DOT institutes new methods to collect unpaid tolls and fees
Posted December 29, 2013
Updated December 30, 2013
After Tony Micale's daughter drove on the Triangle Expressway, the state's first toll road, the Cary dad received a bill for 45 cents.
“So I kind of figured 45 cents, forgot about it,” he said.
The fine consisting of pocket change turned into a $37.45 bill, thanks to monthly fees and civil penalties.
That taught Micale to pay attention to even the smallest fines.
“FYI for all my fellow citizens out there that if you get this bill, sign onto the website, give them your credit card number,” he said.
Micale eventually took care of his bill, but there were 73,000 who had not as of November, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. That adds up to $815,000 in unpaid tolls and $5.9 million in unpaid fees and penalties.
The DOT wants its money.
The agency has set deadlines between Jan. 31 and March 31, depending on how much is owed, for residents to pay.
Those who do not pay their bills may be turned over to collections, which could affect their credit scores. Their tax refunds will also be garnished starting April 1, and vehicle registrations will placed on hold until payment is made.
The new collection strategy comes in addition to an annual rate increase.
Effective Jan. 1, NC Quick Pass customers will pay an additional 1 cent to 4 cents per toll reader depending on the section they’re driving on. Those paying by mail will see an increase of between 2 and 6 cents per toll reader.