• SunPass backlog prevents drivers from renewing vehicle registrations

    By: Jason Kelly , Daralene Jones

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - The SunPass backlog has made it harder for thousands of drivers to renew their vehicle registrations.

    SunPass in June took its payment system offline for an upgrade, but the vendor could not bring the system back.

    Tolls were charged to customers' accounts after the system went back online.

    The Central Florida Expressway Authority said 106,000 vehicles have holds because of unpaid tolls.


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    Officials said there is no way to tell how many of the holds are related to the SunPass debacle.

    Driver Nacia Bradley said she and her husband thought they had finished paying toll violations until he visited the Orange County Tax Collector's office to renew his vehicle registration.

    "DMV told my husband that he owed $190 in tolls," she said.

    Bradley said her husband had to pay the tolls to renew his vehicle registration.

    She provided 9 Investigates with a screenshot that shows that she was placed on hold for almost an hour to get through to a SunPass call center representative to ask questions that remain unanswered.

    Read: SunPass is still mailing bills from its online meltdown 8 months ago

    "I tried to reach out online without any results," she said.

    Bradley granted 9 Investigates permission to review her SunPass account.

    She said she believes that the problem started when Florida's Turnpike's system hit her account with mass deductions.

    Bradley's account was negative after 15 transactions were charged one day, 13 transactions were charged the next day and 25 transactions were charged two days later.

    Some customers were left without funds in their accounts while traveling on Central Florida Expressway Authority roads, including State Road 408 and State Road 417.

    "I'd say probably almost one in eight customers (who) come in for a tag renewal have some type of toll violation," Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph said.

    Read: SunPass warns customers about scam targeting drivers with past-due tolls

    He said his office has collected almost $1.7 million and has issued tag renewal holds on almost 27,000 vehicles since June.

    There is no way to tell how much of that was related to the SunPass meltdown.

    "I just didn't know what else to do," Bradley said.

    The agency said it will only try to deduct from customers' accounts once. It said it will mail customers toll-by-plate bills if no money is in their accounts.

    Customers are advised to update the mailing address linked to their vehicle registration and to call the Tax Collector's office before renewing their tag to check if there are any holds.

    State lawmakers are scheduled to receive an update about the SunPass situation on Wednesday.

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