The Sarasota Clerk, in partnership with the Tax Collector’s Office and our contracted collection agencies, will be hosting a special program for those who have outstanding TRAFFIC CITATIONS and CRIMINAL FINES and FEES—specifically those who have been referred to collections agencies.
Through a unique partnership with these agencies, the Clerk has been authorized to omit collecting the 25% collection agency fee. This allows customers the option of paying in full, beginning to reinstate a suspended license if necessary, and not being obliged to pay the additional 25% agency fee.
This could mean substantial savings for our residents, and those who may have been putting off making these payments because of this 25% surcharge.
The caveat? This offer is only available ONE DAY.
Operation Green Light Overview
Operation Green Light is a special, one day only event on Saturday April 18, 2015.
Both our Sarasota office on Main Street and our Venice Branch on Tamiami Trail will be open to serve the public.
Anyone with an overdue Sarasota County traffic ticket or criminal fines and fees can go to either of our offices to pay in full, or can call in a payment in full, and the Clerk will not collect the 25% collection agency surcharge.
Because you must pay your ticket in the county in which the court imposed it, Clerks statewide are participating in Operation Green Light simultaneously, on April 18. In other words, if you received a traffic ticket in Sarasota and one in Pinellas County, and they’re both in collections, you must pay your Sarasota ticket here and the second one to the Pinellas County Clerk. For that reason, most all Clerks in the state are participating in Operation Green Light on the same day.
When paying traffic tickets in full, a customer can walk to the nearest Tax Collector’s Office and begin to reinstate their suspended driver license, if eligible.
Operation Green Light will mean substantial savings for anyone with a ticket in collections.
Our biggest challenge is in reaching the target audience. In order to provide this solution to Sarasota County residents, we need to reach local customers who will benefit from this project. We have posters, small shelf takers, electronic fliers, talking points and a press release to help get the word out in advance of the event.
HOW DOES THIS HELP RESIDENTS?
Civil traffic infractions must be paid within 30 calendar days from the date the citation was issued. Failure to pay may result in Driver License suspension, and late fees and reinstatement fees may be assessed.
For those who have traffic citations or criminal fines and fees that were referred to a collection agency, OPERATION GREEN LIGHT’s partnership between the Clerk and collection agencies gives them a unique opportunity:
ü They will NOT pay the Sarasota County collection agency 25% surcharge
ü They will save money
ü The Clerk’s office will offer Saturday hours for in person payments or phone payments.
ü The Tax Collector is also partnering with us, offering citizens the opportunity to reinstate driver’s licenses or get a new one on that day.
ü The Clerk’s office will have staff on hand exclusively to assist with traffic payments
ü People can begin the process of reinstating suspended driver licenses, if eligible.
In Sarasota, collection agencies charge a 25% surcharge when traffic citations or other infractions are referred to them for collection. Saving that big chunk –25%–can help someone who is in arrears and whose license may have been suspended. It is a unique opportunity to stop additional accrual of late fees, to become current, and to reinstate.