BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) has instituted a couple of changes regarding payment.
The OMV decided that on November 1 it would no longer accept cash payments. The only acceptable forms of payment are credit and debit cards, checks, cashiers checks or money orders.
Those payments can be used for driver's licenses, ID cards, and mobility impaired hang tag transactions as well as vehicle transactions. However, checks can not be used for reinstatement transactions.
Newly appointed OMV Commissioner Karen St. Germain said she implemented the new policy because, with budget cuts, she had no other option.
St. Germain said the move will save the OMV $300,000 to $350,000 a year and keep employees from stealing the cash, which she said is still a big problem.
"When you have that cash floating around, it is a bad temptation to someone with a problem and this 40-year-old system is so old it is easy for them to find a loophole to void something to keep the cash," St. Germain said. "It's happened they've been prosecuted in the last three or four years, and I'm positive it's still ongoing."
St. Germain said the OMV is not making any extra money off the fees, and the money saved goes to the state's general fund to help the budget deficit.
The policy also applies to business partners purchasing items from the OMV.
The OMV also offers eligible drivers the ability to pay off debt owed to the OMV in installments over time while still having their driving privileges.
The installment agreements will only be offered at offices in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Harvey, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Leesville, Livingston, Monroe, New Orleans - Veterans Hwy, Shreveport, Slidell, and Thibodaux.
"We recognize that people fall behind sometimes and just can't pay an entire bill at one time," St. Germain said. "It was not until legislation was enacted this year that we could allow people to pay what they owe to OMV each month and legally drive while making the monthly payments. We're happy to be able to offer this service now, but also want to remind everyone that payments have to be received monthly."
To be eligible, drivers must meet all requirements for a driver's license other than the payment of outstanding fines, penalties, or fees. The first payment is due at the time the agreement is made, after which payments will be made monthly by automatic draft from a bank account or debit/credit card. Processing fees will be charged for both of these payment methods. Cash will not be accepted.
To enter into an installment agreement, one must provide the following:
- Valid email address
- Compliance for any outstanding violations. Compliance includes, but is not limited to, bill of sale, insurance total loss statement, repossession document, junk or salvage receipt, out of state registration, or a paid receipt for traffic citation
- Credit/debit/prepaid card or bank account/routing number to be used for payments
For more information about these changes, visit www.expresslane.org.