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A Publication Featuring The Information Services Technology of Maine State Government
|Volume V, Issue 7||July 2002|
By Tiffany L. Glidden
The Maine Court System recently announced the opening of a new premium service called PayTixx, that will provide information and allow payment of traffic fines over the Internet with a credit card. Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley says the new system is part of an ongoing effort by the courts to modernize court operation, and make use of technology to better serve those who deal with the courts. PayTixx may have considerable impact, since the annual volume of Violations Bureau cases exceeds 140,000!
PayTixx was successfully tested over a period of several months and is now available for public use.
The system provides for payment of Maine traffic tickets on the Internet. Users can also view their violation records, verify a court date, pay outstanding fines on-line using a credit card, or get answers to frequently asked questions. The system is designed to protect individual privacy and ensure that no confidential information is transmitted. All payment information is transmitted over secure lines and no confidential information is stored by the system. The system uses "secure socket layer software" in addition to encryption to ensure that personal and financial information such as credit card number, or name, and address cannot be intercepted during transmission to the server.
To use the new premium service individuals need to go on-line to http://www.paytixx.com. To use the payment system, drivers need their ticket number and driver's license number, or date of birth. If the ticket is in a company name, users will need the registration number from the ticket.
Drivers may also pay via the telephone by calling toll-free 1-866-PAYTIXX (729-8499) and must have the same ticket number and information they would use to pay on the Internet. Telephone users can choose between three options (1) search for and pay a ticket, (2) find the status of a ticket or (3) general information which provides details such as other payment options and hours of operation for the Violations Bureau. At the close of a transaction session, users who choose to pay a ticket will be provided with a unique confirmation number.
Sandra Carroll, manager of the Maine Judicial Branch Violations Bureau, said the bureau continues to examine this, and other ways to better serve its customers. The new PayTixx system offers customers the convenience of paying with a credit card and it is available seven days a week between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. This may be important to someone trying to meet the deadline for payment of a fine. She also noted that it is not compulsory to use the new PayTixx system and drivers can continue to pay as before, by sending checks in the mail.
The Violations Bureau was created in 1992 by the Legislature to centralize the high volume traffic infraction caseload and provide a more uniform statewide system that would save time for the public and for the District Courts. Over the last decade, the volume of cases has grown steadily to more than 140,000 cases annually. Revenue collected by the Violations Bureau goes to the State General Fund and represents about 43 percent of the total revenue of the entire Judicial Branch.
InforME, the Information Resource of Maine, charges a fee for using the premium service PayTixx to pay a fine for a traffic ticket. Some representative fees are: a $3 fee for paying fines up to $20, a $5 fee for fines from $70 to $125, and a $13 fee for fines from $400 to $500. The system can be used to pay fines as high as $15,000. The complete sliding scale of charges for using the system is posted on the Web site.
State Court Administrator James Glessner noted that a complete privacy statement is posted on the PayTixx Web site, and that the new premium service complies with the confidentiality and public disclosure provisions of Maine law. The Judicial Branch has worked closely with InforME, the service provider, to assure accuracy. Information on the Web site includes answers to a long list of frequently asked questions about such subjects as contesting tickets, hearing dates, inability to attend a hearing, filling out a ticket, out-of-state or foreign residents, changing pleas, and more.
The traffic ticket, known as a Violation Summons and Complaint, has been redesigned to include information about PayTixx. Law enforcement officers will receive these new tickets as they order new supplies for their departments.
People wanting more information about PayTixx can contact the Violations Bureau at: 1-207-783-5422 (voice) or 1-207-783-5435 (TTY) or 1-866-PAY-TIXX (729-8499).
Editor's Note: If there are questions about the operation/development/use of PayTixx they should be addressed to State Court Administrator James Glessner, Administrative Office of the Courts, 62 Elm Street, Portland (Tel: 822-0710).
Tiffany L. Glidden is a Marketing/Project Manager Associate at InforME (the Information Resource of Maine www.state.me.us/informe). She may be reached by calling 621-2600 ext. 31 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.