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Renewing auto registrations online

Ken Kleinlein

Ken Klein­lein

By Ken Kleinlein

Crime Scene

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – A num­ber of folks have renewed their auto reg­is­tra­tions on line allegedly from the Depart­ment of Motor Vehi­cles or the local Tax Col­lec­tor. After­ward they com­plained that they were billed at very high rates for the service.

I felt it would be pru­dent to look into the mat­ter and my Inves­ti­ga­tion revealed the following:

 eTags­Di­rect Con­tact Information

802 NE 20th Ave
Error! Hyper­link ref­er­ence not valid., Florida 33304 USA

Cor­po­rate Phone Num­ber: 888−633−5332
Corp Email: legal@ajtmedia.com
Corp Web­site: etagsdirect.com

eTags­Di­rect Ratings

Aver­age Rat­ing: 1.11 out of 5

Com­plaint: May 2016
I googled a tag agency so that I could renew my tag and I found this lit­tle den of thieves. Their web­site will not dis­play the total amount you will be charged. You’ will receive that AFTERWARD via e-mail after you pay what they tell you will be charged, which is mis­lead­ing. I was charged for the tag renewal fee $46.10, a $3.00 agency fee, a BS $19.95 e-tags ser­vice charge, a credit card con­ve­nience fee of $2.50 and a $3.95 S&H fee. My total was $75 and I am out $30.

JW

Com­plaint: 2016

I was at www.dmv.org and ended up at this site some­how. I agreed to one charge for tag renewal and I got an email con­fir­ma­tion with added fees total­ing over $68 when the renewal should have been a frac­tion of the cost! They embed these costs in the tiny fine print of course, when the total that I agreed to is the one that was clearly up on the screen with­out all their added fees show­ing.
I called them and sent an email and they said they would report me to col­lec­tions if my bank didn’t honor the charges because they imme­di­ately pay the state for your renewal once you place your order so there is no way to can­cel (how con­ve­nient for them). I hate places like this…they are vul­tures prey­ing on peo­ple by mak­ing extra money off the top by trick­ing unknow­ing patrons and lean­ing on their fine print expla­na­tions to cover their butt when they rip you off!

Kristina Mills

I received the fol­low­ing response from the office of Florida AG Pam Bondi

Ken,
Our office cur­rently has an active inves­ti­ga­tion into E-tags Direct regard­ing the suf­fi­ciency of its dis­clo­sures. As the inves­ti­ga­tion is ongo­ing, it would not be appro­pri­ate to com­ment fur­ther. How­ever, you may be inter­ested in the fol­low­ing tips:

  • Be aware that pri­vate third party com­pa­nies who can renew tags or reg­is­tra­tions may charge ser­vice fees on top of the stan­dard renewal cost. Please look for dis­clo­sures regard­ing any addi­tional fees that may be charged;
  • Know that the offi­cial web­site for the Florida Depart­ment of High­way Safety and Motor Vehi­cles is flhsmv.gov. The Florida DHSMV offers ways for Florid­i­ans to renew their licenses, vehi­cle tags and vehi­cle reg­is­tra­tions, both online and in person.
  • Beware of solic­i­ta­tions or post­cards that appear to be bills or offi­cial mail­ings from fed­eral, state, city or county gov­ern­ments. Before send­ing pay­ment or pro­vid­ing per­sonal or con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion, con­firm with the gov­ern­ment entity that the mail­ing is legit­i­mate. Also, pay spe­cial atten­tion to fine print and look for dis­claimers that may indi­cate the mail­ing is a solic­i­ta­tion and not an offi­cial mailing.

Kylie Mason
Press Sec­re­tary
Office of Attor­ney Gen­eral Pam Bondi
The Capi­tol, Suite PL-01
Tal­la­has­see, FL 32399–1050
Main: 850−245−0150

Folks, be sure you know who you are deal­ing with when you attempt to reg­is­ter your vehicle.

If you feel some­thing is sus­pi­cious, con­tact the AG’s office or your local DMV or Tax Collector.

Please pray for the fam­i­lies of the Dal­las and Baton Rouge police offi­cers, and the other juris­dic­tions, who were recently KIA and WIA by law enforcement-hating perpetrators.

Take care, be care­ful, and I will see you at the next Crime Scene.

God Bless and pro­tect our mil­i­tary, law enforce­ment, fire­fight­ers, and EMTs.

Ken Klein­lein is a for­mer detec­tive with the New York Police Depart­ment spe­cial frauds squad coor­di­nat­ing with local, state, and fed­eral law enforce­ment, and accred­ited secu­rity firms, on mat­ters of crime pre­ven­tion and pub­lic information

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