About those New ‘Expired’ Visitor Parking Passes You Got in the Mail


“Dear PoPville,

I received in the mail today a new Visitor Parking Pass for 2013-14, which expired in September. I understand that they are actually valid through the end of the year, but why go through the expense and effort of sending out new passes this late in the year?

Maybe it’s a DDOT holiday gift? Maybe it’s the thought that counts?

Curious if any POPvillagers have received new passes as well…

Oh, and in anticipation of potential comments —

1) we already have a VPP for 2013-14 (so this isn’t in response to a request)

2) the envelope doesn’t look like it was lost in the mail for months (so it’s not an issue of it having been lost in USPS’s hands for most of the year)”

another reader writes:

“A few weeks ago I registered for a 2015 parking pass from DDOT. So I was surprised today to receive in the mail an expired 2014 parking pass, along with a letter that says my “new” pass is valid from Oct. 1, 2013-Sept. 31, 2014. Is this a glitch? Am I alone, or did this happen to people all over the city? I know this particular DC program has been a garbage fire for a while now, so I’m eager to learn whether we’re witnessing new depths of incompetence.

For the record, DC will continue to recognize the 2014 parking passes through Dec. 31 of this year. But it still makes no sense to send out the letter and pass shown in the attached photograph.”

Last night in trying to clear up some of the confusion @DDOTDC tweeted:

“Regarding VPP, If you registered b4 the 2015 pass opened Oct. 1, you were sent a 2014 pass. You will get a 2015 pass by December 31, 2014.”

Ed. Note: Reminds me a bit of the upside down flag fiasco.

UPDATE from Judi Gold – Deputy Director, Constituent Services – Councilmember Muriel Bowser:

“Some of you have been in contact with us regarding the expiration date on your new Visitor Parking Permits. I have been in touch with DDOT and they have provided the following information.

More than 22,000 residents have registered for a 2015 Visitor Parking Pass (VPP). An additional 3,900 residents registered and may have received a 2014 Pass in error. Furthermore, the website and the letter mailed with the 2014 VPPs were confusing. We take full responsibility for all of this. Please note that every resident who registered for a Visitor’s Parking Pass between August and December 15th will receive a 2015 VPP by December 31st. If you experience problems registering for Visitor Parking Pass online, please contact DDOT’s call center at (202) 671-2700.”

34 Comment

  • I got one of those letters a few months ago, so maybe yours was actually “lost” in the mail or just sent out late?

  • Yes, I received the same thing in the mail yesterday. I registered for my 2015 pass and got another 2014 pass.

  • Mug of Glop

    I just got mine yesterday, too. I applied in mid-August for the pass. So they took five months to process my application and send me a two-months-expired parking pass. (The date mailed was 3 December, according to the website.) Just reapplied for a 2015 pass. I look forward to receiving it in May.

  • We registered on November 22 and received the expired passes. The confirmation email said “Please note that you are pre-registering for a 2015 visitor parking pass, and that you will not receive your pass until a set date.”

  • “If you registered b4 the 2015 pass opened Oct. 1, you were sent a 2014 pass. You will get a 2015 pass by December 31, 2014”

    – only this isn’t true. I registered after October 1st, as instructed, (In fact October 30th to be precise) and still received the 2014 pass – a month later. When I called wondering what was going on, they told me I was not registered to receive the 2015 pass – so they had to do that for me over the phone.

  • I just got mine in the mail yesterday, too! Too many lolz were had.

  • SusanRH

    What a shambles, who possibly thought it was a good idea to send these out? I applied for my 2014 pass in May and got my expired pass yesterday. I guess I can look forward to receiving my expired 2015 pass next December. What a colossal waste of money, think of the printing and postage costs alone.

  • I also received this yesterday, despite already having a 2014 pass. I registered for the 2015 pass in early October, right after registration opened.
    WTF DDOT? Get your act together. This is such an absurd waste of money.

  • Yep, I got one yesterday as well (after being told it would be in the mail before Thanksgiving). Now if I could just get the 2015 pass that I registered for…

  • I just tried to register and was told I am already in possession of one that expires in December 2015. News to me because the one in my hands says expiration Sept. 2014!

  • Classic DC ineptitude. Now I don’t know when to apply for my new pass- now or when DDOT finally fesses up that they screwed this up big time and fixes the system/employees/etc… What a drag.

  • I got an expired pass yesterday too and was thoroughly confused. Glad I’m not the only one lol.

