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Why San Francisco owes drivers $6 million


In a bizarre realization that people actually overpay their parking tickets, San Francisco's transportation agency figured out it has more than $6 million in excess parking violation payments.

Now the agency is telling San Francisco drivers it will give that money back.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is trying to reimburse drivers for more than 200,000 overpaid parking tickets from 1995 to 2012, publishing the list of names and license plate numbers on its site.

Drivers are looking at getting back anything from a couple bucks to a couple hundred dollars.

SFMATA spokesperson Paul Rose told NBC that in 2004 his office tried reaching out to those who overpaid tickets, but no one ever replied or "the contact information we had was wrong."

Now drivers have until March 3, 2016, to look themselves up and make a request for reimbursement. If the money is not claimed by then, the city will keep it as a generous donation.

On the list are the late Steve Jobs (owed $174), California Gov. Jerry Brown (owed $33), Attorney General Kamala Harris (owed $60), and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (owed $510, although he probably doesn't have a problem with parking illegally anymore). In an interview with NPR, the governor's office said Brown will be looking into a reimbursement of his $33.

San Francisco issues approximately 1.5 million parking tickets every year, and it's extremely rare that people would overpay or pay their ticket twice.

Nonetheless, Rose said people are "due for a refund if they want it."