Short/Medium Term Parking Options for an Out of State Car?

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“Dear PoPville,

My mom has recently loaned me her out of state car (she’s on bed rest from a surgery) and I will have it in my possession in DC until March 2015. I’ve had it for 2 weeks and I just received my out of state registration warning (I was expecting it). It says that I have 15 days to apply for a ROSA exemption, a recurring visitor pass, or just register the vehicle in DC outright. I don’t qualify for ROSA or a recurring visitor pass (I’ve lived in DC for 8 years and have a DC license) and I don’t want to register the vehicle in DC as it’s going back to North Carolina in just 6 months.

Any suggestions from PoPville? I’ve looked in to off street parking, and that might be my best option, but rentals on Craigslist seem prohibitively expensive. Any and all suggestions welcome and appreciated!”

37 Comment

  • Hmm, I used to go get visitor permits every 2 weeks from the Police station – free and takes 2 secs – I did that for AGES. But it was my dad’s car, when he was in the process of moving from DC to MA, and I cant remember which plates it had on it at the time…

    • My fiance has been doing this and just got a similar warning to OP. We’re selling the car, though, so it would be nuts to shell out for registration as we’re looking to get rid of the car by the end of the month. We didn’t think there was any limit to those 2-week permits until this warning– it actually appears that there IS no finite date by which he has to register the car. I’m confused and we def do not want to pay for parking or registration.

      • There most definite IS a limit as to how many of those 2 week passes you can get – if not, no one would ever register their car! Of course, there is almost no enforcement of this limit, but the max is supposed to be for 30 days. And like VPP, this does not solve the over night parking (ROSA) problem.

  • For the extended time frame you’re talking about, there’s really no solution besides off-street parking (unless you want to get visitor parking passes from friends who own their homes, and move it in and out of different zones every 3 weeks).

    I’ve generally found good parking deals on Craigslist. I have no idea where in DC you live, but if you’re willing to broaden the search area, you’d probably find something in the $100-150 area. I used to pay $110 (in 2012-13) for a spot in residential Mt. Pleasant, if that gives you a sense.

  • Depending on where you live, you might be able to get a visitor parking pass from the police department (max 2 weeks per pass, but we went back to the station and renewed every 2 weeks for 1.5-2 months), or you could see if a private owner in a condo building has a spot to rent. I did that in college and it was considerably cheaper than going to a private lot. I’d be hesitant to keep in parked on the street (with out of state plates) for a long stretch of time, just based on some of the comments/posts here.

    • Even with a VPP, you’re still going to get tagged for ROSA. If you don’t qualify for an exemption, I recommend looking in to off-street parking ASAP.

      • This. These permits ONLY exempt you from the time restrictions in residential zones, NOT the requirement to register or get a ROSA permit…. They can and will still ticket you for ROSA even with the pass from the police station.

  • when I moved here, I got a temporary 6 month permit before I registered my car here (I took the 6 months to decide if I wanted to keep my car). It was like $200something and was a window registration. Is this not possible any more?

    • This is was available as of late last year (my sister lived with me for 6 months and did it with her California-plated care) and much cheaper than renting a private spot for 6 months. My guess is that the OP doesn’t want to shell out the ~$200 for the temporary registration.
      However, the requirements of the temporary 6 month registration require an out-of-state license. The OP is a DC resident and has a DC driver’s license. Thus, the OP’s mother would probably need to register it as if she’s living with the OP in his/her DC residence.

  • Hi there,

    I had the same problem 6 months ago. Getting the 2 week visitors pass will not work because the parking authority will keep ticketing you without DC tags (it happened to me).

    I was told by the DMV to get a Temporary DC Resident Permit (and I did): This type of permit is valid for six months and is NOT renewable. Its a total of $250. You keep your out of state tags and your covered for 6 months of parking in your respective zone associated with your address. You might get a better response from the DMV associate if you tell them that you’re also going back to NC in 6 months (even if its just the car, they don’t need to know that).

    You need to take the following with you to the DMV:
    – Valid out-of-state driver license
    – Valid out-of-state vehicle registration with temporary DC resident’s name on registration
    – Proof of Insurance with temporary DC resident’s name on insurance as required by the issuing registration jurisdiction
    – 2 documents of Proof of DC residency (copy of current and signed lease, utility bill in your name, etc.)

    more information here:

    • This is going to be a problem for OP, since he isn’t a temporary resident, has a DC license and isn’t the registered owner of the car.

      – Valid out-of-state driver license
      – Valid out-of-state vehicle registration with temporary DC resident’s name on registration

      • can’t his mother “apply” for the permit?

        • But the application also needs 2 docs of proof of DC residency, which would not be in his mother’s name.

