Troubleshooter

Stolen plate racks up toll bill

Friday, February 01, 2013

A Raleigh man is tired of getting bills for the Triangle Expressway, especially since he said he's never been on it.

Drivers are charged for driving the Expressway based on their license plates.  

David Wherry said he has never driven on the state's first toll road, but according to photos, his license plate has.

The license plate on the Triangle Expressway bill he received in the mail used to be his. But David reported that license plate stolen from his car back in August.

"It was stolen at south point in Durham," David said.

Thieves didn't take his, just the plate. David reported the plate stolen to police, got a new plate, and changed his registration with the DMV. He thought nothing else about it until he got a $1 bill from the Triangle Expressway.  

"I was like hmm, ok, so somebody stole it and somebody is driving around with it, and they're dumb enough to go through tolls using it. So, there's record of it being out there and being used and now I'm getting the toll invoices for it," David said.

David provided proof of the stolen plate to reps at the Triangle Expressway and got a letter telling him the toll was waived.

However, the next month he received another bill. The month after that he got another, that time with a late fee.

"They've only taken care of it that very first month and ever since then, after phone calls to them, since everything was already on file, nothing has happened even though it has been promised to me that it would be waived," David said.

The bills continued to come to David's mailbox, as whoever stole his license plate continues to use it on a vehicle to drive the Triangle Expressway.

"I'm sick of receiving these bills every month and these invoices and having to deal with it when I feel like it's going nowhere, and who knows how long this could continue?" David said.

David said each time he talked to reps at the Triangle Expressway he was assured that he was not responsible for the charges. In his most recent bill, there were more Expressway charges, in addition to late fees and a $25 fine. There is also now a threat that his registration may be placed on hold for the past due balance.

"Now, at this point, I'm worried about it affecting my credit, going to a debt collector, you know, affecting my new registration, anything like that," David said.

I got in touch with a rep from the state. She said the DMV has removed the stolen license plate from David's address, plus David's registration will not be affected despite receiving several invoices. The rep also added that the license plate in question has been placed on the hot list for police to be on the lookout for a car with the stolen plate.

David is relieved and has taken steps to make sure his new license plate is secure.

"I learned my lesson," David said. "Now, on the new plate, I have theft-proof screws on there."

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