04/09/14 — No more ATM fees: County courthouse taking credit cards

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No more ATM fees: County courthouse taking credit cards

By John Joyce
Published in News on April 9, 2014 1:46 PM

After years of having to direct citizens to the nearest bank or ATM, the Office of the Wayne County Clerk of Courts began accepting credit cards at its payment windows April 1.

Just be sure to bring a government-issued I.D. with you.

"People have been calling for years wanting us to go on credit cards, but we had to wait for the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts for approval," Wayne County Clerk of Courts Pam Minshew said.

The card has to belong to the person making the payment, she said.

"Sons can't show up with mama's credit card hoping to swipe it," Ms. Minshew said.

Cash, money orders and cashier's checks were, for years, the only acceptable forms of payment in the clerk's office, but no more.

The state initiated a pilot program earlier this year for testing the viability of using credit cards in Alleghany, Forsyth, Halifax, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Union counties.

As of Feb. 11, the new system had processed more 2,273 transactions, reaching a total of more than $375,927, according to the office of the courts.

Major credit cards, American express, Visa, Master Card and Discover can now be used in Wayne County to pay court costs, motion fees, probation payments, traffic tickets, filing fees, copies and record checks, deputy clerk Robyn Radford said.

Fees of $1,000 or more are excluded, as are alimony, bonds, child support purge payments and other civil judgments and awards. A full list of excluded items is available at the clerk's office on the second floor of the Wayne County Courthouse.

The expansion of the credit card system is expected to soon reach the remaining 94 counties. The state has spent an estimated $313,000 implementing the program in the six pilot counties.

The total cost of the statewide expansion is approximately $835,000, according to the office of the courts.

There will be annual maintenance costs to monitor the new web-based system, but the only upgrades to speak of in the Wayne County Courthouse were the addition of three credit card swipe machines.

The transactions processed so far in Wayne County, in just eight days, is more than $5, 468.

"I'm so glad we're able to offer credit card transactions now," Ms. Minshew said. "People have been asking for years."