NM courts take debit, credit card payments

SANTA FE – New Mexicans now have the convenience of using credit or debit cards to pay for fines and fees in all district and appellate courts.

The 13th Judicial District Court in Sandoval County, pictured here, will now accept credit and debit cards to pay court fines and fees. File photo

New Mexico Judiciary’s new payment processing system started in those courthouses this month. Sandoval County Magistrate Court isn’t participating yet, but the system will expand to all courts statewide beginning in April.

Credit card terminals at courthouse counters will accommodate customers using multiple payment types, including Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards, Discover, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. People can pay for fines, fees and miscellaneous costs such as postage, copies and CDs of court proceedings.

They can also make online payments with a credit or debit card through a secure option on the New Mexico Courts website at finesandfees.nmcourts.gov.

Courts will not process bond or trust payments online or at the counter.

During the pilot in the Fourth, Sixth and 12th Judicial Districts, magistrate courts have been able to process payments at counters and will add online payment options during April.

A total of more than $13,000 in over-the-counter and online transactions were processed in January.

“More and more people are doing business online, so this is a game-changer,” said Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. “While you can still pay the courts in-person with cash or a money order, the convenience of using a card saves time for everyone, especially people living in rural areas.”

Courts do not receive any portion of the 2.4 percent credit card processing fee the vendor, LexisNexis Vital Check, requires. Customers must agree to the service fee in order to complete the card payment.

Throughout 2021 and into 2022, the Administrative Office of the Courts Judicial Information Division trained court employees statewide to process transactions through the point-of-sale terminal. It included Payment Card Industry security training to ensure the public’s credit card information is properly safeguarded.

To keep credit card information safe, courts will not accept card payments over the phone or through the mail, and will never contact the public to ask for credit card information.

Electronic payments will resolve only financial obligations. Customers with active warrants or any other outstanding obligations with the court must follow up with the court to resolve issues.

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