When you go to register a vehicle, we all know we are assigned license plates with a specific license plate number that cannot be used more than once. But lately, there's been ongoing issue across the Baystate regarding license plates that's causing headaches for drivers.

What is the ongoing license plate issue? 

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What if I told you that some people have been receiving unpaid parking violations from places they have never been to!? What!!??

It's true according to WCVB5Boston, 5 Investigates’ Mike Beaudet has obtained records from the state that revealed how many vehicles in Massachusetts have the same license plate number after drivers across the state kept receiving violations in the mail for unpaid parking tickets from places they had never been to.

The investigation finally revealed that there are more than 161,000 license plates across the Baystate that have the same letter and number combinations as another plate. Technically the two plates are not exactly the same, but resemble other plates like from passenger and commercial to special and vanity. This also goes for veteran plates after Air Force veteran put a veteran's plate on his truck and then started getting parking tickets from places he never visited.

So, what happened next?

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The Registry of Motor Vehicles refused to let him renew his registration, and the city of Boston also sent him to a collection agency because the problem was that another license plate in Massachusetts had the same exact number, and the driver from that plate's tickets went on this man's record instead.

Others have contacted 5 Investigates about similar problems, even though the RMV claims it never received similar complaints. Beaudet interviewed three different people who had similar versions of the same issue across the baystate, representing a tiny fraction of the duplicate license plate numbers in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

What's the end result?

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Getty Images

Since 2019, the RMV has stopped issuing duplicate plate numbers. But with 161,000 duplicates that are still on our roads, the problem is still there. The RMV claims they upgraded its computer software in 2019 and added a "stopper" that doesn't allow a duplicate plate number to be added into the system, but with how the RMV is so far behind on the times, there doesn't appear to be any plans to change the 161,000 duplicate plates remaining on our roads.

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