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Online billpay help and FAQs
 
Enrollment

What is the Citizen Self Service Web Portal?
The first edition of the Citizen Self Service Web Portal has been designed to provide secured access to information that has previously been unavailable online. The new portal offers you the freedom to view general account information about your City-County services bill (water/sewer/storm water), and/or schedule a payment or pay your bill online any time 24 hours a day seven days a week. Future versions of this portal will offer access to additional services as they become available. Sign up today and watch for announcements about new services to be released.

 
What services or features does the portal offer?

  • You can view billing, payment and consumption history.
  • You can sign up for paperless billing to receive, view and pay your bills online.
  • You can schedule or set up automatic payments on your bill.
  • You can access your account information 24 hours a day.
  • If you have more than one utility account, you can view them all in one place
  • You can update your portal access profile, such as updating your email address or password. 

What information do I need in order to register?
  1. Go to http://mycitizenservices.org and click "register."
  2. All you need to sign up for the Citizen Self Service Web Portal is a valid email address. However, to view your account information, you will also need the following:
    • A valid Charlotte-Mecklenburg City-County Services bill account number, PLUS one of the following:
      • The STREET NUMBER where your Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities services is located (example: if your address is 1234 Elm Street, enter "1234")
      • The corresponding last four digits of the account holder’s Social Security number or Federal Tax ID
Where is my account number?
It is located in the upper right-hand corner of your paper bill.

Why do you need the last four digits of my Social Security number?
This information is used for security purposes. However, you may choose to enter the street number of the address associated with your account rather than rather than entering the last four digits of your Social Security number (example: if your address is 1234 Elm Street, enter "1234").

Why do I have to create a user name and password in order to access my account?
We want your online experience to be as simple and convenient as possible. When you create a user name and password, it ensures that only you (or others you designate) have access to your account information. We also use your user name to securely store your account information and preferences in your user profile.

Please note that user names cannot be an email addresses. This enables you to change your email address in your profile without having to change your login. 

How do I enroll multiple accounts?
You have the option to add other accounts after you register with a username and valid email address. To add the first account, click "Register" to view and/or pay your bill. Follow the steps to confirm your water bill account. Once the primary account is set up, a button allowing you to add other accounts displays.
To enroll or link multiple accounts click "Add New Account" on the "paperless billing – view/pay bill" window and follow the instructions. Please note that the maximum number of accounts that can be added is 30.

How secure is the City of Charlotte’s Citizen Self Service Web Portal?
The Citizen Self Service Web Portal uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for secure transmissions whenever information about you or your account is displayed. SSL applies encryption between two communicating applications, such as your computer and our corporate Internet server. When your data is transmitted over the Internet, it is encrypted or "scrambled" at the sending end and then decrypted or "unscrambled" at the receiving end.

Additionally, the Citizen Self Service Web Portal requires that you choose a unique username and password; thereafter, each time you sign on, your identity is confirmed by a series of authenticating steps. After authentication, the portal uses a "cookie" to identify you throughout your session.

Am I automatically enrolled in paperless billing when I register for access to the Citizen Self Service web portal?

No. In order to enroll for paperless billing (electronic billing) you must first register your email address for access to the Citizen Self Service web portal, then link "City-County Services Bill account." Next, click the "Paperless Billing" tab and select "ENROLL NOW" to complete the process. As the term paperless billing suggests, your City-County Services bill will only be available online after you enroll and the mailing of paper bill will be suspended.
If you choose to discontinue paperless billing and start receiving paper bills again, click the UNENROLL button next to the account number to cancel your enrollment in Paperless Billing.

Who should I contact if I’m having trouble enrolling in the Citizen Self Service web portal?

Please contact CharMeck 311 (dial 311) for support on the Citizens Self Service Web Portal. They will be able to assist you with issues enrolling or using the portal.

Forgotten username or password

What if I forget my username?

