OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A license plate mix up was causing an Oklahoma City man to hit roadblock after roadblock, until he reached out to the KFOR In Your Corner team.
“It’s always frustrating when you are not heard,” said Lucky Lofton. “I called you guys and you guys solved the problem for me.”
KFOR first told you about Lofton on Tuesday. In December, he received a toll violation from the State of Illinois in the mail, charging him for three unpaid tolls. However, he nor his car had ever been there.
After scanning the QR code on the violation, he found out the car that should’ve been fined was also from Oklahoma and had the same exact six characters on its license plate as him. The difference was that Lofton’s license plate was issued by the State of Oklahoma and the car that the notice had a picture of, and should’ve fined, appears to have a tag issued by the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma.
“It was a small fine. I could have paid for it. But, then every time that vehicle has a problem, I would be paying that fine,” said Lofton. “Also, I can’t imagine what would happen if that vehicle license plate were identified in any crime or anything else.”
Lofton said he tried to explain this mix up to the Illinois Tollway.
“They declined or denied my dispute…They told me that if I didn’t pay the fines, they would continue to escalate. They would increase the fines again, and send me to collections,” said Lofton. “It’s always frustrating when you are not heard.”
So, KFOR reached out on his behalf.
“I called you guys and you guys solved the problem for me. So, I got a call this afternoon from the director of the call center for the toll agency apologizing for the confusion,” said Lofton. “They took care of it because you guys explained it to them.”
A spokesman for the Illinois Tollway sent us the following statement:
“This situation is a result of Oklahoma and the Ottawa Tribe both issuing license plates carrying the same number.
However, tracing driver information from tribal plates is difficult because of privacy protections in place for those plates. That issue occasionally results in a toll violation mistakenly being sent to the owner of a plate with the same number issued in the same state as the tribal plate.
That’s what occurred in this situation.
After reviewing our video records of these transactions, we’ve determined that the Loftons’ vehicle did not accrue the tolls noted in the violation, so the Tollway is dismissing the tolls and fees billed to them. We’ve contacted Mr. Lofton and explained that he and his wife will not have to pay the amount billed.
We would remind drivers who receive Illinois Tollway violation notices and have questions that they can contact us directly by calling 1-800-UC I-PASS (1-800-824-7277).”
- Dan Rozek, Sr. Manager of Communications, Illinois Tollway
“The big machinery of public agencies is often difficult to deal with and sometimes you need an advocate that they’ll listen to,” said Lofton. “So again, I’m very, very grateful.”