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Tax collector warns about registration scams

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DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – Dealing with the Department of Motor vehicles and the Tax Collectors's Office can be a frustrating and time consuming process, so companies that offer to help consumers handle that business online may seem like the perfect solution, but the Duval County tax collector is warning people to watch out.

A recent influx of unofficial websites offering to process online car registration renewals are taking money out of consumer's pockets.

Private companies like eTagsDirect, which are not affiliated with the DCTC or the State of Florida are persuading people to use their online services and charging consumers unnecessary fees.

According to officials some people haven't even received the services they have paid for and officials said there is not much they can do to help people after contracting to use these companies.

"Once customers contract to renew their tags on eTagsDirect, we are unable to assist them as it is in the hands of this independent company," said Michael Corrigan, Duval County tax collector. "We have had several calls from customers who used this website who have not received their renewal sticker. We cannot assist customers who did not renew their tag through the tax collector's website or the State of Florida's website."

Officials said that if consumers are looking to renew their registration online they need to verify that they are on the state's website to avoid these issues.

They said that the best way to make sure they're in the right place is to go to Duval County Tax Collector's site, www.coj.net/tc, click on "Tag and Title", then click on "Renew Tags Online". This will take individuals to the official Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.

For more information on the Duval County Tax Collector's Office or to find a branch location, people can visit www.coj.net/tc. They can also email the Tax Collector's Office at taxcollector@coj.net or call 904-630-1916.