DC drivers wrongfully fined for lapsed car insurance

WASHINGTON, DC – Many DC drivers were left scratching their heads as they received fine notices from the DMV, claiming their car insurance had lapsed and a sizable fine was due.

“Vehicle registration pending suspension notice… you know, it’s like, WHAT?!”, said Linda Feldmann reacting to the letter that she received in the mail.

The notice, sent out on February 8th, claimed that she had cancelled her insurance with GEICO On July 27th and purchased new insurance with GEICO six months later.
Because it reflected a lapse in insurance, the letter said she owed the DMV $1228.00 or face suspension of her license.

“I didn’t think that was true, but I began to worry, Oh my gosh, did I not pay my car insurance so I went online into my bank account, confirmed that I had paid. Then, I called GEICO to make sure that I was correct, and they said, yes, you’ve paid. And then they emailed me a letter confirming that I had paid my insurance and that this letter was wrong.”, said Feldmann.

So, she contacted the DMV right away but said that the person she spoke with about it, was just as clueless as she was as to why she received the letter.
She then took to Facebook with her grievances and found others who had the same experience.

“Immediately a friend of mine said I got the same letter, did the same thing, talked to the DMV and the clerk that that person talked to said that 5,000 people had gotten these letters.”, said Feldmann.

Efforts to reach DC DMV officials were unsuccessful, but a statement on their website says in part, that DC DMV is working to determine how many residents were affected, why the error occurred in the first place, and how to prevent a reoccurrence.

Feldmann has called on Third District Councilmember Mary Cheh who also serves as chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, to act aggressively in finding out what went wrong.
Feldmann said, “It’s 100% presumption of guilt and I just feel bad for the people who don’t have the time and wherewithal to deal with this and thinking they just owe the District a ton of money and maybe they don’t have 1200 bucks to hand to DC.”

On its website, DC DMV says that all errors were automatically corrected on Wednesday, February 14th and that letters would be sent out to those affected.