New York Drivers Unboot Cars by Phone image

By next week, New York’s Bloomberg administration will give the OK to a private company named PayLock to place new-age tire boots on cars whose owners have accumulated $350 or more of unpaid tickets.

Agency spokesman Owen Stone declared that the new system will allow debt collection while also reducing inconvenience to motorists, but internal agency documents show that motorists will have to pay the same if not higher fees under the current towing system. On Wednesday, April 18th, the Bloomberg administration approved the contract with PayLock, the New Jersey firm that landed the five-year $70 million no-bid deal to operate the new system.

“This PayLock system has all kinds of problems and hasn’t been properly tested, but they’re still rushing to get it up and running,” declared a city manager.

Under the program a city marshal will be deployed with teams of PayLock employees to check that a car has more than $350 in judgments, then authorize PayLock to boot it. The driver can then call a toll-free number and pay his bill immediately by credit or debit card, being given a code to self-release the boot, or he can go to a city payment center and pay his tickets and fees in cash, then get the release code. If the driver doesn’t immediately reclaim his car the storage fee will be $10 per day for the first 3 days and $15 per day afterwards.