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Just received a letter from Tollroads saying that the car I already sold a while ago in California has recently made 24 violations in Orange County and I need to pay $2000. But I had already moved to the UK and CarMax should have transferred my title and California DMV should be aware of it. Apparently they are charging the wrong person. Now Tollroads doesn't want to right the ship and I'm abroad.

What should I do?


OK I found my own solution now:

  1. I called CarMax which purchased my car and resold it. They sent me an electronic document stating that my liability had been detached.
  2. Then I forwarded this email to customerservice customerservice@thetollroads.com and included my personal information (licence plate, address etc.)
  3. Then I called tollroads three days later to urge them to proceed (it takes time for tollroads to manually upload the information).

Now I've received their email saying that they have transferred the 24 violations!

My approach is not involved with DMV. Hope the current car owner doesn't violate other ruls before DMV finishes the long long process to transfer my title in California.

  • Do you have confirmation that the title was actually transferred? – Traveller Oct 7 '19 at 17:15
  • The question is tagged 'UK' where you would have retained the green slip from the registration document which records the new keeper's details and the date of sale/transfer. That's the responsiblity (and surety) of the previous keeper, not something you trust others to do. Also, you have travelled to the UK. Can you prove you were not in US at the time of the offences, for example with a passport stamp? – Weather Vane Oct 7 '19 at 17:16
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about traveling. – Neusser Oct 7 '19 at 18:17
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    This would probably be a better question for Law. – Michael Seifert Oct 7 '19 at 19:07
  • Once/if your post gets re-opened, please consider posting your own solution (which is now an edit) as a full answer. This will let you mark it Accepted Answer, and let others learn from it, upvote it, etc. – bb says Curb russian Trolls Oct 11 '19 at 13:31
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Generally, in the US, it is your duty to inform the DMV of the sale, together with the buyer's name and address. This is not well known, and often ignored, and with nice buyers it doesn't matter, as they will register the car, and thereby automatically remove it from the seller's record. However, if they don't, it is the seller's problem - he is responsible for all tickets, tolls, taxes, etc. - how would the DMV even know you sold it?

What you can do is send the DMV a copy of your sales contract (a picture of the title with the name and signature of the buyer is usually enough), together with the respective form, so they transfer it away from you. If you don't do that, you risk the buyer commiting crimes with it, and you are being responsible.

You can also send the same proof of sale to the toll road company, and maybe they go away; but legally, until the car has officially transferred ownership, you are responsible.

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    Writing such a letter to the California DMV, however, will result in absolutely no action by them. One must complete the official DMV form disclosing transfer, and sign the official form declaring its truth under penalty of perjury. – DavidSupportsMonica Oct 7 '19 at 18:51

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