“I can’t go back to Rosenthal Mazda for assistance now because they closed the dealership”

pain sculpture

“Dear PoPville,

In March 2016, I leased a new vehicle from Rosenthal Mazda in Arlington, VA. I am a DC resident, and it was the first time I had a new vehicle in DC. The dealership took care of securing the registration and DC tags since it was a new, leased vehicle. I have the registration sticker on the driver side front windshield.

There was no inspection sticker placed on the passenger side front windshield. I assumed because the vehicle was brand new, it did not require a sticker, and I’d need to get one upon my registration renewal in 2017. I had the vehicle for six months when I was suddenly ticketed this week for not displaying an inspection sticker. The ticket was $50.

Per the DMV website, “New cars will automatically get a sticker for the vehicle.” I assume the dealership should have been responsible or this, but I could be mistaken. I can’t go back to Rosenthal Mazda for assistance now because they closed the dealership in April 2016. I have contacted another dealership associated with Rosenthal, but they have not been helpful. The manager on duty at the other dealership seemed to think an inspection sticker was not needed on new, DC-registered vehicles. Per the DMV website, and as evidenced by the ticket this week, apparently a sticker is needed.

Has anyone in PoPville dealt with this situation or know what should be done?

PS – In the interim, I went to the inspection station in SW this week to get my own sticker to avoid future tickets. The inspection station would not let my vehicle go through the testing though. They directed me to the DMV office next door where I had to pay $10 to get a “duplicate inspection sticker”!”

26 Comment

  • Personally, I would pay the $10 to get an inspection sticker and the pay the $50 ticket and move on with my life. Lesson learned: don’t assume anything when it comes to the DMV, do your homework to find out exactly what your car needs and make sure you get it.

    • That’s good advice – I’m a sticker for knowing what I need, easy to find on DC DMV website, and for getting what I’m paying for (making sure I my car had 2 plates, registration sticker and inspection sticker, which I paid the dealer’s fee to have them take care of, before I left the dealership.)

  • Ashy Oldlady

    A DC new car inspection sticker should definitely come with your car. Every car I’ve ever bought in Maryland or Virginia had one, taken care of by the dealership. I also leased a car from another Rosenthal dealership, also since closed, and while I can’t remember specifics, they were also not too bright.

  • Same thing happened to me when I got a new car last year. No inspection sticker and the testing station wouldn’t give me one. I didn’t go to the DMV to get a duplicate either, so I am living my life on the edge.

    Luckily I park in a garage 90% of the time, so I haven’t gotten any other tickets.

    • But you never park on the street if you use your car.? Even driving it law enforcement noticed you without an inspection sticker its an automatic 100.00 ticket..

  • Dealership screwed up. You solved your sticker problem with $10. Write about this to the DMV, showing proof that you purchased an inspection sticker, and contest the ticket. Move on. Don’t make too much of a big deal about a relatively small problem – life is too short.

    • ah

      +1 to this. Dealership probably went out of business for service like this!

      You’ve fixed it. Dispute ticket – admit you didn’t have sticker, but explain dealership situation and that you’ve fixed it and hope they take sympathy.

  • I know this sounds condescending… but double check your paperwork and see if the sticker was in with the papers you got with your car. I thought exactly the same thing and endured three tickets before I went back and found that they had given me a sticker… hidden in the myriad of paperwork I received.

    • ah

      The dealership is supposed to apply the sticker by law. Apparently the same for plates, at least according to our dealer, who couldn’t just send us the plates that they took forever to get from DC DMV (we had to drive out to Tysons Corner so they could remove and then put in 2 screws).

      So while you were lucky to have it in the paperwork, they didn’t do what they were supposed to do (and are lucky you aren’t a crook who stuck it on another car).

    • Same. My husband didn’t see the sticker in all the paper work, and we got ticketed.

  • When the dealer applies for DC registration of a new car they’re using the Certificate of Origin to apply. Upon receipt of that certificate, the DMV would automatically issue a new vehicle inspection sticker with the registration and license. So it’s very unlikely it’s the dealership’s fault. Either DMV forgot to include it, or you didn’t realize what it was when you received it (the sticker has very small text on the back to indicate it should be put on the windshield). Either way, you can’t blame the dealership on this one. Agree with above that you should pay the $60 and move on.

