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Calgary woman forced to pay stranger's fine - or risk one of her own

UPDATED: Province now issuing a refund after CTV News' coverage.

Alandra Williams says she went into her local Alberta Registry in late December after having trouble renewing her vehicle registration online.

At the counter, Williams found out she was on the hook for a lot more than just registration fees.

"(Registry staff) told me that it was going to cost $730 and I didn't have that kind of money in my bank account at the time," Williams said.

But she paid it anyway.

"I wasn't going drive a vehicle that wasn't registered because then I could actually get a real ticket for it," she said.

A closer look showed a man with the same birth date and last name had been ticketed for trespassing at 8:20 p.m. on April 2, 2022.

He didn't pay and the ticket somehow ended up attached to a total stranger.

"I have no idea who he is," Williams said.

In January, she was able to email the court to have the ticket removed from her name.

"But what about my money? I'm not willingly paying the ticket for this man," she said.

Five months later, Williams hasn't heard a word about getting a refund.

She works two jobs and says the money forced her to make some difficult decisions.

"I feel kind of cheated," she said.

"That is almost a full paycheque for me."

CTV requested more information about the mix-up and what can be done to resolve it but late Monday afternoon, an Alberta Justice spokesperson said an answer was not possible before the publication deadline.