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DMV Error Costing Long Island Woman Dearly For 2 Years « CBS New York


HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island woman has been fighting a parking violation that she says wasn’t her fault for two years.

She even has proof from the Department of Motor Vehicles, but is still facing hundreds of dollars in fines, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Monday.

Two weeks ago, Hauppauge resident Dawana Neal got a letter in the mail that said she owed the DMV nearly $800 for a license plate error.

However, she said the DMV had already admitted it made a mistake and insisted it corrected it more than two years ago.

“I was like, this is crazy. I am being charged for something I had no control of doing,” Neal said.

A New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office. (Credit: CBS2)

It all started back in 2016 when the DMV issued Neal new plates for the front and back of her car that weren’t the same. They were off by the last number.

Neal said she didn’t notice until she was slapped with a ticket for improper plates. She said she went to the DMV to dispute it. The department wrote her two letters, both saying it was an office error and and it would be fixed.

Just in case, Neal also went to the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency, but was told not to worry because it had no record of the fine.

“We have no information in our system about it, so I said, OK, fine, everything is null and void so that was it,” Neal said.

MORE: Demanding Answers: Customers Frustrated By Frequent Long Lines Outside NJ Motor Vehicle Agencies

But it wasn’t. A year and a half later later Neal got a notice of judgment saying she owed hundreds in fines, plus fees, that if unpaid could affect her credit, even suspend her license.

She was told to pay it or get a lawyer, which she did.

“This is a microcosm of a bigger problem. Problems are the DMV and traffic court don’t talk to each other don’t know what each other are doing,” attorney Kenneth Mollins said.

MORE: Staten Island DMV Worker Accused Of Misusing Customer Information To Get Date

But Neal discovered the lawyer’s fees would cost her $800, even more than the original ticket. He suggested Gov. Andrew Cuomo get involved.

So on Monday, CBS2’s Duddridge asked Cuomo about this and he responded, “If you facts are correct, then obviously DMV should help.”

CBS2 contacted the DMV, which told us it’s working to resolve the issue without financial penalty. The only problem is, that’s what the DMV told Neal two years ago, and her legal judgment is still pending. Let’s see if this time the solution works.

Neal’s attorney said as a result of CBS2’s inquiry, he’s hoping the governor and DMV can get this resolved.

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