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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 3, 2006 4:28 PM. The previous post in this blog was Lateral move. The next post in this blog is Reverend Tony explains it all for you. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2006

What next, exact change only?

Typical bureaucracy: The Oregon DMV will take your personal check, but it won't take your debit card.

Comments (16)

That makes total sense.

Debit cards are processed by third parties. Either as an ATM transaction or as a Visa/MC transaction, depending on the card and such. Either way, the third party takes a tithe for handling the transaction. A check, on the other hand, means every dime goes into their coffers.

As I recall, the one in Lloyd Center "conveniently" has one of those ATMs that charges some outrageous fee -- like the ones you see in dive bars.

Bastards.

Yes, debit cards are usually Visa or MC, so they require a third party to be involved. Since my mother owns a small business I know that every time someone uses their credit and/or debit card, she is charged a flat fee (somewhere between $1-$2, I think) and then a percentage of the purchase, so she loses money unless someone makes a purchase of $5 or more.

Yeah, well, they need to suck it up like every other business on the face of the earth. How much are they spending to process paper checks and handle cash?

They don't want to pay a process fee so they put an ATM in the place so the public has to pay a fee.

More aggrivating is they are closed on Monday.
How special.
What a crock that is.

Not to mention the percentage of checks that bounce.

BTW, same in Jersey.

When Governor Ted asks you what's the most pressing issue facing the state, tell him it's that the DMV is closed on Monday and won't take your debit card. I'm serious. Tell him to call Neil Goldschmidt in France and ask him what to do about it.

As far as I'm aware, DMV has never accepted debit or credit cards, it's always been cash or check. As far as DMV being closed on Mondays, the express offices are open on Saturday with the exception of certain Federal holidays. Name me another state office that's open on Saturday, with the exception of those rare Saturdays when the Mexican Consulate is holding one of their special 'Carousel Of Information' events.
I do, however, agree that ODOT should get with the times and start taking debit and credit cards. My best friend is a lead worker at a DMV express office and I hear all sorts of stories about people who would like to pay with one of these cards and when the find that they can't they scream and holler at the person at the desk, as if the person working the desk has made the decission to not accept the cards just to PO the public.

Maybe you missed it but the DMV isn't "a business". They don't have to play by "commerce" rules, because they're a monopoly. It's not like you can go get a license or registration from their competitor. As such, the rules are way different.

In this case, they have decided "we want $X.XX for a drivers license" and if they accept ATM/Debit/MC/Visa, *they don't get $X.XX*.

Companies would like to get $X.XX as well, but since they know there's someone out there who is willing to accept ($X.XX - $FEE), they suck it up and accept the $FEE themselves. Since the DMV knows you can't go elsewhere, they don't see any reason to just give that money away, and I can't blame them.

As for bounced checks - they probably slap exorbitant fees on bounced checks, and it might even be a misdemeanour to bounce a check to a government agency. In any event, they don't care, because they just click the "Suspend License" button, or "suspend registration" and the cops take care of the rest of the problem for them (since the license or registration is no longer paid for). So there's really no "time and effort" expense involved. They suspend you. You get pulled over, and you spend all sorts of time clearing it up, not them.

And then they wonder why people hate them and won't vote them another nickel in play money.

I don't blame them for not taking debit cards-- it would cost the state money that would otherwise go to pay for other things.

They could slap a fee on, but then people would complain about having to pay more just because they used their card.

Yes, it's annoying that they don't accept cards, but until the feds do something about the monopoly a few companies have on the market, ODOT should continue not taking cards.

I always carry my checkbook with me, as I almost never have cash. I use that when I have to renew my license or whatever.

I think instead of bashing ODOT for not accepting them, we should go after the handful of companies that run the market. Yes, you can get a merchant account from anywhere, but the fees can only go so low because of what VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, Discover, etc. charge. Costco stopped accepting all credit cards (except AMEX if I remember correctly) because of how much they were paying out in fees. They still accept debit cards, though, as the fees on those are much, much lower.

As for bounced checks - they probably slap exorbitant fees on bounced checks, and it might even be a misdemeanour to bounce a check to a government agency.

Bouncing a check to MY city office is no crime. And we charge $25 to return one...and only AFTER we give the payer a chance to make the check good. (Compare this to what banks charge their customers for bounced checks.)

It's stupid to not take debit cards, however. If there's an additional cost, then charge it to the people using the card as a "convenience charge." Then people have the choice to pay it or not.

They still accept debit cards, though, as the fees on those are much, much lower.

Yes, and that was my point.

In Alaska you can do all your DMV business online with a credit card with no extra fees. I loved that when I was living there. On top of that, in Juneau they had a little DMV kiosk window downtown in the lobby of the state office building where you do do DMV paperwork in person if you wanted. Anything that didn't require a vehicle inspection or driving test. I walked by there every day on the way to lunch.

Here in Texas they charge an extra $0.75 service fee if you want to use plastic. It's by the county and my county doesn't have online DMV services but you can at least do it by mail with a credit card if you wish.

Only time I've ever been in the DMV was when I traded in my Oregon drivers license and plates for Texas ones.

"Yes, and that was my point."

But the fees are still there.

Like I said, maybe they need to look at charging a fee for you using your card.

If the U.S. Post Office is taking debit cards and preferring their use to cash, come on, DMV, get into the 21st Century.


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