D.C. Council Debates Towing Cars With Expired Tags

AAA in favor of fines, not tows

By Tom Sherwood
|  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011  |  Updated 8:07 PM EDT
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After lots of complaints, the District is no longer arresting drivers whose vehicles have expired plates or expired registration. Now the city's trying to decide whether your car with those expired tags should be towed and impounded.

Tom Sherwood

After lots of complaints, the District is no longer arresting drivers whose vehicles have expired plates or expired registration. Now the city's trying to decide whether your car with those expired tags should be towed and impounded.

After many complaints, D.C. is no longer arresting drivers whose vehicles have expired plates or expired registration, but now the city's trying to decide whether cars with expired tags should be towed and impounded.

Whether it’s registered in D.C., the suburbs or elsewhere, there's a big city fine if a vehicle’s registration isn’t up to date and the vehicle can be towed off the streets at great expense to the driver.

Triple A's John Townsend urged the D.C. Council to change the city law. Just fine people for expired tags, don't tow them, he suggested.

D.C. Council member Mary Cheh said that she thought towing might be too tough a penalty and seemed to favor the fines.

Police said they need the power to tow vehicles to insure they're safe and not being used illegally. The threat of impoundment helps insure compliance, Assistant Police Chief Patrick Burke said.

Unless and until the law is changed, cars can be towed if the registration has been expired for more than 30 days.

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