North Texas

North Texas Man Billed $1,436 in Tolls for Car He Sold

Driver says he sold car in 2013 but no longer has paperwork

A North Texas man is fighting the North Texas Tollway Authority over $1,436 in tolls for a car he insists he no longer owns.

David Barlett, of Kemp, said he sold his 2002 Nissan Maxima in October 2013 to a man who responded to a Craigslist ad.

"I signed the title over to him and didn't really think much else about it – until I started getting bills from the tollway," Bartlett said.

The buyer never turned in the title to the state and kept the same license plates. So on paper, Bartlett remained the registered owner.

Bartlett said he believes the new owner then ran up the toll bills without paying.

For cars without an electronic toll tag, the NTTA takes pictures of a car's license plate and bills the registered owner.

"By law, if you look at it, he still owned that vehicle through all the time of these tolls, and we've seen nothing to change that thus far," said NTTA spokesman Michael Rey.

Bartlett admits he has no proof he sold the car. He said he no longer has the bill of sale, which the NTTA said would void the bill.

The authority also said Bartlett called about the charges in November 2013 and was advised to file a vehicle transfer notification with the state, which is separate from a title transfer. Records show Bartlett did not do so until October 2014 while more tolls accumulated, Rey said.

He also could have kept his license plates when he sold the car, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Bartlett said he'll take his case to court.

"I will go to jail before I pay this, just out of principle," he said.

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