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Pay Up for Convenience

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There are cleaning fees, reservation fees and even cancellation fees, but how about a convenience fee?

The Ada County Assessor's Office announced last week that it will now charge a 3 percent convenience fee to anyone who uses a debit or credit card to pay for license plates, vehicle registration or out-of-state vehicle transactions.

The need for the new fee is credited to rising processing fees charged by Access Idaho, the company that processes all card purchases for the Assessor's Office. According to a release issued by the office, processing fees cost the county $160,000 last year.

"With costs continuing to climb, I believe it's only fair that bankcard users cover the costs associated with their transactions," said Ada County Assessor Robert McQuade in a written statement. "I don't believe it's fair to have non-bankcard-using customers subsidize this added expense."

This change also affects the cost of renewing vehicle registration online. Previously, the county charged a $1.50 processing fee for credit card transactions online. The fee will now be 3 percent. Payments in cash or by check will not be subject to the additional charge.

The new fee will not be charged for drivers license applications or renewals since they are processed through the Ada County Sheriff's Office.