Transportation and Vehicle Safety/Red Light Camera Violation for Someone


Hello, Michael and thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

I've received two red light camera violation in the past 3 weeks or so for the same woman that I don't know who is driving a car which is registered to a person who I don't know. However, both notices have my name and my driver's license number on them.

I don't know who these people are but they seem to live at the address where my boyfriend's mother used to live before she sold the house a few years ago.  I have never used that address as my mailing address or registered the address as my residence.

I've visited the police department which issued the tickets and I told the officer my situation and she looked up something in the computer but when she came back, she just asked me "So, you don't know who the driver is?" and I said "No". Then she told me to contest it.

That made me think my information is somehow got screwed and entered in their system wrong.

I don't know where to start...Should I go to DMV? Or should I just contest it...but how will I prove that this driver nor the registered car owner is not me?

Please help...I am so frustrated and angry because of someone's carelessness, I have to waste my time trying to fix it and be stressed out.  Totally unnecessary.

Thank you for your time.

Hi Midori,

Before I begin, let me first say that traffic laws differ from municipality to municipality, and from state to state.  I can't possibly speak with any expertise about the specific local municipal or state laws affecting your current situation.

That said, generally speaking, red light cameras work by capturing an image of the back of the offending vehicle, including the license plate.  That's how they identify the vehicle and issue the ticket.  It sounds like someone has stolen your identity, at least insofar as they have registered a vehicle in your name.

Your first step would be absolutely to contest the tickets.  Show up to court and explain that the vehicle picture is not and has never been registered in your name nor owned by you.  Affirm before the judge that you absolutely were not driving this vehicle. Bring a copy of your insurance policy (which indicates the vehicles you own and insure to drive). The judge should dismiss the charges.

There are several other things you should do.  I would visit the DMV and request my own driving history, to see if there are any other violations showing up you're not aware of.  I would explain the situation and see if there is any way they can issue you a different driver license number to replace your current one.  I would also double-check your banking and credit history, to see if there is any more they may have stolen.

Best of luck!


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Michael Mercadante


Questions on traffic safety, safe performance and operation of a motor vehicle in traffic, about driving with special needs, learning/behavioral/developmental disabilities, understanding vehicle laws, understanding safety equipment on vehicles, defensive and precision driving techniques, driver education and instruction and driver exam preparation.


Owner and sole driving instructor for Modern Driver Institute. Eight years in traffic safety research on contracts for NHTSA, FMCSA, AAA, MDOT and PennDOT. More than 1,000 hours as a professional driving instructor. Licensed driving instructor in the state of PA. Certified Defensive Driving Instructor for the National Safety Council. Precision driving for Hollywood and independent films. Expertise in virtual-reality driving simulators and teaching students with developmental/intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and more.

member, Teen Safe Driving Coalition; member, PA Safe Kids coalition; service provider, PA Bureau of Autism Services; service provider, PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

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Licensed driving instructor, PA Department of Education Certified Defensive Driving Instructor, National Safety Council B.A. in American History (cum laude), Temple University (earned 2007) M.S. in Psychology, specialization in Educational Psychology (2015) Ph.D in Psychology, specialization in Educational Psychology (expected 2019)

Awards and Honors
Scientific Paper of the Year (2003), Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

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