The Case of the Phantom Driver: Yucaipa Mom is Getting Tickets Meant for Someone Else | NBC Southern California
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The Case of the Phantom Driver: Yucaipa Mom is Getting Tickets Meant for Someone Else

A Yucaipa woman is receiving citations from the Bay Area, but she says she's never even been there

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    A Yucaipa woman kept getting traffic tickets from someone who had the same license plate as her. After showing that the real offender’s license plate was from Alabama, she was able to force cities in the Bay Area to rescind their tickets. Randy Mac reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

    (Published Thursday, May 4, 2017)

    Angie Knobloch says she a happy-go-lucky person, and she has the vanity license plate to show it.

    "JUSBNME" — or "just being me" — is what reads on her cool black and yellow California license plate. Personalized swag!

    But the Yucaipa mom was taken by surprise when a ticket came in the mail from the Bay Area. It was from FasTrak and it contained a picture of a license plate with the same letters. But there was one notable difference: that license plate was white with black letters, not the same type as Knobloch's.

    Not only that, but Knobloch says she's never even been to the Bay Area.

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    She appealed the ticket. But she later also got another from the city of Berkeley.

    "It's scary because you don't know what's going to happen with that license plate," she said.

    FasTrak dismissed it, but Berkeley didn't.

    "Trying to fight city hall, it's just not working out," she said.

    So what's the deal with that plate? We looked through all 50 states and matched it with Alabama. That explains why the ticket from Berkeley shows the car was a red Ford, not Knobloch's white Lexus.

    "I've sent everything I could to prove that it wasn't my ticket and they're still not doing anything about it," she said.

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    Even though the DMV requires cars from other states register plates within 20 days, attorney Brian Kabateck says there's really only one easy fix for Knobloch: change her plates.

    "She might be able to resolve the issue with the city of Berkeley," he said. "But what happens when the city of Oakland has the next ticket that she gets?"

    After we got involved, Berkeley dropped the ticket and apologized. The DMV couldn't tell us if her imposter had registered for new plates yet, but told us that driver could be fined if they have relocated to California and are caught using that plate.

    Fearing another ticket in her mailbox, Knobloch is looking for a new way to personalize her car swag.

    "I more than likely will change my license plate even though I don't think I should have to just to avoid any more problems," she said.

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