June 27, 2002 – The Motor Vehicle Bureau plans to start accepting credit cards and business and personal checks in about a month, director Laurence Olive said Thursday.
The agency stopped accepting all checks in July 2001 after having about $15,000 worth of them bounce. "The attorney general is going to file charges against them," Olive said of the writers of those checks.
He said the bureau has continued to accepts bank-certified checks.
When personal and business check acceptance resumes, the bureau will use a TeleCheck system to verify that funds are available. A bureau employee feeding a check into the electronic scanning system will get a response immediately saying whether sufficient money is in the account. And if it is, it will be instantaneously deducted from the account and deposited into the Motor Vehicle Bureau account.
As for the credit card system, Olive said the machinery is in place on St. Thomas and St. Croix, but he is waiting for telephone lines to be installed to get the system in operation. Such a system also will be installed on St. John, he said.
But until the new systems are in place, Olive said, anyone who doesn't want to make a trip to the bank to get a certified check must pay cash.
For those re-registering their motor vehicles, Olive said, the way to determine ahead of time the amount you owe is to look at your current registration, as the rates have not increased. Of course, that does not take into account any outstanding traffic tickets that will have to be paid.
The ban on non-certified checks apparently is not always enforced. One businessman who registers multiple vehicles at the same time, and did not want to be identified, said he paid this year with a regular check.

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