Customer Service Shoptalk: Violations for Mystery License Plates
Q: I got a toll violation in the mail, but the license plate doesn’t match up with any of the vehicles in my fleet. What are my options?
One of the questions we get in the Customer Service department is about violations on a license plate or vehicle that does not belong to a client. The customer reports they received a paper violation on a plate that they have never owned or on a plate that doesn’t belong to the company any longer. So, what do they do next? How can they dispute the violation?
When you get a paper invoice for a violation in the mail, you are being accused of not following the terms and conditions for using electronic tolling by whatever state tolling authority your vehicle was traveling in at the time. If you use an electronic tolling lane, you are required to have an electronic tolling device installed in the vehicle and/or have the license plate of the vehicle registered on a toll account.
If the signal from the device is picked up, then the toll posts to the account it is registered to, and all is well.
If the signal from the device fails to read for whatever reason, then a picture of the license plate is captured and reviewed. If the plate is registered on a tolling account, then the toll posts to the account it is registered to, and all is well. If the plate is not registered, then a Department of Motor Vehicles search is performed on the plate to determine the registered owner. This search provides the name of the registered company and the mailing address on file.
That is what leads up to a violation being issued, but what do you do when you do not think you own that plate and therefore the violation is not yours? You are going to have to contact the DMV directly. The violation is being issued to you because the records they have point to you being the registered owner of that license plate.
If you did once own that plate, but no longer do, you would need to produce a bill of sale that notes both the vehicle and the license plate in question. If you turned the plates in prior to the date provided in the violation, you would need the receipt showing you submitted those plates.
The other option is to obtain a registration or title abstract from the DMV on the plate in question. This is a summary of registration history on the plate. Requirements vary from state to state, and a fee typically is involved. If you never owned the plate, or did not at the time of the violation, this will provide proof.
At Bestpass, we always attempt to resolve all the problems that can arise when you manage toll for your fleet, but this is one of those occasions where being a third party prevents us from doing more than educating our clients. We can process and attempt to dispute the violations once they are issued, but in order to dispute ownership of a plate a violation has been issued against, we need our customers help to pursue that option.