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Woman says someone else has been racking up multiple DC tickets with her temporary tag. But she shredded it months ago

DC's Department of Motor Vehicles says there's no way to disassociate a tag number from an individual.

WASHINGTON — A woman who used to live in D.C. said her temporary license plate was defrauded and she's racked up tickets. She fears it could keep happening.

“It started when I got a photo ticket in the mail of a car registered to me running a red light," Ashley Baker said.

She said that the ticket arrived in March to her new address in Portland, Oregon. She used to live in D.C.'s Ward 6. 

The ticket shows a picture of a Ford Explorer, but Baker owns a Subaru Crosstrek. However, the citation has the car listed as a Subaru.

The picture of the temporary tag on the ticket also matches Baker's temporary license plate, which she shredded when her permanent plate was mailed to her.

She still isn't sure how someone got ahold of her tag number -- whether they took a picture or made a copy another way.

“It's very obviously not the same car. So I contested the ticket right away with all of that information, thinking this is pretty cut and dry," she said. "Then, [I] got a notice back saying that they had denied that appeal because I hadn't proven that I had destroyed or properly disposed of these license plates.”

A few months later, the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued Baker another citation, linking it to her now temporary tag.

Baker said she appealed that one too unsuccessfully -- until recently.

She said at the end of November, her former councilmember, Charles Allen, got through to the DMV, asking them to look into the issue.

They have now waived the two tickets issued to her temporary tag, encouraging her to file a police report.

However, a spokesperson for the DMV said in an email that there is no way to disassociate a tag number from an individual, meaning this could happen again.

“That’s the part where it feels like this will not end," Baker said.

Before Baker updated WUSA9 on this resolution, the D.C. DMV had sent a statement, saying:

"While we cannot comment on specific details related to active cases being adjudicated, DC DMV is conducting an internal review of this matter. We do strongly recommend that residents surrender expired temporary tags to the DMV so they can obtain a receipt to keep for their records. Additionally, individuals who were issued a parking, photo enforcement, or minor moving violation have numerous opportunities to adjudicate a ticket. More information is available at https://dmv.dc.gov/service/appeal-reconsideration-or-motion-vacate-decisions."

­“My situation is obviously like not necessarily a safety issue, but it's not hard to see how this escalates up to someone who is driving through red lights and hitting pedestrians," Baker said. "And all we have is their tag number, and that tag number isn't associated with the actual owner of the vehicle.”

Again, to make sure a similar situation doesn't happen to you, the DMV recommends bringing them your temporary tags to be disposed of properly, so you can get a receipt for your records.

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