IOWA - Company Sends Vehicle Notices in Error : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

[Fair Use: For Educational and Research Purposes Only]

Company Sends Vehicle Notices in Error

By Sue Morris - Staff writer

July 10, 2000

"I don't even have any kids that I know about" was the humorous response of a county resident when he was sent a notice blocking registration of his car due to owing child support.

Some Plymouth County residents received renewal notices on their vehicles with incorrect information a week ago, including messages that they may owe back child support, parking tickets, state taxes or other payments to the State of Iowa.

Plymouth County is one of many Iowa counties that contract for service with a company called Allied Documents. There were about 34,000 notices around the state affected by a computer error, about 25 percent of all notices sent last month.

Allied Documents, the private contractor, found that digits from the vehicles' model years had shifted to spaces for code numbers detailing debts for the individual registered. The computer system used by many of the auto departments in county treasurers' office then put automatic stops on the vehicle registrations of those with the incorrect codes.

"We do collect a lot of unpaid tickets, but this isn't so wonderful," commented Priscilla Strathman, a clerk in the Plymouth County Treasurer's Office. She explained that the system is very helpful in collecting debts that have gone unpaid in any county in Iowa for traffic tickets, court debts, and other matters.

The local treasurer's office had received several dozen calls from residents who had been sent the mistaken notices, but other individuals might have called the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance listed on the notice or the Plymouth County Clerk of Courts office, which collects the debts.

The incorrect notices mailed last month would have an asterisk sign* by one or more fee amounts, referring to the last light of explanation. "Vehicles not eligible for renewal of registration for the following reasons: *Outstanding debt to State of Iowa. Telephone contact: (515) 281-6944.

Allied Documents officials has said they will send out corrected notices this week with explanatory letters to the vehicle owners who received the flawed information.

-- (, July 10, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