CHICAGO (CBS) — He’s been ticketed over and over in different states, even though he’s been home in western suburbs the whole time.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory looks into the mystery of the problematic license plate.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Mainly Clear And Not As Cold Sunday Night
We’re not going show you Alex Yung’s full license plate. That’s what caused his 3-year headache.
“First time I got the ticket, it came from Florida,” he said.
Then another popped up from Colorado.
The third slap on wrist – from the Sunshine State again.
All toll booth violations. He got them all dismissed.
“I have been in Illinois all those years,” Yung said with a laugh. “I never left the state.”
Amused but frustrated, Yung has been ticketed a fourth time.
As he was navigating slick roads in Illinois this January, another ticket arrived in mail; this time from Pennsylvania.
This time, for the first time, he saw the accused vehicle.READ MORE: At Least 20 Shot, 2 Killed In Weekend Violence In Chicago
“It’s a semi. I don’t own a semi,” Yung said.
How does a huge truck get confused with a Honda Accord? Their license plate numbers match. Yung got concerned.
“My local police department said it’s legally valid. It’s not fraudulent,” Yung said.
That’s because Illinois allows the same numbers under different classifications.
Blurry but blatant on the semi’s plate is the word “apportioned.” That’s a commercial designation.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office said, “We’ve shared our displeasure with agencies in other states that they must do a better job of reading license plates accurately.”
A spokesperson said those conversations led to a drop in these types of cases. He also offered Yung a solution: a new license plate number for free.
Still, some math whizzes on Facebook told us there are more than 67 million regular license plate combinations possible for standard Illinois plates. That’s rough math, because of certain rules and exclusions when it comes to license plate characters.
Still, that’s far more available numbers than the 11 million vehicles registered in Illinois.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said multiple humans are involved in cross-checking its automated ticketing system, so someone must have made an error.MORE NEWS: Boy, 11, Shot And Wounded In West Pullman; He Is Second Child Shot In Area Within Week
Anyone else having a problem like Yung can show proof and request a new plate number for free.