To the editors:
I should have given the Department of Revenue more credit in my article "Das Boot" (August 25). I'm getting a refund after all.
Unfortunately, none of the penalties rung up on tickets charged to my old pickup truck are refundable. That's because I never changed the truck's registration after I moved to Chicago, so the sending of notices to my old address in Decatur was deemed "proper service of process."
After I sold the truck, I did change the registration on my car every time I moved, but the secretary of state "failed to update their database timely," and violation notices were sent to addresses I'd long since moved away from.
After reconsidering, the Department of Revenue found I was wrongly charged $440 in penalties. After they deduct $395 for some recent unpaid tickets, I'll get back $45.
People who got the boot and feel they were overcharged--because the city never mailed violation notices or a seizure notice--can write to Matt Darst, Deputy Director, Chicago Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 5067, Chicago 60680-5067. It just might work.