Going through the mail is a source of anxiety for Susan Fender of Sand Springs.
“I've gotten a $25 ticket, a $6 ticket, a $5 ticket, and then the last one they sent me was a certified letter stating that they were going to basically, it said on the back of it if I didn't pay it within 30-days that they were gonna take me to court or whatever they do,” Fender said.
She keeps getting bills from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for running tolls in a car she doesn't own.
“I sold it. In actually, I traded it in on a new Honda in November of 2017,” Fender said.
It’s been three years since she sold the vehicle and the fines haven’t stopped showing up.
“Even though I've told the turnpike I don't own it and I faxed 'em the letter, they don't seem to understand, or can't get it out. They can't put a stop to it. I don't know why? I mean, they say alls I have to do is fax 'em that notice of transfer and I've done that three times and I've mailed it once. So, they should have it, but it's just an on-going thing and frustrating,” Fender said.
So ,she contacted the problem solvers to get it fixed.
We contacted the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and they tell us this kind of problem is not unusual.
“It's a problem that we see often where people go and sell their car and unfortunately, the registration does not change ownership and it continues to go back to the original owner of the vehicle," said Jack Damrill of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
However, the OTA is fixing Fender’s issue.
“We did get it straightened out on our end and hopefully from here on out, she will not receive any invoices or violations from the vehicle running the toll system and it will go into an unknown owner,” Damrill said.
Fender also has a notice of transfer which she submitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission freezing her account.
“Once the tax commission gets that notice of transfer, it at least freezes your account so the only thing that can be done on that is when the new person comes in, they can't just re-register your car under your name. They have to change the title,” said Paula Ross with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Unfortunately, the tax commission says until the new owner registers the car, Fender may still have to prove she doesn't own it if something happens.
“What if they had a wreck and left the scene? You know it could be anything,” Fender said.
Issues like this are why legislators passed a new law last year called “Keep Tag OK.”
As of last July 1, drivers keep their tag when they sell their car.
Keeping the tag with the owner prevents problems like Fender’s from happening in the future.
But for car owners who sold their vehicles before the new law, the problem will likely persist until drivers with unregistered vehicles do the right thing.
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