PORTLAND, Ore. — Year after year, Oregon lawmakers consider allowing drivers to pump their own gas, something that has been banned in the state since 1951.
Oregon remains one of only two states nationwide (the other is New Jersey) where you can't pump your own gas.
According to state law, pumping gas could be dangerous for seniors or those with disabilities, toxic fumes could represent a hazard to customers, and small children left alone at a self-serve gas station can “create a dangerous situation.”
So we wanted to Verify: Are there legal ramifications for pumping your own gas?
First, let's go over what’s legal and what’s not:
- If your car or truck uses diesel, you can pump it yourself.
- A 2002 law allowed motorcycle and motorized scooter riders to pump their own gas statewide.
- Just last year, lawmakers allowed people to pump their own gas if the county they’re in has a population of fewer than 40,000 people. But if you’re in a city like Portland, Salem, Eugene or Medford, you still have to get your gas pumped by a gas station attendant.
- And this legislative session, Oregon lawmakers are considering allowing any gas station statewide to let people pump their own gas at up to a quarter of their pumps.
But can you get fined for pumping your own gas?
Gas stations can only be fined by the State Fire Marshal up to $500 every time they allow someone to pump gas, through a complaint-based system.
According to previous interviews, these fines are “extremely rare,” and representatives from the the state fire marshal's office visit gas stations that have been flagged to remind them of the law.
Money gathered from those fines would go to the Oregon State Fire Marshal general fund.
We can Verify: Though it's against the law, there are no legal ramifications directly to you if you pump your own gas. But gas stations can be fined by the state fire marshal.
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