"fee for membership," 1660s, plural of due (n.) in the sense "payment legally due or obligatory" (1540s). To pay (one's) dues in the figurative sense "undergo hardships to gain experience" is from 1943.
late 14c., exaccioun, "action of demanding payment; imposition, requisitioning" of taxes, etc., from Old French exaccion and directly from Latin exactionem (nominative exactio) "a driving out; supervision; exaction; a tax, tribute, impost," noun of action from past-participle stem of exigere (see exact (adj.)). Meaning "a tax, tribute, toll, fee," etc. is from mid-15c.
mid-15c., "property acquired other than by inheritance" (c. 1300 in Anglo-Latin), from Medieval Latin perquisitum "thing gained, profit," in classical Latin, "thing sought after," noun use of neuter past participle of perquirere "to seek, ask for," from per "thoroughly" (see per) + quærere "to seek" (see query (v.)). For Latin vowel change, see acquisition. The general meaning "any incidental profit, gain, or fee on top of regular wages" is by 1560s.
Modern meaning "exaction of money payment for an offense or dereliction" is via sense of "sum of money paid for exemption from punishment or to compensate for injury" (mid-14c., from the same sense in Anglo-French, late 13c.) and from phrases such as to make fine "make one's peace, settle a matter" (c. 1300). Meaning "sum of money imposed as penalty for some offense" is first recorded 1520s.
As a class of crime in common law, also from c. 1300, from Anglo-French. The exact definition changed over time and place, and even the distinction from misdemeanor or trespass is not always observed. In old use often a crime involving forfeiture of lands, goods, or a fee or a crime punishable by death. Variously used in the U.S.; often the sense is "crime punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary."