Ticketed in DC for cars they never owned

10:24 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Only on 9 tonight, what may well be the most outrageous DC parking tickets we have ever seen.

A Maryland couple was slapped with two tickets for cars they have never owned but their odyssey with DC's DMV doesn't stop there. Andrea McCarren shares their story.

John and Linda Kalbaugh both work full-time, but they have spent countless hours fighting these tickets. They have made phone calls, sent registered letters, and faxed information to DC's DMV every week, for the last three years.

"It's just ridiculous. It really is," says John Kalbaugh.

John and Linda Kalbaugh have had it with DC's Department of Motor Vehicles. But that did not keep DC from ticketing them twice-for vehicles that are not theirs.

"We've never owned a UPS truck. Or a Nissan," they said. "I just laughed at 'em. It clearly says UPS on the one. The other one says Nissan."

What makes this case so unusual is that the Kalbaughs don't even live in DC or anywhere close. They live here in Cumberland, Maryland, about 150 miles away. 

John said, "I don't go there. I don't have to go there. And now, I'll never go there."

The first ticket--a parking violation for a UPS truck-came in the mail. The tag-the very same license plate they had turned into the Cumberland MVA office a year earlier.

"We've done everything that we can. Except pay the tickets. And we're not going to do that. We're not going to do that," said Linda.

The second ticket was for the tag that used to be on this Chevy pickup, now parked permanently on their property.

"I wouldn't even attempt to take it to DC."


It was a ticket for a Nissan bearing the same license plate the Kalbaughs turned into the Cumberland MVA months earlier.

"We will not, we will not pay this. There's no way it should have been issued, let alone go to the collection agency," said Linda.

In fact, their refusal to pay tickets they never deserved has tainted an otherwise spotless credit history.

The Kalbaughs were -rejected- when they tried to refinance Linda's car. And John, a commercial truck driver, can't drive through DC even if he wanted to.

According to this DMV document, if you have two or more unpaid tickets in the District, your license can be suspended, your vehicle impounded.

Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration has twice written to DC's DMV to defend the Kalbaughs.

Linda reads the note, "These tags have not been re-issued to another customer nor were they reproduced by the state of MD."

Remarkably, that didn't help. So today, the Kalbaughs remain haunted by two dead tags that have come back to life and left them wondering how?

Remarkably, DC's DMV says it has no record that the Kalbaughs ever tried to fight these tickets, so there's no apology, no effort to fix their ruined credit history. 

The agency has asked the Kallbaughs to send the information again. Meantime, Maryland's MVA is also investigating. 

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