  • Echoing the above statements. Pay the $10 and either pay or minimally protest the $50 and move on.
    .
    Because DC is unique among the three jurisdictions in how it does inspections (done directly by the DMV rather than at authorized private service centers, which dealers usually possess on-site), DC inspection issues are frequently a problem. This is one of many (many) reasons I don’t bother with dealers; I’d rather just go to the DMV myself than trust a middle-man to handle it.

  • Yeah, found out the hard way this isn’t the dealerships fault. Lesson learned. Pay the ticket and move on.

    • Of course it is the dealership’s fault! You are paying them to get the car registered, which includes an inspection sticker, they should install both the registration sticker AND the inspection sticker on your windshield for you so the car is legally ready to drive off the lot – that’s what you are paying them a fee for registration for! My dealership in Maryland did this for me, a DC resident, when I bought my car.

  • I understand that you had to go through an annoying hassle, but if this was solved by paying $10 for a new sticker, pay the $10 and be done with it. You just bought a new car, an additional 10 bucks – plus 50 for the ticket – is not the worst thing in the world.

  • The same thing happened to me and it WAS the dealership’s fault. Got a ticket for not having an inspection sticker a month or so after getting the car. Called the dealership. The sticker had been sent to them and they had forgotten to send it along to me.

  • I have a Mazda and went to the Arlington dealer one time close to 2 years ago just to have the battery in my key replaced. I got a call from Brown’s Fairfax Mazda last week to inform me that the Arlington location had closed and to compensate for the inconvenience, they were offering me a free oil change at the Fairfax location. Perhaps give them a call since they seem to be trying to take care of Arlington’s previous customers?

  • Agree with other posts that suggest paying the ticket and the $10 and moving on, but if you weren’t sure who to contact I would assume you would raise this issue with whatever dealership you now interact with for the other aspects of your lease and the remainder of your lease…since there’s got to be one when it comes time to return or purchase the vehicle, etc…

  • I decided to keep my old plates, transfer the remaining time on the registration, and have the dealership handle the paperwork. I drove off the lot with temporary (Maryland) plates, and after a while, the new registration/RPP sticker and inspection sticker arrived in the mail. Since it was convenient, I had the dealership put the new plates on, and they put the two stickers on. Also, for new cars, you get four years until your first inspection, not just two years.

  • For what its worth I feel like dealerships mess up more than not. I bought a new car in VA, already had DC plates and they put my old plates on my new car. A week later, I got a ticket for no registration and having illegal plates on my car (200+ worth of tickets). So, in VA you can just transfer the plates but not in DC, the dealership is supposed to issue temp plates while they wait for the new registration. Then once they get it, put your old plates on and the registration sticker. Anyways, the dealership to their credit took care of everything and paid my tickets since it was their fault. I would see if they will pay your ticket as well as the 10 dollar fee to get the replacement sticker.

    • My dealership was in Maryland (Bethesda), so perhaps they had more experience with selling cars to DC residents who were keeping their old plates. I was puzzled about the need to have temporary plates, but hearing your experience, now I know. And they did have me take home my old plates for safe-keeping, and bring them back with the registration to put them on. Glad to hear that your dealership took responsibility for their error.

  • I was in a same situation about two years ago; they never issued me a sticker at DMV for a brand new car. They did end up giving me a new sticker for free and I was able to fight tix through regular process in person. 3 of my $50.00 tickets (all given out same week on the Hill) were reduced from $150.00 to $75.00. The judge was an ***, but I appealed to their supervisor and was able to at least reduce some of them. Good Luck!

  • This happened to me. I went to the DMV and paid $10 for the inspection sticker just like you did. I mentioned the ticket to the DMV clerk and she said to contest it online and I won so didn’t have to pay the ticket. I think this is a common problem because another friend who had bought a car in VA hadn’t gotten a new car inspection sticker either, but he came to the DMV with me and got his before getting a ticket.

  • So you had to pay $60 to solve a problem caused by you “assuming” you didn’t need a sticker and not bothering to check….no sympathy.