Because many government processes involve fees or payments, ClearForms supports online payments as part of our workflows. You create the ability to collect fees by adding a Payment step to a workflow. Here's how:

Please note that if you have a payment that's calculated using a formula, and if that formula =$0 for some applicants, they'll be able to advance past the payment step without making any payment.

When applicants pay fees to complete a permit or license on ClearForms, those fees are processed through a third party payment processor (currently, Stripe). They are then transferred to your local government’s bank account on a rolling basis, on a schedule you can set.  In addition to adding a Payment step, you must connect your government's bank account to Stripe in order to collect permit and license fees through ClearForms.


ClearForms earns revenue by taking a small percentage of any permit or license fee payments processed on our platform.  It’s up to each local government to decide whether to absorb those fees, or whether they pass them on to constituents. The decision about how fees are charged is available for the administrator to set on each workflow, by checking or unchecking the "Pass transaction fees to the constituent" option on each payment step.

CityGrows payment step in a workflow

Other Payment Options:

  • Variable Amount (Payer will choose the amount they pay)

  • Fixed Amount

  • Calculated payment (by using a Formula)

Additionally, you can configure your workflows to accept cash and/or check payments. Since these are not processed via ClearForms/ Stripe, there is no processing fee associated with them. If you enable cash and/or check payments on a payment step, you'll have the option to add payment instructions (where to mail or bring the check or cash). We also require that an administrator record that the check or cash payment was received before the process can move forward.


  • Beginning 11/21/22, applicants will have the option to pay online either by credit/ debit card or by ACH transfer.

  • For credit card processing, we charge a 4.9% + $0.30 transaction fee for all credit card transactions processed (except for special pricing for governments in the State of Illinois).

  • For ACH processing, the fee is the lesser of 2.8%, or 2% + $5.

  • The credit card and ACH fees include the Stripe payment processor's fee, plus an additional 2% fee that ClearForms charges on each payment processed through our platform. This 2% fee allows us to provide our business process platform at a competitive subscription rate for local governments.

  • Once you've connected your bank account, we transfer accrued balances to your account on a rolling basis, on the frequency you set. ACH payments often take longer to arrive in your bank account than credit card payments.

  • Chargebacks will be deducted from your account until resolved, and charge disputes can be managed through ClearForms.

Did this answer your question?