For bridge toll violators, penalty is vehicle registration hold
September 18, 2012
NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 18, 2012
The state Department of Licensing placed holds on registration renewals for about 7,900 vehicles, after owners ignored notices for unpaid bridge tolls.
Violators should start to receive notices about unpaid tolls and registration holds in the days ahead. Department of Licensing officials said violators cannot renew registrations until they pay all tolls, accrued fees and penalties.
The holds affect toll violators on the state Route 520 and Tacoma Narrows bridges.
Owners with registrations set expire in December should receive the initial renewal notices from the Department of Licensing with holds resulting from unpaid civil penalties.
“We issued the first civil penalties in April, and now we’re taking one of the final steps to enforce tolls fairly,” Craig Stone, state Department of Transportation Toll Division director, said in a statement. “Most drivers pay their tolls on time, but these are the consequences for those who don’t.”
Holds go into effect after other attempts to collect tolls have been exhausted.
The vehicle owner receives a toll bill in the mail about 14 days after crossing the bridge. If a motorist does not pay the bill within 15 days of receipt, he or she receives another notice with a $5 reprocessing fee.
The state issues civil penalty notices with a $40 per transaction penalty more than 80 days after the bridge crossing. Owners then have up to 20 days to respond with payment or to dispute the penalty.
If the violations remain unpaid, then the Department of Transportation notifies the Department of Licensing to place a vehicle registration hold.