Public Safety

A New Way to Pay Child Support

Parents have a new option when it comes to making child support payments.

As of Jan. 6, approximately 6,200 MoneyGram locations throughout California can process cash child support payments. Previously, parents could pay in cash only at county or regional local child support agency locations that accepted in-office payments. Those who stand to benefit the most are self-employed individuals, those working seasonal jobs and those who don’t engage in traditional banking.

“For parents who normally pay by cash at one of our office locations, they now also have the option of paying at MoneyGram locations that may be more convenient,” said Jeff Grissom, Director of the County of San Diego’s Department of Child Support Services.

Grissom said the department looks forward to adding even more payment options in the future.

MoneyGram locations in San Diego where parents can pay include inside retail chains such as Northgate Market, 7-Eleven, Albertsons, ampm, CVS/pharmacy, PostalAnnex+, Stater Bros., Vallarta Supermarkets, and Walmart. To find a location near you, visit this store locator on MoneyGram’s website.

To make a payment through MoneyGram, parents need their personal Participant Identification Number (PAR ID) and the group “Receive Code 14630.” MoneyGram charges a $1.99 convenience fee. For many, that is less than the cost of the gas needed to drive to a child support office. Payments can take up to three days to post.

Child support payments may also be made online, by phone and by mail. In-person payments are available at some local child support offices. Fees are not charged for these payment options. For more information about payment options or to make a payment online, visit this state DCSS Web page.

“We are pleased to be able to expand services and make payments easier for participants,” said California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) Director Alisha Griffin. “This will not only benefit the parents who owe child support, but it will also translate into more payments for their children.”

When the state DCSS tested the MoneyGram service in a pilot program with the Contra Costa County Department of Child Support Services earlier this year, parents made 127 child support payments totaling $38,228 through MoneyGram in six weeks. Of those, 13 represented the first payment a parent had made in more than five months. Six transactions represented the first payment made in more than a year.

The state DCSS and the 51 local child support agencies, including the County of San Diego DCSS, operate the second largest child support system in the nation.

Michele Clock is a group communications officer with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact