CHICAGO (CBS) — After the CBS 2 Investigators revealed the city of Chicago is sitting on $3,768,417 owed to more than 55,000 people who overpaid for parking tickets and traffic tickets, officials have vowed to make it easier for drivers to get their refunds.
CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker discovered the road to a refund is paved with potholes.
First, you have to determine on your own if the city owes you money, because the city doesn’t let you know when you’ve overpaid for a ticket. By entering your last name and your license plate number on the city’s website, you can find out what you owe, or what the city owes you, for parking tickets, red light tickets, and speed camera tickets.
However, in the 21st century when almost everyone uses a computer, there’s no option to download an application for a refund.
When Tucker found out the city owes her $110 for an overpaid parking ticket, she called the city’s hotline, and was told to get a refund, she would have to provide the cancelled check she used to pay her fine.
However, she doesn’t have that check anymore, so the city said they’d keep the $110 as credit for her next ticket, which seems unfair if she never gets another ticket.
A supervisor promised to attach a note to Tucker’s ticket number, explaining her situation, cracking the door at a possibility of a refund. The supervisor also offered to send a refund application in the mail.
Tucker instead decided to pick up the application in person, but wondered why she can’t just download it from the city’s website.
In this day and age, when you can instantly pay your parking tickets online, why are you supposed to mail a refund application to a P.O. box?
Tucker handed her refund application directly to a clerk at City Hall, and was told she was all set.
As a result of CBS 2’s story on overpaid tickets, the city promised to make refund applications available online to download.
If you no longer have your canceled check or credit card statement from an overpaid fine, the city promised to search for photographic evidence of your payment.
Even with those changes, a spokesperson said it could still take several weeks for the city to process and deliver a refund.