Columbia County drivers can now save themselves a trip to the motor vehicle office by registering for their tag with the click of a mouse.
The "virtual tag office" opened July 1 on the Columbia County Web site, www.co.columbia.ga.us. The tag office Web site urges customers to register online, advertising that it will "save both time and money."
"We have had nine vehicles renewed on the Web site since July 1," said Dwight Johnson, deputy tag agent for Columbia County.
So far, the tag office hasn't had any complaints about the new system, only compliments.
"A lady who was vacationing out-of-town called and said she could not get here in time to renew her tag. Her bill was due and she was going to be late if she sent it by mail. So, she was appreciative of being able to renew online," Johnson said.
The electronic payment site accepts e-checks, MasterCard and Visa.
"Anyone who uses the site for payment can print out a receipt showing that they have paid and we will mail them their decal within the next few weeks," Johnson said.
Columbia County is the 11th county selected by the state to be part of the online tag renewal pilot project. Other counties participating include Bibb, Chatham, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Lowndes, Rockdale, Spalding and Whitfield.
"As of June 1, (participating counties) have already had 18,083 people filing online with $4,179,272 collected in payments," Johnson said. "I think it will take a while to catch on (here) but once we get the word out more people will start to use it."
The electronic payment is being maintained by the Georgia Technological Authority.
"This gives people another way to pay and in the comfort of their own homes," Johnson said. "It gives them another way to pay for their tag in addition to paying by mail or by coming in person. ... It's just another way to serve our citizens."
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