Target 8: State assures woman on tolls, she ends up in collections

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Someone is getting a free ride on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway over and over.

Those on-the-house jaunts are ending up on the bills sent to Christina Rochd of Clearwater.

“I’m flabbergasted,” said Ms. Rochd.

Rochd bought a late model Kia in March 2016.

The plate sent by the dealer never arrived in the mail, so she got another one.

About a month later, Rochd got a toll bill for a car she doesn’t own, with the Florida license plate EGEC92.

Which plate is that?

“That is a plate that was initially issued to me that I never received,” she said.

She called Toll-By-Plate and provided proof that wasn’t her tag.

“A couple days later they got back to me and said ‘we’re going to remove the charges everything is fine,'” Rochd added.

Here’s a surprise, everything wasn’t fine.

“Then two months later, I get another bill,” she said.

Even more charges were tacked on for the same vehicle.

“And I called again,” she explained.

Bill after bill after bill after bill after bill arrived. All for the same tag number and for a vehicle that in no way resembles Rochd’s.

“It almost feels like Groundhog Day,” she said. “They’re asking me to provide the same documentation over and over again and I’m providing it, how many times do you need it?”

After each call to the Toll-By-Plate and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, she was assured the issue would be put to rest.

This week, Rochd received a notice from the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority with news that her account is now in collections.

“When I got the last one threatening to suspend my registration, I was in tears, I was so upset I could not sleep,” she said. “It was just like, now you’re threatening to suspend my vehicles that my daughter gets to work and school with and I get to work with, and I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. I’ve done everything that you’ve requested of me and now I’m being threatened.”

Rochd contacted Target 8. We contacted the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s office.

According to the tax collector’s office, during the title work on Rochd’s car, the state re-attached to Rochd the plate that was lost in the mail.

Locally, records show the plate in question is not hers. Late Friday afternoon, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority informed Rochd it resolved the collections issue and it is placing the plate in question on a black list.

According to the DHSMV, it is forwarding to FDOT documents that we shared with it, so the two agencies can work toward assisting Rochd.

If you have a problem that you think should be investigated, call our Target 8 Helpline at 1-800-338-0808.

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