A few years ago, when I was working in Hinesville, the Liberty County assistant county administrator told me they were thinking about putting certain payments of fees online.
It didn’t take long before they had the online car tag system up and running. I volunteered — or was volunteered — to test it out, to see what I thought.
Since then, the only time I went back into the tax commissioner’s office is if I just wanted to say hello to the tax commissioner.
The Effingham County commissioners have agreed to go forward with online car tag and property tax payments. I can’t speak as to how well the latter system works — I’ve not used it because I believe my escrow account is taking care of that (I hope) — but the online car tag payment is a snap.
(Note to self — make online car tag payment. Now.)
It tells you upfront what the convenience charge is. It’s generally around $4.95. If you’re living somewhere on the fringes of the county, it might cost you that much and more just in gas to get to Springfield.
It’s incredibly convenient, and it doesn’t take that long at all, usually five minutes or less. And then your new car tag is mailed to you and in your hands in a few days.
It won’t cost the county anything to set the online car tag payment system up. Getting the property tax payment will cost north of $3,000 to set that system up.
There have been a few commissioners who have been strong proponents of the online payment, and Tax Commissioner Linda McDaniel and her staff have worked hard in trying to make it happen. It may have taken a while to get in place, but now, instead of having to go all the way into
Springfield for your car tags, someone can sit at home at any hour of the day or night or even be at work and get their vehicle registration taken care of.
Now, the system won’t work with titles and new vehicle purchases. But for a car already in your possession, once you type your renewal identification number (RIN), you move pretty quickly through the process. My RIN is on the fold below the amount I owe and the amount I would owe if I was late with the payment. And yes, the computer will know if you’re late with getting your tag renewed.
The online system won’t take the place of sending your car tag back in or going to the tax commissioner’s office in person. It will allow you to enjoy the comfort of your home or even your office and register your car or keep your property taxes up to date. It’s a great initiative on behalf of the tax commissioner’s office and a credit to the county commissioners to make this available to the residents and property owners of Effingham County.