Dear PoP – Parking Woes (Continued)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jess J

“Dear PoP,

My DC parking woes continue. (I was screwed by the City’s self-correcting parking meters.) The latest involves vehicle registration/zone stickers. See below for the story; I would be curious if this has happened to any of your other readers?

I recently moved. My new place is in a different “parking zone”, as defined by DC. As a result, I had to get a new Residential Parking Permit (“RPP”) from the DMV so that I could park on the street in front of my new place. (The RPP is the sticker all DC-registered cars have in the lower left hand corner of their windshields.) DC will only give you a new RPP if you bring in the old RPP.

This morning [Thurs.] I drove over to the DMV, parked directly in front of the DMV Service Center, removed the RPP from my windshield, and after thankfully only an hour wait, I exchanged my old RPP (and seven bucks) for a new one. I returned to my car to find a $100 parking ticket for failure to display the RPP, which apparently also serves as the vehicle’s registration tag. How unjust is that? The City requires you to turn in your old RPP to get a new one, but then tickets you for failure to display the RPP!”


45 Comment

  • You do not need to return the old RPP – basically, it’s your parking permit and registration sticker in one – to get a new one. You only need to present proof of your new address. I just did this a month ago.

    • They are, however, pretty strict about what constitutes a proof of address. They rejected my lease– a hefty 20-something page document– on the vague grounds that it didn’t look “official” enough. Since I was gone during the hours they ticket for non-residential parking, I ended up not updating my sticker.

  • Write a letter contesting the ticket- send a copy to your Ward Rep for good measure. Same thing happened to me, didn’t have to pay.

    • Yes, they’re actually pretty reasonable when it comes to dismissing tickets. Include a copy of the new sticker and receipt if you have it.

  • As stated above, you do not have to turn in the old one.

    Though, I’ve been ticketed three times right in front of my new apartment for displaying the old one and new one at the same time (those things are a pain to remove). I now have just the most updated one, so all should be good. But I’ve written three letters… We’ll see!

  • Yeah…no need to turn in the old one. Just a proof of address (utility bill or pay stub or whatever). Did the same thing this morning and had no problems.

  • yeah theres no need to return them… this is why one of the cars on my street has 5-6 old RPP’s in a collage on their windshield

  • Just contest it and attach the documents showing you had a valid registration. The same thing happened to me and they threw the ticket out. You could go as far as taking a picture of it on your window and pretending like it was on there before just to add some more evidence. But just include the reciept showing your car was registered and it’s fine.

  • Write a letter explaining what happened. If I get a parking ticket for an offense that is really due to an error on my part, I’ll pay it. But about half of the tickets I’ve gotten were unjustified, and I fight every one of them. I don’t win them all, but I’ve won most.

  • From the DMV’s website:

    Residents may need to replace their parking permits or stickers if they move to a new RPP zone, change their license tag numbers, or replace their windshields. You may obtain a replacement by visiting a DMV service location.

    To replace your residential parking permit/sticker because you moved, you must present the following original documents:

    1. Proof of Current Residency
    2. Valid DC driver’s license or identification card
    3. Old sticker or reciept for windshield replacement

    • saf

      That’s out of date – became obsolete when they combined registration stickers with RPP stickers.

      And this is a fabulous example of what I was saying in the other thread – the agencies claim to be oh so much better, but it’s business as ustabe and they’ll make you pay for their inefficiencies.

  • It’s remarkably easy to contest a parking/moving violation ticket in person. Just show up to the adjudication office(I’ve gone to the Office on North Cap, I think C St might also have adjudication), bring any evidence (old sticker, proof of new sticker, receipt from paying for it, etc) and they can throw the ticket out then and there.

    I once got a ticket for being on the phone while driving (when I was not on the phone), and I showed up with my phone bill indicating there were no calls around the time of the ticket. I was in and out within 45 min, and left with a torn up ticket.

    • ah

      If by “remarkably easy” you mean going down to North Cap, spending 45 minutes waiting plus parking time, and putting all those docs together. And running the risk of a parking ticket!

      It may be worth $100, but it’s still a waste of time.

  • just spit out my water from laughing so hard…thanks!

  • You think that is bad, well I have you beat. I went to go renew my registration and residential parking permit online (which is the only way to do this now). But when I go online and put in my insurance and everything it says I owe for parking tickets. The only problem is the parking tickets are not for my plates. It forces me to pay for someone else’s parking tickets.

