Monday, May 16, 2011

Pay Court Fees or Don't Drive

A Pennsylvania State Senator wants people to pay their court fees before their vehicle registration would be renewed. Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) has authored legislation (SB 836) that would require individuals who owe the Court of Common Pleas fees and fines to pay up before the Department of Motor Vehicles okays the registration. Stack says this policy would help close the gap in the Commonwealth's $4 billion deficit.

"By simply collecting these $1.6 billion in unpaid fees, fines, restitution payments, we could cut the deficit nearly in half. We could potentially completely restore basic education funding all without raising taxes."

Stack explains how the policy would work if implemented.

"Once a person pays their fines, surcharges, fees or penalties, the court would send a written or electronic notification to PennDot that the individual has paid. Then, PennDot would renew the person's vehicle registration."

Philadelphia Municipal Court is owed $205.7 million and Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas is due more than $97 million.
The legislation is currently in the Senate Transportation Committee. A similar bill has been introduced in the House.

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