OKLAHOMA CITY – David Coats sold his old F-150 last December and bought his “OU” red one.
“It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a truck,” Coats said.
He thought he’d taken care of everything.
“There’s my new PIKEPASS, and I went immediately and got that done,” Coats said.
But, just a couple months after the sale, he got a bill for the old truck passing through a tollbooth without a PIKEPASS.
“I thought, if it was that simple, they could go online and discover, okay, here’s the new owner and that’s who we need to send the bill to,” Coats said.
But, Coats said he was told he had to provide proof of the sale and the bill escalated from a $1.60 to more than $40.
Then, he got a bill from a collection agency.
“I was floored. I was floored because, number one, I’ve always paid my bills,” Coats said.
“We see this not only in plate pay but on PIKEPASS accounts too, because people sell their car and they forget to tell us put that new license plate in there,” said Jack Damrill with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
Damrill said this is a problem his agency frequently runs into.
In our state, the license plate stays with the vehicle not the person.
So, until the new owner registers that vehicle, the previous owner could still be on the hook for fines and violations.
Damrill said there is an interim study going on at the capitol that could change that and potentially solve this problem.
“We do spend a lot of time in trying to update people’s accounts because of that license plate staying with the vehicle instead of staying with the person,” Damrill said.
“I don’t owe it. I’m not paying it,” Coats said.
Damrill said, as soon as Coats gets them proof of the sale, he will be released from liability for those fines.