WELD COUNTY — A Weld County man said he keeps getting charged tolls for a car he sold four years ago. Meanwhile, the license plates have been sitting in Bruce Griffith's garage since 2019.
"We put them on a shelf in the garage. We've got a whole stack," Griffith said, who added that he sold the car to his son, who now lives in South Carolina. "One day, my wife came to me, and she pointed out some charges on the [Express Toll statement] and said, 'What were you doing on the HOV lanes?' And I wasn't."
He found multiple charges for the car he'd sold four years ago, listing the plates that were in his garage.
E-470, which operates ExpressToll, eventually reversed those charges, saying it was a misread plate. Records show they removed the car from his account, but the next month's bill shows more mistaken charges.
"It was to another one of my cars for that same dead plate to a different car entirely. How do you even do this?" he asked.
He reached out to his neighbors on social media, and in his informal poll, he said dozens reported billing issues with Colorado toll roads.
Contact Denver7 has repeatedly covered similar stories, including a Denver man who kept getting toll charges for his broken-down car in 2021.
Jessica Carson, E-470's public affairs director, said the accuracy rate for license plate reads is more than 99.7%.
Still, when it comes to millions of license plates, there have been tens of thousands of errors — more than 21,000 in 2023.
Carson said there are systems in place to catch most of those errors before they are billed to consumers, but some are not caught.
In Griffith's case, she said, the readers were registering a "Q" instead of an "O," and because the plates were still in his name with the DMV, his account was billed.
"We are regretful when an error like this occurs, and we are happy to help them and work with them and make sure everything is made. So, thank you for bringing it to our attention and we just want our customers to know that," Carson said.
Griffith's old plates are now on a special recognition system to keep this from happening again to him.
But he wants everyone to be aware of the issue and double-check their ExpressToll statements.
"If this is happening to me, it's happening to motorists all across Colorado. And that's just not OK," he said.
Express Toll has been providing back-office services for CDOT since 2006, but last week CDOT put out an RFP (request for proposals) for the service, considering other options.