  1. If you forget your username, click the "Forgot Username?" link in the sign-in box.
  2. Enter the email address associated with your portal account.
  3. If the email address you enter matches what you entered when you created your username, your username will be sent automatically to you via email.
  4. If no email is received, and/or if login issues persist, contact CharMeck 311

What if I forget my password?

  1. If you forget your password, click the "Forgot Password?" link in the sign-in box.
  2. Enter the email address associated with your profile and click "submit."
  3. If the email address you enter matches what you entered when you created your username, a temporary password will be sent automatically to you via email.
  4. If no email is received, and/or if login issues persist (such as your portal account becomes locked), contact CharMeck 311

I want to change my password. How do I do that?

  1. Navigate to your profile using the "profile" link in the upper righthand corner of the Citizen Self Service web portal page.
  2. Enter your new password in the "new password" and "confirm password" fields.
  3. Click "submit" to save your changes.

How do I change my security question?

  1. Navigate to your profile using the "profile" link in the upper righthand corner of the Citizen Self Service web portal page.
  2. Select a security question from the "new security question" dropdown menu. 
  3. Click "submit" to save your changes.

How do I change my security answer?

  1. Navigate to your profile using the "profile" link in the upper righthand corner of the Citizen Self Service web portal page.
  2. Enter matching answers in the "new security answer" and "confirm security answer" fields
  3. Click "submit" to save your changes.

What should I do if I am locked out of the portal?
If you fail to provide the correct answer to your security question after three failed attempts to enter the correct password, you will be locked out of the portal. If this happens, call CharMeck 311 and someone will unlock the portal for you.

Changing your profile information/service requests

 

How do I change my email address or personal information?

Your profile containing your email address and other personal information was created and stored when you registered with Citizen Self Service web portal.

  1. To edit anything on your profile, click "Profile," located at the top right portion of any page in the Citizen Self Service web portal.
  2. To change your email address, enter matching email addresses in the "New Email Address" field and in the "Confirm Email Address" fields
  3. Click "Submit" to save changes.
Billing and payment

Can I view and pay my bill online by registering with Citizen Self Service web portal?

Yes. The Citizen Self Service web portal offers you the ability to view 24 months of your bill, payment and consumption history. When you enroll in Paperless Billing, you will also be able to view your City/County Service bills (currently, only water bills are available). If you are enrolled in paperless billing, then you may pay your bills using your checking or savings account by clicking on the "paperless billing" tab. If you choose not to enroll in paperless billing, you may still pay your bill online using Western Union Speed Pay.*

*Note: An additional convenience fee of $1.25 will be charged when using Western Union.

What are my payment options?

Paperless billing with automatic monthly payment
The easiest way to pay your Charlotte-Mecklenburg City-County Services Bill is to enroll in paperless billing and select the Recurring Payment option. Your balance due will be automatically deducted from your bank account (checking or savings) each month.

When signing up for recurring payment, you will be asked to select your payment date. The payment date options are:
  • Due date
  • Day the bill arrives
  • 1 to 10 days prior to the due date.
For added convenience and control, the recurring payment option allows you to set an account payment threshold. For example, if you set an account payment threshold of $150 and your monthly bill exceeds that amount, your City-County Services bill will not be paid until you electronically authorize payment online for that month.

Once you have enrolled your account to be paid with the recurring payment option, all future bills will be automatically paid unless you choose to set an account payment threshold as previously mentioned.

Paperless billing with one-time payment
You can electronically authorize your payment at your convenience. Payment Options include: 

ASAP (as soon as possible), or schedule a payment for a future date. For either of these payment options, you can choose to have your payments deducted from either a checking or savings bank account only.
Note: A credit card option is not available for this payment selection.

Make a one-time payment. Make an immediate payment with near real-time reporting using a credit card, debit card or electronic check with Western Union Speed Pay®. Western Union Speed Pay charges a $1.25 convenience fee for this service. To make a one-time payment, go to the Pay Bill tab /Payment Options and then select Western Union Speed Pay.

