pay one's dues

listen to the pronunciation of pay one's dues
English - English
To outlay money which is owed as a membership fee or price of admission

The carrier to Casterbridge came up as Edward stepped into the road, and jumped down from the van to pay toll. . . . The carrier paid his dues.

To acquire status or to earn the right to enjoy certain benefits, especially through lengthy experience, hardship, or service to an organization

He too championed the anti-apartheid cause, paid his dues, had his works banned.

pay dues
pay taxes, pay membership fees; pay debts
pay one's dues