Orange County

Orange County residents find busy phone lines, closed offices after vehicle registration mix-up

ORLANDO, Fla. — About 48,000 Orange County residents received notices to renew their vehicle registration this May, but they were sent the wrong information.

WFTV reporter Cierra Putman found out it was an error by a vendor that's now on the hook to pay for the problem.

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There are fewer drivers on the road due to the coronavirus, but you still have to pay your registration fee. It will cost a little over $23 to update a registration tag for average-sized car in the county.

Orange County resident Fred Begy got a reminder in the mail his expires in May, but said "it was the right address but the incorrect automobile, incorrect plate number.”

He tried the downtown Orlando office, hoping to talk to a real person, but it's closed and he tax collector phone line was busy.

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“It's always busy, I've been trying for about four days to talk to someone,” Begy said.

The Orange County Tax Collector outsourced this process to Cathedral Corporation. The vendor updated its system but failed to make sure everything updated correctly for May renewals.

“There is lots of other information that's not contained in the renewal notice that would be required to transfer a title, for example, so we don't believe that's a concern," said Eddie Ayala with the Orange County Tax Collector’s Office.

On Thursday, the company mailed out an apology letter with updated reminders reading only VIN (vehicle identification number), vehicle make and model, and tag numbers’ were released and no tax dollars will be used to correct the error.

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Currently, Orange County resident can renew online or mail and soon in person again, when glass is installed in all the offices and there's enough PPE for staff.

People with May tag renewal dates have until June 11 to pay without receiving a $5 late fee.

The tax collectors’ office plans to work with people who mailed a payment based on the incorrect information on a case by case basis and may issue refunds.

Cierra Putman

Cierra Putman,

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.

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