          • I suppose he could change his electric and cable bills to be in her name. Honestly, it seems like renting a parking space is going to be the path of least resistance here.

        • Assuming all the vehicle paperwork will remain in your mother’s name and at the out-of state address, just use her name to apply for the ROSA from your DC address. You will also need a copy of her out-of-state property deed or lease, as well as a couple of her current utility bills at the out-of-state property. I did this a couple of years ago when I was borrowing my sister’s out-of-state vehicle and there was no problem obtaining the ROSA, and it’s free.

          • Good point. The OP should just register via ROSA under the mother’s name with all the mother’s documentation (which can be faxed/mailed in!). That should resolve the issue and keep the OP in the clear for at least the year.

  • Depending on which zone you’re in, all of them but Zone 2 offer permanent visitor passes. Ask your neighbor to get you one, or just get one yourself. Pick one up here:

    • The VPP covers the car during normal parking hours (daytime, generally).
      1- the VPP explicitly states it is not to be use instead of registering a car/commuting (I’ve def reported abuses in my neighborhood)
      2- since the VPP doesn’t work overnight, the OP will still get the ROSA tickets and won’t qualify for an exemption, since they live here

    • those specifically say they don’t exempt from ROSA requirements. I had a friend use one when she stayed with me for a summer and she got a warning on her windshield a few weeks into things. She ended up parking it at her cousin’s house in Virginia.

    • You can now get a VPP in Zone 2. The District included this zone approx 2 or so months ago. I have one.
      The pass does state that the VPP does not provide an exemption to ROSA.

    • ROSA application + a VPP pass will keep OP in the clear for a looooooooooooong time. The ROSA will keep you from getting ticketed for no DC registration and the VPP will allow you to park in zone restricted spots all day long.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    FWIW even if you park it in a garage or off-street they may still get you when you go somewhere and park on the street.

    Imagine what our city would look like if the rest of DC government was as thorough and driven as parking enforcement. 🙂

  • As the car is registered to your mother and has out of state tags, you should simply apply for the ROSA under your mother’s name and using her information. I used to live in MD, driving a car with MD tags that was leased under my father’s name. I regularly stayed over in the city over the course of two years, and parking enforcement was relentless. The DMV gave me the run around when I applied for the ROSA and challenged the relating parking tickets since I was not the registered owner of the vehicle. Ultimately, I got my dad’s permission to do everything in his name, and my problems with the staggeringly incompetent DC DMV ended. Long story short, save yourself a lot of heartache and register for ROSA under your mother’s name.

    • If the car is registered to your mom applying for ROSA really is the best option. It may take a few weeks but you shouldn’t have any problem after that and you can contest any tickets you have.

      • I’m glad someone agrees! I also forgot to mention that you can do it all by mail, so no one will have the opportunity to question you as to why you’re applying as your mother.

    • Oops, didn’t see this before I left my comment. Yes, this is absolutely the best way to go about it. I did the same thing when I had my Dad’s car and never had an issue.

      CAVEAT: You won’t get a parking permit with this, or at least you didn’t when I did this. I had to keep my car parked in unzoned parking. But at least I wasn’t getting $100 tickets every day.

  • Just register the car. You will still be ticketed even in an off-street space. The total of tickets plus parking fees will be way more than the registration.

  • Is the car in your mom’s name? You can apply for ROSA in her name.

    Source: I did this when I had my dad’s car (from North Carolina also)

  • The comments about VPP are exactly why that program was a terrible idea. No one will try to scam the system, they (DDOT) said.

    • The issue they were worried about was MD and VA commuters clogging up parking during the work day around inner city Metro stops and certain residential areas that have office buildings (ahem, U Street with Reeves Center, ahem). So the city has gone on a zoning rampage with parking to get those commuters (1.) out of their cars, or (2.) into private parking spaces. VPP is still be used temporarily for guests, maintenance workers, and temporary usage of an automobile (as in the OP’s case). That’s doesn’t scream abuse to me. “Abuse” would be selling the VPP to an MD or VA commuter, which is exactly what DC was worried about.

  • Note: A ROSA exemption is NOT a parking permit, and it does NOT exempt a vehicle from DC parking regulations. For example, vehicles with ROSA exemptions are still subject to all Residential Parking Permit (RPP) restrictions in effect in the location where the vehicle is parked. – FROM the DMV website.

    Doesn’t that mean the OP would still have to move the car every 2 hours in zoned parking areas?

  • Craigslist Craigslist Craigslist. Search in MD and VA of the city is too expensive.

  • If you’re in CoHi., try monthly parking@ DCUSA, or any of the Colonial parking garages near you.

  • My parents live in Maryland and have extra space. I’ll rent you the space for $500 for the six months. Reply here with an email address if you want to discuss, or you can DM me on twitter, @ryan2499.

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