To the Editor: Watch out for $20 late fee due to delays in state cashing license tag renewal checks PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Sally Medbourn Mott   
Friday, 30 October 2009 09:24
The BMV in Columbus appears to be filling its coffers this year by scamming citizens out of thousands of dollars.
The license plate renewal scheme:
¥ Three weeks before birthday, Citizen dutifully mails check for $104.87 for 2010 license plate renewal to Columbus.
¥  Birthday passes, no renewal sticker. Citizen is now driving illegally.
¥ Citizen calls Columbus to check status of check.
¥ Columbus: "Haven't cashed your check. No way we can see if your check arrived."
¥ Another week goes by. Still no sticker.
¥ Citizen calls again.
¥ Columbus: "Haven't cashed your check."
¥ Citizen: "What should I do?"
¥ Columbus: "Well, ma'am, since the check has not been cashed, if you don't want to be arrested and fined, you must go to your local BMV and pay a second $104.87 to purchase a renewal sticker. Also, since it is now 7 days past your birthday, you will have to pay an additional $20 late fee."
¥ Columbus continues: "When we locate your first check we will cash it and refund it in 60 days."
¥ Citizen goes to local BMV office. While waiting in line, Citizen overhears BMV employee deal with 2 angry callers: "Where are our renewal stickers/plates?"  BMV employee: " Don't know.  Gotta buy it again locally and pay a $20 late fee. You're not the only one, sir. There are lots of people calling in with the same problem."   
¥ Citizen gives second $104.87 check (plus $20 late fee) to local BMV and gets 2010 renewal sticker.
What is wrong with this picture?
Do the math.
If all citizens who conscientiously renewed by mail, three to four weeks in advance, didn't get their renewal stickers in time, and had to pay $20 late fees, that's a couple of million bucks for the BMV.
Plus the interest income accrued as both checks sit in BMV bank accounts for 60 days instead of earning interest in citizens' bank accounts.
In a perfect world, what should now happen is the BMV (1) fully refunds the check amount plus the accrued interest and the $20 late fee, (2) apologizes to the public for the inconvenience, financial burden, and distress caused by BMV actions, and (3) admits that delays were contrived in order to profit from the $20 late fees and from 60 days accrued interest on citizens' double payments.
Sally Medbourn Mott
Bowling Green

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