MONROE, N.C. — In August 2019, Mark McElravy was on his way to Indian Trail when he ended up on a toll road by mistake.
The Monroe Bypass was still fairly new and he wasn’t used to the traffic pattern.
He exited the toll road the first chance he had.
He received a bill for 40 cents for his ride but he forgot to pay it.
“It just kind of slipped my mind. It was such a small amount,” he told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.
Then, the penalties came. McElravy was charged three “processing” fees at $6 each. There was also a separate “civil” penalty for $25.
After the penalties, he owed $43.40.
Even worse, the DMV wouldn’t let him renew his registration, which is a penalty posted on the North Carolina Turnpike Authority website:
“Failure to pay tolls, processing fees and any civil penalties is grounds for the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles to withhold a vehicle owner’s ability to renew the vehicle’s registration. The potential for a registration hold is noted on all future invoices sent to the customer for unpaid tolls, fees and penalties. The registration hold will not be released until the balance is paid in full.”
McElravy emailed Action 9 for help.
Stoogenke emailed the state and five days later, the Turnpike Authority told him it was waiving the fees as “a courtesy, one-time favor” for McElravy.
“You got involved and suddenly things started happening, and within just a few days, they were willing to waive the fee. And a few days after that, I was able to register the car,” he said.
Although McElravy doesn’t have to pay the 40 cents, he said he probably will anyway.
Stoogenke offers these tips to toll road drivers:
Take toll bills seriously, no matter how small the amount is.
The Turnpike Authority will waive the fee for anyone who misses a payment their first time on the toll lanes.
If you use toll roads often, consider getting a North Carolina Quick Pass transponder.
© 2021 Cox Media Group