Florida motor vehicle agency warns against what it calls deceptive websites

Dec 19, 2011

The following article was published in the Palm Beach Post on December 19, 2011:

Florida motor vehicle agency warns against what it calls deceptive websites

By Ana M. Valdes

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is warning customers about websites not affiliated with the state’s DMV that are luring people into paying additional fees to apply for or renew driver licenses.

DMV officials called the websites deceptive and said links to them, which often appear as advertisements when people use search engines like Google or Yahoo to find the DMV website, ask users to input their name, address and credit card information and charge anywhere from $25 to $50 to route them to the official DHSMV website.

“We don’t want (people) to get duped by these companies or individuals who would take advantage of consumers like that,” said Courtney Heidelberg, communications director for DHSMV.

DHSMV does not require a surcharge to use any of its websites — www.GoRenew.com and www.flhsmv.gov and others. The department posts what the state’s various driver license and motor vehicle fees are on www.flhsmv.gov.

Heidelberg said the department is consulting with other government agencies to determine whether any legal action can be taken against private websites. But the websites do have a disclaimer that says they are not affiliated with any state or federal agency.

“The websites are legal, but unethical,” said DHSMV Executive Director Julie Jones.

Find this article here:  http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/florida-motor-vehicle-agency-warns-against-what-it-2041596.html