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Man continues to receive parking tickets despite surrendered plates

Joseph Youngstein had his car stolen and that’s not even the bad news.

His 2004 Dodge Durango was stolen last year and recovered by the police a few days later.  His insurance company, Progressive, declared the car a total loss and sent Joseph his license plates. He took the plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles, turned them in, and got a receipt that said "PLATES DESTROYED".

But ever since then Joseph has been getting ticketed in the mail, mostly for illegal parking. The plates listed on the tickets are his old plates.

“This is for plates that were destroyed,” says Joseph, “I have no idea how they even wound up in the street, if they were destroyed.”

Joseph and his wife, Sigal, have spent hours fighting an estimated $4,000 in tickets by mail and sometimes in court. They usually win, but it is a major hassle in their lives.

Even worse, a few months ago, their new car, a Chevy Equinox with a different plate number, was booted and towed, costing them over $500.

“They’re booting my car because these plates are connected to my old plates and because my name is on it," Joseph said. "They say your name will never get off of your old plates.”

He says they went to the DMV and nobody at the DMV knew what to do about his problem. The DMV wrote a letter said, “These plates have been destroyed and have not been re-issued.”

PIX11 reached out to the Department of Finance, which says it is doing what it can. “We are dismissing the tickets that are being presented for a hearing. We are working to put an Indefinite Enforcement Hold on the plate.”

The department also said, “This is really a job for the DMV. They have to correct the identification connected to the plates.”

But the DMV says that’s not true, that by law, “the DMV cannot delete information from a motorist’s record, including that he or she was the most recent registrant of a vehicle.”

The DMV suggested Joseph contact his insurance company to see what happened to the vehicle. Progressive told him the car has been destroyed and it can’t understand how those tickets keep on coming.

Something fishy is going on with those plates, and no one seems able to get to the bottom of this. What a Shame.

If you’ve got a story for me, email me at WhataShame@PIX11.com, or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.