NYC Gets The "Smartboot"
New York City is about to begin using the "smartboot," which can be removed by drivers themselves once they've paid their overdue tickets and received the removal code by phone.
Under the program, a city marshal will be deployed with teams of PayLock employees. The marshal will verify that a car has more than $350 in judgments, then authorize PayLock to boot it. The scofflaw can then call a toll-free number and pay his bill immediately by credit or debit card. PayLock will give him a code to self-release the boot. Or the driver can travel to a city payment center and pay his tickets and fees in cash, then get the release code. A motorist who owes $355 in parking tickets, for example, will have to pay an additional $180 for Paylock’s “boot fee,” $70 for a marshal’s “execution fee,” plus a “poundage fee” of 5% of the entire bill. In this case, that would be another $30. And, if the driver pays by credit card, he or she will be charged a small additional “convenience fee.” Drivers would be forced to shell out nearly $300 on top of the original $355 in tickets. That’s virtually the same amount as under the current towing system — even though the city will be towing far fewer cars.After drivers remove the Smartboot, they'll also get charged $25 for every day that they don't return the device to the parking enforcement department.