BELL COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) — Starting Tuesday, October 18, vehicle registration renewal in Bell County will be a little more complicated for those with outstanding tickets and fines.
The program blocks anyone with an unpaid fine to the county from renewing registration on their vehicle.
The program shares information between the county and the Texas DMV database, flagging vehicles with outstanding citations.
“It will help us collect unpaid fines and citations,” Bell County PIO James Stafford says. “That’s what it’s really all about, is about getting people to pay for fines that they owe.”
Jesse Tait is not a fan of the new program.
“This is just going to make it harder for people who probably didn’t have the money to pay the fine in the first place to then register their car, which means they can’t work, which means they can’t pay their fines, which means they’re going to get more fines,” Tait said.
Another Bell County resident said it sounds like a good idea to him.
Once drivers pay the fine, the block will be removed. They can do it right there on their phone and show the digital receipt to proceed with registration.
Stafford says the number one thing he encourages people to do is check online before you go to renew your vehicle registration.
“That way you can settle it before you ever walk in here, before you ever have to get to the desk,” Stafford said.
The Bell County budget is supported by taxpayer dollars, so Stafford says by encouraging everyone to be good citizens, it helps those who are already good citizens.
“When we are not able to collect on a revenue source like citations and fines, then that negatively impacts all the people out there who are paying their taxes and being good citizen,” Stafford said.