Motorists line up at the inspection center in Hadath, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The all-too-familiar sight of cars lined up bumper-to-bumper at vehicle inspection centers returned Monday as owners rushed to have their cars inspected and pay mecanique fees hours before the deadline of an exemption issued by the Interior Ministry expires. On Jan. 6, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk announced via Twitter that car owners had until Feb. 27 to pay their yearly mecanique fees for 2016 without requiring an up-to-date vehicle inspection if the vehicle successfully passed inspection in 2015, while those whose cars' delinquent mecanique payments dated from further back could pay their dues without penalties until the same deadline. Autospect said it would offer new and improved services with reduced wait times for drivers but would require inspection fees to increase by 65 percent from $20 to $33, leading to mass demonstrations by labor and transportation unions.With the centers blockaded for months, many drivers rushed to pay fees owed without a late penalty when they reopened in December.
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