Note: If your payment is past due and you your payment to be credited immediately to your account, then Western Union Speed Pay is your best choice.

Paying by mail
Paying your City-County Services bill by mail remains an option, but it is not recommended if you sign up for paperless billing. This option could prevent your payment from posting in a timely manner, particularly when payment is mailed late or just within a few days of the payment due date.

Posting payments to your account
The fastest way to get a payment posted to your account is to pay in person or to use Western Union SpeedPay®. Western Union SpeedPay charges a $1.25 convenience fee for this service. If a delinquent payment causes a service interruption, a payment for the full delinquent amount must be posted to your account before service can be restored.

Is paperless billing (electronic billing) secure?

Yes. For security and privacy of transactions, enrollment requires a user name and password to log on to the online billing service. The Citizen Self Service web portal uses 128-bit encryption to protect the transfer of data.

Can I choose to have my monthly bill automatically paid each month?
Yes. There are three ways to have your utility bill automatically paid each month:

  • Paperless billing on the Citizen Self Service web portal (recommended option)
  • Automatic bank draft with the City of Charlotte (visit here for more details and an enrollment form).
  • The online banking service offered by your bank or credit union. 
Note: If you are already enrolled in one of these automatic payment options and would like to change, please remember to stop the current payment process so your bank account is not drafted twice for the same bill.

For added convenience and control, the recurring payment option allows you to set an account payment threshold. For example, if you set an account payment threshold of $100 and your water bill exceeds that amount; your monthly bill will not be paid. You will need to electronically authorize the payment for your City-County Services Bill account online that month.

Once you have enrolled your account to be paid with the recurring payment option, all future bills will be automatically paid unless you choose to set an account payment threshold as previously mentioned.

Will I continue to receive paper bills after I sign up for paperless billing?
No. Once you sign up for paperless billing, you will no longer receive paper bills in the mail.
Will I receive any reminders about my paperless bill?
If you wish to receive an email notice when your bill is available for viewing, please select "Notifications and Reminders" under the "Paperless Billing" tab and check the "New Document" notification.


Note: If you do not receive an email notification, please verify the notification is not in your SPAM, JUNK or BULK mail folders. Be sure to add our email address (customercare@ci.charlotte.nc.us) to your approved senders list so your Internet Service Provider will accept these monthly email reminders. If you do not receive the notification, your bill can still be viewed on the Citizen Self Service web portal at http://mycitizenservices.org.

Will I be able to pay immediately after I enroll my City-County Services bill account?
You may make payments through Western Union Speed Pay any time. Once you are enrolled in paperless billing and you receive your first electronic bill, then you may pay your bills using your checking or savings account by clicking on "Paperless Billing" tab.

What information do I need to pay my bill online using my checking or savings account?
Before you can pay your bill online, you will need to provide your bank account information. When you make your first payment, you will be asked to enter your checking or savings account information.

Note: Be sure to enter all the digits of your routing number and ccount numbers, including any leading zeros.

Can I use a credit card to pay my bill?
You can pay online or by phone at 704-336-7600 by credit card using Western Union SpeedPay. SpeedPay charges a $1.25 convenience fee for using this service. For your convenience, this service is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Go to the "Bill Pay" tab and select "Payment Options," and then select Western Union SpeedPay under the "Credit Card" section. You can also use any of the other links on the Citizen Self Service Web Portal with the label "Pay Now with Western Union SpeedPay."

Note: If your payment is past due and you want your payment to be credited to your account immediately, then Western Union SpeedPay option is your best choice.

I am now enrolled in paperless billing and have not received my first electronic bill. Can I still pay my current bill online?
Yes, you may pay your bill using Western Union SpeedPay.

Note: Other options are available after you receive your first paperless bill.

