I-Team Troubleshooter: Misread license plate leads to toll bills

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WTVD) -- Imagine getting billed for something that doesn't belong to you. That is exactly what happened to James Evans.

When Evans got his first bill from the Triangle Expressway last fall, he couldn't understand why.

"Why am I getting this bill and I have not driven on this road? I don't even own a truck that's in this picture," James said.

Besides a different truck, the license plate in question is different.

"The tag numbers are the same except my tag is 8, their tag is 9," James said.

He said NC Quick Pass workers told him a piece of dirt was on the other driver's license plate, which made them think it was his plate at first glance.

It was only when James called to have the issue fixed that he says the customer service at the NC Quick Pass realized the license plate did not belong to James.

"They look at the picture, I guess they blow it up or something on the computer and they said 'Yeah, that is definitely not your tag,'" James said.

James thought it was taken care of until, each month, he kept getting a new bill for driving on the Triangle Expressway with the same license plate mix-up.

"Then they constantly tell me, 'Hey we're going to get it corrected. Don't worry about it. We have removed the footprint. It's not going to be in there anymore.' Next month, another bill," he said.

James says he received bills for eight months when he finally threatened to get extra help.

"I've told them, 'Look, if we can't get this corrected then I'm going to go to ABC11,'" James said. "He said, 'There is no need to contact ABC11. We don't need them to get involved. We can just settle this. You will not get another bill.' Low and behold, June, July, I get bills."

When I got in touch with the N.C. Department of Transportation that runs the Triangle Expressway, a rep looked into it and said they do have a standard fix that they apply when the wrong license plate is billed.

Typically, she said, it works, but unfortunately in this case additional measures were necessary.

She claims James' issue has now been resolved and assures me he will not be getting future bills for a license plate that doesn't belong to him.

But James has another concern.

"My question is, I'm getting these bills. They're deleting it, but is the correct person still getting the bill? Or are they double billing it? Is it two people getting the bills?" James said.

A rep with the DOT answered that by saying the correct person is being billed for using the toll road. She adds this was a rare occurrence and they apologize.

Report a Typo

Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.