Long lines stretch outside Bessemer Courthouse

The line outside the Bessemer courthouse is not quite as long as it was on Friday, but it still stretches from the side entrance of the courthouse to about a block down 3rd Avenue.

Many of the taxpayers say they were told on Friday they would be helped, but when the doors closed at 5 p.m., they had no choice but to come back on Monday. Several people who have returned to the Bessemer courthouse today to renew their car tags are upset because they've been told they will be charged a $15 late fee for not paying before the end of the month.

The lines at both the Jefferson County and Bessemer courthouses were especially long last Friday due to the new immigration law that went into effect last week. The new ALVerify system that is designed to validate citizenship for residents who want to renew car tags online was not ready in time for the end of the month, when license tag renewals are due.

Currently, limited online tag renewals are available for Jefferson County residents. People can fax in a copy of their driver's license, and will then be given a code to allow them to proceed. State officials are hoping ALVerify will be fully operational by Wednesday.

Jefferson County Revenue Director Travis Hulsey says he is asking the state to waive the late fee. There is no word yet from the Revenue Department about whether they will grant that request.

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