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Credit Card Acceptance

This page provides examples of policies and code provisions authorizing local governments in Washington State to accept credit card payments from customers and members of the public.

For information and guidance on policies authorizing the use of credit cards by local government staff and officials, see our page on Credit Card Use Policies.


Many local governments allow users to make payments with credit cards, debit cards, or similar instruments. These payments may include, but are not limited to, taxes, fees, charges, and fines.

Credit card companies charge a processing fee for each transaction. As the result of a 2013 settlement agreement, local governments may pass these fees on to customers as long as certain conditions are met (see our blog post for more details). That settlement was reversed in June 2016, but the credit card companies that changed their policies as part of the settlement have chosen to continue allowing merchants to pass on the fees to customers while litigation continues.

However, local governments may not charge customers a fee for using debit or prepaid cards.

Examples of Credit Card Acceptance Policies

Recommended Resources

Last Modified: May 16, 2019