  • I looked in my mailbox, and sure enough, I’ve received 2014 passes for the two addresses I registered for (and already had passes for).
    I checked the two sets of confirmation codes I had. It looks like the passes I applied for on 8/25/14 — when I thought I was pre-registering for the 2015 passes — were mailed on 12/3/14. So I’m assuming those are the 2014 ones I just received.
    The ones I applied for on 11/24/14 were mailed on 12/8/14. I’m hoping that they will actually be 2015 passes and will arrive in the next few days.

    • My 2015 passes just arrived in today’s mail.
      I wonder how much DDOT spent printing and mailing 2014 passes for people who already had them and thought they were pre-registering for the 2015 passes.

  • Yep, just talked to them this morning. Looks like “replacement 2014” passes were mailed December 3rd. That means you registered before October 1st according to their system (even though you thought you were registering for 2015). APPARENTLY 2015 passes were mailed December 8th? What a mess!

  • I also received my 2014 pass yesterday in the mail. I applied for it in August. Not really that upset about not getting it until now. What I am upset about is this: The envelope has a “Visitor Parking Pass Enclosed” graphic on it and the envelope was opened. It appears someone was about to steal it but saw it “expired” on September 30, 2014 (I know it’s good until the end of the year) and didn’t end up taking it.

    I’m thinking of reporting it to USPS and then writing my city council person to see if they can get DDOT to *not* advertise on the envelope that there’s a parking pass enclosed.

    • One of mine was also opened, but it looked too neatly done (to me, anyway) to be by a would-be VPP-stealer — I assumed it was some kind of incompetence on the DDOT end of things.

  • Has anybody had any luck on the phone with these people as to what they may do?

    • I also received a 2014 VPP in response to my November (!) request for a VPP. I just called DDOT and they resubmitted my request for a 2015 VPP.

  • DDOT was evidently finishing up on 2014 VPP requests. I received my 2015 VPP in the mail today.

  • This is the same incompetent agency that makes DC drivers paste a ridiculous sticker insider their windshields that requires a razor or Goo-Gone to remove when updating vehicle registrations each year. Every state in America manages to handle vehicle registration somewhat competently (usually a small license plate decal) but DC figures out a way to do it in the stupidest and least convenient way possible. The idiocy of the people in DC government is truly staggering.

    • They do that so that a license plate thief doesn’t get the registration sticker. Texas and New York both put them on the windshield, too.

      • So I guess that works because car windows are never broken into in DC, amirite? Even if DC’s motivation is to deter theft of registrations, I have to think there is a less-stupid solution than using ridiculous sticky gunk that requires razors for removal. Really, we can put people on the Moon but we have no better system for vehicle registration/adhesives?

        As to your post below, the fact that multiple agencies are incompetent isn’t a vindication of DCgov, it just means incompetence is widespread.

        • Recently, people have been complaining that the adhesive for the registration stickers isn’t tough enough and that they fall off prematurely. Maybe you haven’t received a new registration sticker for a while? (Or perhaps you’ve moved out of the District as a result of your disgust with the D.C. government, opinion that D.C. deserves no voting rights, etc.?)

    • Also, it’s actually not the same agency. DMV does the registration stickers, DDOT does the parking passes.

    • Hey, at least you don’t live in VA where they require that you put a yellow inspection right in the middle of the windshield in your field of vision. Now THAT is idiotic.

  • back in the day the reg stickers were on license plates but were moved due to theft

  • My 2015 VPP came in the mail today (I registered a few weeks ago)

  • MD Representative Andy Harris should be able to help solve this problem!


  • none of this answers the question: instead of mailing out postcards telling people to register online for a VPP to be mailed to them, why didn’t DDOT just mail out new VPPs? They clearly had all our addresses. They could have even designed one that was postcard sized and had our addresses on them to save on postage.

    Then only if you had a weird situation (moved and the prior owner didn’t leave you a VPP, car broken into and VPP stolen, etc.) would you have to use the online request system. Or, even better, they could have just added it as a function on the 311 website.

    Hope whoever Bowser puts in charge of DDOT is better. The printing, postage, and staff costs of sending out all these 2014 passes could probably have gotten at least one family out of DC General (hey–I just had another brilliant idea! could they pay folks at DC General who don’t have other jobs to stuff and mail the 2015 VPPs?)

  • Humm. I vaguely remember trying to register online after Oct. 1, and being told that I needed to come back after Oct. to register for 2015. I only vaguely remember bc once I found a way around that, I encountered another error with the system – said that my address is not eligible. Even though I’m in a ward that it said is eligible and my address is zoned residential according to another DC Gov website that I used to look up my address. All of this took like 45 minutes, and I was so annoyed to realize that I was going to have to call DDOT to get it straight and probably was another hour on the phone. So, great.

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