Mike Beaudet of 5 Investigates has acquired state data unveiling the prevalence of identical license plate numbers on multiple vehicles in Massachusetts, a problem that has been causing significant inconveniences for drivers statewide.
In Boston, 5 Investigates' Mike Beaudet has secured state records shedding light on the prevalence of identical license plate numbers among vehicles in Massachusetts. Over the course of more than a month, Beaudet persistently inquired with the Registry of Motor Vehicles regarding the number of duplicate license plate instances, prompted by reports from drivers across the state who received unwarranted parking ticket violations from unfamiliar locations.
After persistent inquiry, the registry eventually disclosed to 5 Investigates that there are over 161,000 license plates in the state sharing identical letter and number combinations with other plates. Although no two plates are precisely identical, these duplicates encompass a broad spectrum of plate types, spanning from passenger and commercial to special and vanity designs.
5 Investigates initiated its investigation in response to a complaint from an Air Force veteran who affixed a veteran's license plate to his truck. Subsequently, he began receiving unwarranted parking violation notices from unfamiliar locations. Consequently, the Registry of Motor Vehicles denied his registration renewal, and the city of Boston referred his case to a collection agency. The issue stemmed from the fact that another Massachusetts license plate shared the same number, causing the other driver's tickets to erroneously affect this man's record.
Despite the Registry's assertion that it had never received comparable complaints, numerous individuals reached out to 5 investigators with similar issues. Beaudet conducted interviews with three individuals from various parts of the state who had encountered analogous problems, highlighting that these cases represent only a small fraction of the duplicate license plate numbers in Massachusetts.
According to the Registry, they ceased the issuance of duplicate plate numbers as of 2019. However, with 161,000 duplicates still in circulation, the issue remains unresolved. Although the Registry claims to have implemented a software upgrade in 2019, incorporating a "stopper" to prevent the addition of duplicate plate numbers, it appears that there is no current plan in place to address the existing 161,000 duplicate plates still in use on our roads.
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