How will I view my bill details?
Using the "Bill History" tab, you may view your billing history, payment history and consumption history. If you are enrolled in paperless billing, then you may also use the paperless billing tab to view images of your bills.
What steps can I take to dispute a payment that was made through paperless billing?
Please contact CharMeck 311 (704-366-7600 if you are outside Mecklenburg County) for any issues with your payment. Please provide specific information about the payment you are disputing. We will need to have the date of the payment, the payment amount and the confirmation.

What is the difference between authorized and unauthorized payment locations?
There may be businesses in your area that offer to accept City of Charlotte payments, but they are doing so without authorization from the City of Charlotte. If payments are made at these unauthorized locations, the City of Charlotte cannot guarantee your payment and cannot validate your receipt number. The City of Charlotte is not responsible for the merchant's timeliness or accuracy in recording your payment. Help protect the security of your payment by using one of the authorized payment locations. For more information please select link under Pay Bill tab / Payment Options.

What happens to scheduled payments if I delete that account from my enrollment?
Scheduled payments (both one-time and recurring) will still be processed. If you do not want this to happen, you should cancel any scheduled payments prior to deleting your account.

What happens to scheduled payments if I cancel my enrollment?
Scheduled payments (both one-time and recurring) will still be processed. If you do not want this to happen, you should cancel any scheduled payments prior to canceling your enrollment.

How do I un-enroll or delete an account?
You have the option to un-enroll an account after at least one account has been “Linked” your Citizen Self Service Web Portal.

UN-ENROLL from paperless billing:

  1. To un-enroll go to the Paperless Billing – View/Pay Bill window.
  2. Click on the PAPERLESS BILLING - UNENROLL link in the top navigation bar

To Remove Account and Un-Enroll From Paperless Billing:

  1. To remove an account, click on the red X in the delete column next to the account to be removed.
  2. A message displays that the account will also be removed from paperless billing.
  3. Click on OK to confirm the deletion.
NOTE: Scheduled payments (both one-time and recurring) will still be processed. If you do not want this to happen, you should cancel any scheduled payments prior to canceling your enrollment.
How do I change my password?

  1. Navigate to your profile using the profile link in the upper right corner of the Citizen Self Service Web Portal page.
  2. Enter your new password in the NEW PASSWORD and CONFIRM PASSWORD fields.
  3. Click SUBMIT to save the changes.
How do I know which payments I've scheduled or completed?
Before the scheduled payment date, your payment activity page will show the payment as scheduled. When the scheduled payment is submitted to the payment processor, your payment activity page will show the payment as pending. After payment processes, your payment activity page will show the payment as either approved or rejected.

Can I cancel a scheduled payment?
You may cancel a payment as long as it is listed on the payment activity page as scheduled. Please remember that failure to pay your utility bill by your due date could result in disconnection of your water service.
How do I change my Security Question

  1. Navigate to your profile using the Profile link in the upper right corner of the Citizen Self Service Web Portal page.
  2. Select a security question from the NEW SECURITY QUESTION drop down menu.
  3. Click SUBMIT to save the changes.

How do I change my Security Answer?

  1. Navigate to your profile using the Profile link in the upper right corner of the Citizen Self Service Web Portal page.
  2. Enter matching answers in the NEW SECURITY ANSWER and CONFIRM SECURITY ANSWER fields.

    Note: A best practice is to keep the security question answer as brief as possible.

Are there any restrictions on what I can use for my User Name?

Your USER NAME cannot be an EMAIL ADDRESS and it must be a unique name. If the user name you enter is already in use, you must select a new User Name.

Note: If you forget your USER NAME, do not attempt to create a new user name/portal account. Use the FORGOT USER NAME? link in the Sign In box and following the instructions.

What should I do if I’m locked-out of my portal account?

If you fail to provide the correct answer to your Security Question following three failed attempts to enter correct password, your portal account will become locked. If this happens, call CharMeck 311 who will have capability to “Unlock” your portal account.