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12 ON YOUR SIDE

NBC12 finds car with speeding tickets

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A key player in a Washington, D.C. photo ticket mix up has been found. You remember 12 On Your Side's investigation about a Richmond couple who keep getting speeding tickets in the mail for a car they do not own. Partly, because the Virginia D.M.V. issued almost identical license plates to two different cars. 

The car's owner was unaware of the tickets until I showed up at her home in Arlington, Virginia. We took the road trip to find the lead foot driver, or at least the car that shows up on numerous tickets erroneously mailed from D.C. to an innocent couple here in Richmond. 

A Volkswagen Pasat zipped past radar enforcement cameras six times in the District of Columbia, since last May. The tickets are always mailed to Annis and Charlotte Blair, in Richmond. 

"That's not me. I've had this license plate on my van 12 years," said Annis. 

Their registration information is on the left of D.C.'s photo radar tickets. They own a Chrysler van. The car captured speeding is someone else's. 

"I can't believe they would be that incompetent. I just can't believe it," he said. 

D.C. DMV blames Virginia DMV for issuing two people the same plate numbers. The only difference, one is a handicap plate. The photo tickets seem impossible to stop, despite assurances they would, after the Blair's got a new license plate. So we went looking for the speeder. 

We traced the speeding car to Arlington, Virginia. D.C. DMV told me it notified the car's owner. But Velma Henderson, who says she suffers with back problems, walked out and I explained the ticket debacle. She says no one ever called her. 

DIANE: "Here's a couple I brought with me. Is that your car?"
VELMA: "Yes. It is." 

"Tell the couple it's upsetting me too. This is a shock and a surprise. I'm not the driver and I'm not aware of it. This is my car but I didn't do it. I'm really not aware of it. I really wasn't until you came today," Velma told us. 

Velma says she's not the only one who drives the car. D.C. dismissed all six $250 tickets against the Richmond couple and Velma hopes the dismissal includes her. 

"The part that's very disheartening, the people in Richmond went through this. But if I had gotten this in the mail, I would have resolved it. There is no way I can afford to pay stuff that had doubled and tripled. And you know they never even contacted me," Velma said. 

Virginia DMV says more than 40,000 Virginia license plates, of different types, have the same numbers. It says there's a finite number of numeric combinations for plates with 7 characters. So, repeating numbers is bound to happen. Both DMV's blame the company mailing the camera tickets and say, that company is making changes. 

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