LINCOLN — State lawmakers advanced a bill Monday allowing banks to dispense with signs alerting customers about automatic teller machine usage fees.

But ATMs still would have to warn people about such fees through a message on the screen or by printing out a paper notice.

State Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse said people have to get the notices while they could still cancel the transaction.

Watermeier, who introduced Legislative Bill 100, said the measure would bring state law in line with the latest federal law.

Current state law requires both posted signs and notices provided by the machines.

Watermeier said the law was enacted more than a decade ago, when ATM screens were smaller. But the signs often get torn or faded, or disappear.

He said the signs are no longer necessary and banks nationally have been hit with numerous class-action lawsuits over missing signs.

The fees typically are charged to people using a bank’s ATM who are not customers of the bank. The fees range from 50 cents to $2.50, depending on the bank.

Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion questioned whether a printed paper notice is adequate, noting that he has been to ATMs that are out of paper.

Watermeier said he would raise that question with bankers and other backers of the bill before the second round of debate.

Contact the writer: 402-473-9583, martha.stoddard@owh.com

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