I get a lot of calls from people who claim they got big, surprise bills from the Illinois Tollway. Sometimes I'm able to help, sometimes not.
I've often wondered, with skepticism, how it is that someone could miss notice after notice until a bill ends up being 100 times higher than the original missed tolls?
Until it happened to me.
Last Monday, I got a call from a law firm informing me that I owed $496 in unpaid tolls and fees, and if I didn't pay, the state would suspend my driver's license.
My heart stopped -- and then I yelled into the phone, "What? What?!"
The unflappable young lady at the other end of the line said I'd missed seven tolls, in 2006 and 2007. Each violation had accumulated $70 in fines.
Okay, let's say the original tolls were something we don't see here in Illinois $5 each. That would mean they were originally $35.00. Does anyone else think that $496 for something that was originally $35.00 max is reasonable? How about suspending her license? The same thing frequently occurs with parking tickets. Wanna know the kicker? Let's say she didn't know her license was suspended and she get's stopped for a DUI. She's looking at an automatic felony for driving with a suspended license, not because she harmed anyone save herself in her DUI arrest.
I would strongly suggest you keep tabs on your driving record the same way you do your credit reports. Get a copy of your driving record from the Secretary of State at least once a year to review it and make sure you aren't in for any surprises.