Man surprised by 25-year-old ticket

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A former Albany resident received an unexpected ticket this week from a moving violation from 25 years ago.

Hans, who asked to only be identified by his first name, hasn’t lived in the city for 25 years.

“I got a notification earlier this week from my mother saying, ‘Hey, you got this piece of mail at our house,’” Hans said.  

Inside the mail? An order of suspension for a driving ticket from 1996.

“It’s not even something that I could contest. I think they probably know that and it’s just a matter of trying to pick some low-hanging fruit,” Hans said.  

Now living in St. Louis, Hans said it took hours and many calls to DMVs around the state to figure out where the ticket came from until he finally got through to someone.  

“He said, ‘Yeah, we’ve been a little bit behind here.’ I literally burst out laughing because a quarter of a century is a little behind in your paperwork,” Hans said.  

“25 years is a way long time out,” said Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola.  

Merola said a case like this isn’t as uncommon as one may think.  

“What happens is courts decide they’re going to clean up their old records, and they look to get that money back in,” Merola said.

Merola said if a person doesn’t pay the ticket or doesn’t fight the ticket, their driving privileges in New York would be suspended.

“It’s more of a nuisance,” Hans said.  

Ultimately, Hans said he’s going to pay the $75 fine. If he didn’t and was caught driving in New York, he could get a ticket, be arrested, or have his car towed.   

Hans said all he can do is laugh.  

“Part of me is tempted to future date a check for 25 years down the road and see if they’ll cash that in the next quarter-century,” Hans said. 

  

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