Potential for problems? What ServiceOntario saysThursday, March 27, 2014 by: Rick McGee
ServiceOntario is “... reviewing the current messaging on our Driver’s Licence Renewal Applications” to ensure payment instructions “are clear,” a Ministry of Government Services spokesperson has told SooToday.com news.
Christian Hasse, a senior issues & media relations consultant in Toronto, was asked a series of questions because - as reported earlier - some motorists find the application’s instructions inadequate and misleading.
“ServiceOntario’s driver’s licence renewal form states that the form should be taken into a driver and licence issuing office or mailed in with a cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance,” Hasse states in an e-mail. “It is important to note that this form does not communicate any of the payment options that are acceptable for in-person transactions like, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Interac or certified cheques.”
Hasse also added the following:
“ServiceOntario used to accept un-certified cheques for in-person transactions. The reason this was discontinued was that ServiceOntario was experiencing a loss of revenue through personal cheques that could not be processed, because they were invalid or bounced, for example. In order to minimize this financial loss.”
In an earlier e-mail, Hasse noted that “current payment policies were implemented by the Ministry of Transportation on January 1, 2005.”
He later added: “The policy of only accepting certified cheques for in-person transactions is standard practice among large organizations that complete a large volume of monetary transactions. As indicated on the driver’s licence renewal form, personal cheques are still accepted through our mail-in channel because ServiceOntario is able to ensure that they are valid and won’t bounce before we go ahead and complete the transaction.”
In addition, Hasse wrote that: “ServiceOntario understands that some of our customers prefer face-to-face contact, which is why we offer in-payment options at our service centres including, accepting cheques at the counter if they are certified. Payments can also be made in-person by cash, debit card, VISA, MasterCard, American Express or money order.“
Readers can, according to a handout available at ServiceOntario outlets, comment directly about the agency's operations by using this e-mail address.