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Missouri Prints Twenty Thousand Duplicate License Plates
Database errors cause 1502 motorists to receive license plates that belong to someone else.

Missouri License PlateIn an age where machines issue traffic tickets based upon license plates and cars are seized based upon database records, accuracy is essential. A computer error in Missouri demonstrates how fragile government record systems can be. The state's transportation department accidentally printed 21,978 new license plates bearing numbers already in use by other vehicles on the road. The error was caught on July 8, but not before the department had distributed duplicate plates to 1502 motorists.

Although Missouri's legislature has refused to pass legislation authorizing the use of red light cameras, the city of Arnold passed an ordinance on June 16 to begin installing the automated ticketing devices. Red light cameras issue tickets to the registered owner of a vehicle based upon the license plate.

Article Excerpt:
Nearly all the plates were sent to license offices in the eastern part of the state, the agency said, with less than 700 going to three northwest Missouri offices. The cost to reprint the plates and mail out correct ones to the roughly 1,500 people who got duplicate plates was estimated Friday at nearly $67,000.
Source: Delayed revenue computer system cou (Associated Press, 7/23/2005)

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