Unclear toll pictures may have you pay someone else's bill

Two bills sent incorrectly to Yuriana Carbajal from CTRMA.
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Buy a toll tag or pay by mail. You can take any toll road around here. It’s supposed to be easy.

“Easy” became frustrating when Yuriana Carbajal opened a late toll notice she got in the mail.

“This was all set what we got last week. And the first thing I saw was this,” Carbajal said as she pointed to a darkened photo on the page.

The bill was from Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA). It works like other Texas toll roads by taking a photo of your car and either deducting money from your toll account or sending you a bill in the mail.

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“You can see the grill goes up-and-down,” Carbajal said.

Carbajal drives a 2008 Acura MDX. It doesn’t have any vertical grill lines.

“This is crazy. I’m not paying for who knows whose toll bill,” Carbajal said.

Below the pictures, it reads: “Not your car? Please contact us immediately to resolve.”

Carbajal did.

“I spoke with somebody to get a better picture. I said to check the license plate, and they told me those two would be dropped because they were not from my vehicle,” Carbajal said.

The person on the other end of the phone told Carbajal there was a third bill from 2015, totaling $63.88.

“She said that is definitely your vehicle,” Carbajal said.

Yet, when Carbajal asked for a copy of that bill, CTRMA told her the car wasn’t in her name. Carbajal would need her husband to make the request.

So the KVUE Defenders looked into the charge.

CTRMA said the license plate numbers were transcribed incorrectly on two bills sent to Carbajal.

The two incorrect bills will be re-billed to the correct owner,” said Dee Anne Heath, director of external affairs for CTRMA.

CTRMA would not provide pictures for the third bill, citing privacy.

Carbajal received an email from CTRMA's Director of Operations, Tracie P. Brown.

“The third bill … was determined to be valid. … Mailed on April 30, 2015 and administrative fees were assessed when the bill was not resolved. … As a courtesy we have waived the violation fees and adjusted the balance to original billed amount of $3.88,” Brown said.

“I want others to check their bill,” Carbajal said.

Carbajal said she’ll pay the verified bill and avoid all toll roads.

The open CTRMA toll roads include U.S. 183A, part of U.S. 290, MoPac’s express lane and a four-mile stretch on Highway 71.

If you have a picture that isn’t clear on your bill, you can ask CTRMA to email you a higher resolution photo. You must be the account holder.