D.C. Temporarily Suspending Tickets for Drivers With Unglued Registration Stickers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There's a sticky situation going on in the District right now -- some of the city's vehicle registration stickers aren't staying on windshields like they're supposed to.

    People are complaining about getting $50 tickets when the stickers peel or fall off, and now the D.C. DMV has stopped issuing tickets for those whose registration stickers aren't securely adhered.

    In D.C., the registration sticker is required to appear in your car's windshield, and there are big fines if one is obscured or missing.

    Just ask Nicole Grooms, who runs a small transportation service for disabled children. One of her stickers came unstuck and she faced fines totaling $250.

    "It was actually on the dashboard, and I received a ticket on Georgia Avenue NW," she said.

    Some community groups and AAA have complained that too many tickets were being written for stickers that in some cases simply fall off.

    "We know that at least 10,000 tickets have been written for missing stickers or stickers that have fallen off in the last year or so," said John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic. "We don't know why those stickers are missing."

    And neither does the city government, which is now investigating.

    D.C. Department of Public Works Director Bill Howland said he told city ticket writers this week to temporarily stop writing tickets for unattached stickers until the mystery is solved.

    D.C. DMV Director Lucinda Babers is asking anyone with unglued stickers to email them or call 311 to receive a replacement in the mail. They're also asking drivers to mail in the old ones so they can be studied by the private glue company.

    "...[W]as it a bad batch? What's the problem; is it a certain batch; is it truly the adhesive such that they're all going to fall off? We just don't know what the issue is yet," she said.

    Before paying her steep fine, Grooms decided to take matters into her own hands.

    "I actually got in touch with Ms. Babers, and the issue is now resolved," she said.

    Townsend said this issue has happened elsewhere: "...[W]e have seen this problem crop up in other cities, Chicago, New York state, and it's because the way they're being manufactured."

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