Parking ticket despite displaying a visitor pass?

fight_dc_parking_ticket
Photo by PoPville flickr user JoshBassett|PHOTOGRAPHY

“Dear PoPville,

I just got a ticket and I can’t understand why, or what to do about it.

My parents live just outside DC, and I occasionally borrow their car for a few days at a time and leave it parked on my street. This morning I had a $100 ticket for “failing to secure DC tags” despite a valid Visitor Parking Pass clearly visible on the dashboard. The pass doesn’t expire until Sept. 30.

The ticket also claims that they issued a warning on July 29th, though I never saw it. I don’t know if they put it on the car (in which case it must have blown away) or mailed it (in which case it must have gotten lost in the mail).

In any case, does that really mean that a car with Maryland plates can’t visit the District twice, 6 weeks apart? Since I had the parking pass I don’t know what else I could have possibly done. Does this mean my parents risk a ticket every time they drive and park at my house?

It wouldn’t be too inconvenient for me to visit the courthouse and argue the ticket in person, do you think it’s worth a try?”

Side Note: Another reader sends yesterday:

“I can’t say I’m in the habit of reading government reports, but this one caught my attentionDC’s office of the inspector general started looking into the red light cameras, speed cameras, and parking tickets issued by various agencies. One senior official in DC is quoted as saying that the traffic ticket system means that you are “guilty until proven innocent…and this system has worked incredibly well for us [DC? elected officials?].” Anyway, I thought it may be of interest to POPville readers, as many of us get tickets we think we don’t deserve, but pay anyway…and, as it turns out, we might be right.”

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