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Thursday, November 27, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Informer: Use of debit card leads to fees in some cases

Last Modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 9:51 AM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I heard that every time you use the Social Security debit card you will be charged a fee. Is that true?

No.

Use of the cards, furnished to benefit recipients who don’t choose direct deposit, incurs fees only in specific cases.

Free services associated with the card, called Direct Express, according to a brochure on the program:

Purchases in the U.S.

Cash back with purchases.

Automatic deposit notification.

Automatic low-balance notification.

Web account access.

ATM balance inquiry.

ATM denial.

Customer service calls.

Cash from bank tellers.

One free card replacement per year.

One free ATM cash withdrawal per deposit made to the account — though you may face a surcharge depending on which network the machine belongs to.

Services that carry fees:

ATM withdrawals beyond the free ones — 90 cents each.

Monthly paper statement — 75 cents a month.

Transfer of money to a personal U.S. bank account — $1.50.

Card replacement beyond the yearly free one — $4.

Expedited new-card delivery — $13.50.

ATM withdrawals outside the country — $3, plus 3 percent of the amount withdrawn.

Purchases at locations outside the country — 3 percent of the purchase amount.

For more information, call 800-333-1795.

Online: www.ssa.gov; www.godirect.org; www.usdirectexpress.com.

OMV sends notices to by-mail qualifiers

A year or so ago it was advertised in the paper that you could have you driver’s license renewed by mail. I don’t know how to go about this. Could you tell me what I have to do to be able to renew by mail?

State regulations require the Office of Motor Vehicles to send out invitations for by-mail license renewal to all holders of Class D or E licenses who qualify for the service. The notice must be sent 100 days before the license expires.

People who are ineligible to renew by mail:

Those who are 70 or older before 100 days ahead of their license expiration.

Those who used the mail the last time they renewed their license.

Those whose licenses have been expired for a year or more, have been lost or have been canceled.

Those whose licenses face suspension or have been suspended or flagged.

Those whose mail-in applications list any changes or additions.

Nonresident aliens.

Those who fail to sign their applications.

Also disqualified is anyone who, in the two years before renewal, was convicted of any of several dozen offenses — including failing to render aid; driving without headlights; following too closely; improper passing; speeding; and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Online: http://expresslane.org.

• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com

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