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Another Iowa driver ticketed when old license plate turns up in New York City

2022-07-07 09:45:52

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A mystery is growing over what happened to old license plates a decade ago.

Another innocent Iowan has received traffic violation notices she didn’t deserve. An investigation uncovered several old Iowa plate numbers caught on traffic cameras in New York City.

The Manhattan skyline is not a sight 85-year-old Barbara Brown has driven to see but New York City claims she’s driven there by issuing her four traffic fines.

“I was just flabbergasted when I got the first ones because like I say I’ve never been there with a car,” said Barbara.

But she has driven to the Pottawattamie County Treasurer’s Office where in 2014 she turned in old license plates. The same Iowa plate number was caught on traffic cameras speeding in New York City three months ago.

“I think they need to look into these if the vehicle is not that same as what’s on record how can they give this person a ticket, they’re not the same vehicle,” said Lea Voss, Pottawattamie Co. Treasurer.

The treasurer says about 10 other Pottawattamie County residents complain they’ve received New York City traffic violation notices for license plates turned in about a decade ago and destined for Iowa prison industries.

“I’ve talked to our investigator, I’ve talked to DOT and they say it went to prisons and that’s where it got shredded,” said Lea.

A spokesman for the New York City finance department said we get fraudulent plates from states throughout the country and tickets in Barbara’s name have been dismissed or so she thought.

Thinking all the notices were taken care of then receiving a letter that says default judgment is kind of worrisome for Barbara.

“Well I sure don’t want them to screw up my credit and come and get my car, she said.”

New York finance said don’t worry about it. The documentation clearly shows Barbara is not at fault so the notices are irrelevant but she says the old Iowa license plate mystery should be solved by New York’s finest.

“I’d like to have him get caught doing something. What if he wrecks that car or kills somebody? Then where am I at? Yeah, they’ll blame me,” said Barbara.

The Iowa Department of Transportation fraud unit is looking into how old plate numbers could be on vehicles 1,200 miles away.

An investigator said that recent law requires all old plates to be turned into Iowa prison industries and destroyed but it’s unclear how those were handled a decade ago. So, he’ll request New York authorities to look for anyone using the old Iowa plate numbers.

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