BETTER CALL BEHNKEN: Registration renewed, traffic tickets pile up on deceased man’s car

deadmanscartickets

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Chelsie Mosley still does not have closure in the death of her boyfriend, Kirk Chang. A year later, his murder is unsolved. And now, she’s getting driving tickets in his name — complete with photos of his car driving around Hillsborough County.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

First, it was a red-light ticket. Then came a toll violation ticket. And now she’s worried that if this car was used in a crime, police could show up at the home she shares with her two daughters.

8 On Your Side discovered that Chang’s 2004 Mitsubishi Galant had an expired registration last year after his death and then last month – one month before his birthday – his registration was renewed, under his name, for another year. This happened in Broward County. After that, the violations rolled in.

“How can someone that’s passed away get their plates re-registered?” Mosley said.

Officials with the state Department of Motor Vehicles said anyone can renew anyone’s registration. It’s that way, they say, so family members can renew each other’s registration. But there’s nothing in the system to flag it that someone has died.

This is a real concern for Mosley, considering Chang’s murder is still not solved. His car was released to a family member after his death and now, whoever renewed the registration is not linked to the car.

So how did this happen? Our 8 On Your Side investigation reveals two problems: the DMV system used for registrations does not list Chang as deceased, even though the system that tracks driver’s licenses does. Secondly, no identification is needed to renew someone’s registration. That means investigators have no leads on who actually walked into the office to renew the registration.

Mosley said she was told the only person who could do something to fix this situation is Chang.

“That is an unacceptable answer,” she said.

8 On Your Side contacted Tampa Police and was told detectives will check out this incident and will also flag this in their system so if Chang’s car is used in a crime, investigating officers will know about this situation before they show up at Mosley’s home.

Officials at the DMV are also reviewing why their system did not list Chang as deceased. 8 On Your Side will continue to follow this story.

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