Clerk Fees and Pending Legislation

Most of you are probably already aware of two pending House Bills that could potentially increase town clerk fees for marriage licenses and motor vehicle registrations. Many of you have contacted us individually, but we want to update all of you on the current status, review what you need to be conscious of over the next few weeks with respect to the preparation and distribution of motor vehicle renewal notices, and summarize how we will help you implement the fee changes if they are enacted.

There are two separate bills pending:

  1. HB 258 would, effective July 1, 2015, increase the town clerk fee for preparing motor vehicle registrations from $1.00 to $2.00. HB 258 passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting Governor Hassan’s signature.
  2. HB 681 would, effective July 1, 2015, increase the marriage license fee from $45.00 to $50.00. HB 681 was referred to House Committee of Conference with a hearing schedule date of June 16, 2015.

We have proactively prepared separate scripts to import into your Avitar Clerk program that will increase the corresponding fees for you, effective July 1, 2015. However, we cannot distribute the scripts until Governor Hassan signs the bills into law.

As far as timing, an increase in the marriage license fee would be straightforward as it does not involve any renewal notices or online invoices. Similarly, early July motor vehicle renewals processed in the month of June would not be subject to the additional $1.00 clerk fee, regardless of whether the bill passes or not. Or if you use the Avitar Clerk Browser Module to maintain a record of transactions you processed in the state browser, the timing of the execution of the script is less critical as you do not need to generate renewal notices.

However, if you are generating renewal notices or uploading invoices to Invoice Cloud for July renewals you need to understand the consequences of generating them prior to Governor Hassan signing HB 258.

  1. July notices that include the $1.00 increase and are prepared, mailed, or uploaded to Invoice Cloud before the bill is signed run the risk of overcharging the customer if the bill is not signed into law. Although it is expected that Governor Hassan will sign the bill into law, it is not a guarantee.
  2. July notices that do not include the $1.00 increase and are prepared, mailed, or uploaded to Invoice Cloud before the bill is signed run the risk of not collecting additional revenue if the bill is signed into law.

Consequently, we recommend that you postpone preparing any July renewal notices or invoices until later in the month of June pending the governor’s expected signature. But, ultimately the decision to include or not to include the increase on the renewal notices is yours.

Once one or both of the bills is signed we will contact you to import the necessary scripts to increase the corresponding fees effective July 1, 2015. If you want to gamble by preparing your notices with the fee increase included contact us for the script and we’ll try to convince you otherwise. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us if you have other questions.

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