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Online registering and payments now an option

February 10, 2010
Gilford residents and taxpayers can now renew vehicle registrations and dog licenses, and pay for property taxes and utility bills, by accessing the town Web site.

In prior years, this was not an option for residents, and all registration processes and bill payments had to be completed at the Town Clerk and Tax Collector's office.

Town Clerk Denise Morrissette said the links are available under the town department's homepage, and that "quick links" will take residents right where they need to be at the click of a button.

Although online car registrations have been available in town for over a year, new and convenient links have been added, said Morrissette, which provides more information and capabilities.

"There is step by step feedback, which makes it easy to use," said Morrissette. "It allows you to make an estimate on how much a car registration can be."

Checking account numbers will also be needed, and no credit cards can be used at this time, since the town is still becoming familiar with the software and proper processes. Morrissette said when online payments are processed, an online electronic check is not created, nor associated with the bank, but an actual check is printed out and deposited.

Morrissette, who is the only one to see the check, pulls it off the Web site, confirms the checking account number, and prints the check in her office. The account number is then cleared out of the system and can no longer be accessed.

"It's just like a person standing at the counter, handing you a check. It is just as secure, and about as safe as can be, as far as I know," said Morrissette.

Dog licenses will also be available online by the end of this month. Residents will be able to register with a license and tag number, which they can fully access, along with sample images to make the process easier.

She said there is a small fee involved with these online processes, including a $1.50 charge for initial registration (or for one group), and a $.35 charge to verify and approve the checking account number. Morrissette also includes an additional $1.50 fee for items such as postage when completing a transaction. She said the online fees are miniscule compared to bigger fees, if a bill is not paid on time because a resident was out of town.

She added that 50 percent of taxpayers are out of state, and that this small convenience may make a big change in the way the town conducts online business. Morrissette said she is also open later on Thursdays, which has been very possible, but now with online payments she is able to provide 24/7 service to the taxpayer. This new option may also save the town up to $7,000 overall including the reduction of envelopes, and other mailing supplies.

Morrissette said this is just another way to conduct business, and make life easier for the taxpayer who chooses to register and pay for certain bills online now that it is available.

"In the future, we could possibly see guest cards online, and parking fine payments," said Morrissette. These (the online payments now available) were major concerns, and we expect to branch out from there and do more."

Cars being registered for the first time and new dog licenses must be done on site.

Martin Lord & Osman
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