. Good luck. You never know. You could prevail after all is said and done.
Many times this is a surreptitious way of funding your DMV. In Washington state, for example, persons who have their license suspended administratively for a first offense (90 days) DUI and have their criminal matter reduced to Reckless Driving may be required to pay two reissue fees when having their license reinstated. According to the Department of Licensing, this is because each of the offenses carry a license suspension and the Reckless Driving is separate and has its own 30 day license suspension, even though the original 90 day suspension was based upon the same act. This is your goverment at work!
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