    A few phone calls to the DMV and I found out the tickets which were issued recently are for plates that I turned in over a year ago (traded the car in under cash for clunkers program). The DMV system clearly shows that I turned in the plates and that the old plates are not valid yet someone is using the old plates and getting tickets on them.

    And the tickets are past the arbitration date. Apparently it’s my fault for not checking the DMV website for plates that I handed over to a DC employee for a vehicle that was destroyed.

    So not only did the plates “somehow get in the hands of someone else” but the officer issuing parking tickets does not bother to check whether or not the plates are valid and still issues the tickets.

    So I am stuck either paying for the parking tickets and admitting that I committed somebody else’s crimes or I don’t get to renew my registration and parking permit.

    The story gets worse from here. I just got the letter that my driver’s license is up for renewal in a month but guess what, there is a hold on it for the parking tickets.

    So my plates expire in 7 days, my license in a month, and I can do nothing about it. The DMV has been looking into it but so far cannot find a way around their own system.

    DL, I feel your pain but at least you were the one that caused the parking violation by not having your registration sticker in your window. I am getting screwed by a complete stranger and the DMV at the same time.

    Good thing there is a reliable Metro system in D.C. Oh wait…

    • This is the worst parking story ever. I’m so so sorry, dude!

    • You need to call News 4 action or something like that cause this likely did not just happen to you.

      • +1 Sounds like someone’s running a cash for license plates program at the DMV. I wonder how many other returned plates are still on the road

    • ah

      How horribly stupid. DMV has a record of you turning in plates a year ago and can’t “clear” the tickets that were subsequently issued? What possible excuse is there for this?

    • Election time anyome? Fenty vs. Grey – who can get this cleared up first?

    • This is bad — but you can probably get it dealt with by one of the administrative judges, even if it is after the appeals date.

    • You might want to contact the Mayor’s Liaison for Community Relations and Services for your Ward. If you live in Ward 1, it’s Sybongile Cook. We’ve had success in the past by getting her involved when something wasn’t working in the city system- like the snowplows only plowing half of our street and then leaving a dam of ice across the entire street or improper repairs on city construction projects. I’m betting that office has some sway at the DMV too. Good luck. That sounds awful.

    • for what it’s worth, i had this exact same thing happen to me – had tickets on my old tags attributed to me, even though i’d traded them in a while before.

      i sent in the copy of my new registration and receipt (which i’d kept) showing that i had changed in my plates a year earlier. they wrote me back dismissing the ticket.

    • Wow, and I thought Virginia was bad (I spent months fighting with them to renew my registration, during which time I couldn’t drive my car because the old registration had expired, because there was a hold on my account for a parking ticket that never existed).

  • All is not lost. Just today my wife received a letter saying her appeal on a parking ticket from April 2008 had been accepted. God only knows when a refund will be received for the ticket since you have to pay it to appeal it. For the record, the ticket was for parking in front of a church in a “No Parking on Sundays” zone. Received on a Saturday. And yes, the original appeal was rejected.

    • ah

      This could have been a winner, except the leader is already in the clubhouse.

    • Maybe it was a Seventh Day Adventist church?

    • I’m still awaiting a response from my cell-phone ticket appeal from 3 years ago. Not holding my breath, but I haven’t lost my license either so I guess it’s been dismissed or lost in the system.

      • It’s funny how that works. I had a ticket sit in the system for 2 years before getting dismissed, but another time I contested a ticket and less than a year later the fine was taken out of my tax return without warning.

  • Sad thing is, if Fenty wasn’t inexplicably in the pockets of church-goers from Maryland, Parking Enforcement could make a killing in revenue gained from ticketing all the legitimately illegally double-parked traffic in front of and around churches on Sundays.

    Too bad rules don’t apply to friends of Hizzoner.

    • I have no idea why people that live in Maryland go to church in DC. Aren’t there churches in Maryland? Maybe I’m just lazy on Sunday mornings, but I prefer go to the church 2 blocks from me…

      • people go to their family church. you really don’t understand that? many adults go to the church they went to as children. just because they moved away so that their own kids could have a safe environment to play and learn, they are not allowed to their own church?
        i guess your lack of understanding is irrelevant though.

  • show them that the time on the receipt was just after the time on the ticket.

  • Whenever you turn in old plates – buy a can of spray paint and paint out the numbers first. Then smash it up with a hammer or bend it back and forth and break it in half. Never trust.

  • GooGone works magic on those pesky windshield stickers.

    Plus, your car will smell of oranges for an entire week.

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