A former Montreal resident was left confused when she received what looked like an invoice from the city for one cent.

The invoice came after she inadvertently applied for a permit to occupy the road in front of her place in the Sud-Ouest borough to move, and then cancelled that permit.

"It's very unusual," said Roxanne Charlebois, who moved from Montreal to Deux-Montagnes this summer. "Very questionable as well because the first thought that I think everyone is having is that it cost over a dollar to post this by mail, so what are you trying to get? You're in the negative by doing this."

Charlebois said she called in May to inquire about a temporary permit to park in front of her residence for the upcoming move and get an estimate.

"But the email I got actually confirmed that the whole process went forward, and I got billed for that permit," she said.

The city sent her an official permit with an invoice for $160.

She decided to cancel the permit after speaking to a neighbour and sorting the situation out.

An agent from the city returned her call a month later, in June.

"He apologized, explained to me that no one else could see the file/communications since it was assigned to him, and that he will take steps to cancel everything for me," said Charlebois.

Two weeks ago, however, she received a bill for one cent.

The City of Montreal's finance department said that Charlebois received a "statement of account and not an invoice" and that she does not have to pay anything.

"No $0.01 invoice is issued," said the city in an email. "The citizen does not have to pay the $0.01."

The $0.01 is the result of the city setting up the statement of account to notify the citizen that the account has been created.

The account includes the $160 minus a credit of $159.99, the city said.

"When a credit is applied to an invoice, the system automatically generates a statement of account to notify the citizen. We will be looking into the possibility of including a note on the statement saying that under a certain amount, the balance does not have to be paid," said Sud-Ouest borough communications head Celine Vaillancourt. "Notices are only sent out for balances of $10 or more. As for the discrepancy, we will contact the system manager to have the system modified."

Charlebois paid the bill out of principle because she didn't want interest to accrue or for the bill to remain unpaid.

"This case is closed for me, but I'm questioning everything around it," she said.