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Published: Thursday, 3/13/2003

Unpaid fines will mean no license renewal

Motorists ignoring a pile of speeding tickets or dodging fines for illegal gambling have a last chance to pay before they are blocked from renewing driver's licenses and vehicle registrations.

New computer technology allows Toledo Municipal Court to identify drivers with unpaid fines for traffic violations and criminal offenses, said Allen Roy, executive assistant to the clerk of courts.

Court officials are not tracking people with unpaid parking tickets.

The court will waive all late fees for people who pay fines between March 31 and April 4. Late fees are usually $10 for each charge. “It could get expensive if you have numerous charges that aren't paid,” Mr. Roy said.

For people who can't make it to court during the day, a night court session will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. April 3.

People who do not pay their fines before April 4 will be unable to renew their licenses or registrations.

Court officials compiled a 1,300-page list of offenders with unpaid fines, Mr. Roy said. The oldest case with an uncollected penalty dates back to 1978.

Lists of people who owe traffic or criminal fines will be available online at www.tmc-clerk.com and at the court clerk's office.

Officials would not reveal the amount of money the court expects to receive in unpaid fines.

Judge C. Allen McConnell and Clerk of Court Theresa M. Gabriel are scheduled to discuss the new fine-collection program at a news conference this morning in the Toledo Municipal Court building downtown.

The program follows recommendations from a 2000 study by the Center for Effective Government that advised the court to improve its system of collecting unpaid fees and fines. The study said the amount of uncollected fines could “easily exceed” $460,000 a year.

The report said the court should track people who have not paid their fines and register them with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles so they would be unable to renew their licenses and registrations.

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