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Old 12-10-2008, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Orange, California
1,575 posts, read 6,048,621 times
Reputation: 746

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I recently was ticketed in the District for failure to display a front tag (referring to license plate not a sticker, I presume). While it is true that I did not have a front license plate on my car (rear only), my car is registered in Virginia and has Virginia plates. Now, I just registered it and I believe it is also improper to fail to display a front tag in Virginia too. But can DC write me a ticket for this? What if my car was from a state (such as Georgia) where rear only tags are OK? I do not see how DC can enforce a law like this that appears to be discretionary from state to state. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:47 AM
 
Location: DC
3,301 posts, read 11,192,113 times
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I think they can, because I remember I was a little late in getting my registration sticker from Pennsylvania for my car when I was at school in Virginia. My father warned me to be careful I didn't get pulled over for it in VA and to have my online printouts with me just in case (and explain how the sticker is in the mail). I know you can get pulled over if your tags are "improperly" displayed (i.e. partially hidden, etc), regardless of state, so it makes sense. Since Virginia's close it's not a big deal for DC cops to know the state law. If it was from Georgia (or Pennsylvania), which doesn't require 2 tags, you wouldn't have gotten a ticket. Whether the cop would have known for sure or not, I don't know, but Virginia's easy to spot, since they see it all day.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:11 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 4,869,794 times
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Many states have laws that say if registered in 'the home' state you have to do x,y,z (whatever) and if registered in another state you have to have some minimum or be legally registered in that other state according to that state's laws. If Virginia law says display front tags and you did not have a front tag, then you were operating a vehicle in DC against DC law (note: you will probably be paying that ticket to the DC treasury, not the VA treasury).

For example, I was ticketed (wrongly) in NY for having a dealer 'plastic thingy' around my license plate--they said it was illegal in NY to have a dealer plastic thingy over the plate, but I looked up the law and it was 'illegal if NY registered, but if registered in another state it just has to be legal in that state (which I was). Got out of that ticket.

While most DC cops probably wouldn't know the proper licensing procedure for Georgia or Utah or whatever, with VA and MD they're much more familiar with the requirements of those states and write tickets accordingly.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Orange, California
1,575 posts, read 6,048,621 times
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Thanks for the guidance. I suppose I will just pay the ticket. It is frustrating though b/c the front tag was sitting in my trunk -- I did not have a bracket or screws to mount the front plate when I received it from the Virginia DMV.
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:59 AM
 
Location: DC
3,301 posts, read 11,192,113 times
Reputation: 1354
Quote:
Originally Posted by goozer View Post
Thanks for the guidance. I suppose I will just pay the ticket. It is frustrating though b/c the front tag was sitting in my trunk -- I did not have a bracket or screws to mount the front plate when I received it from the Virginia DMV.
If you can find a dealership in the area, they will just do it for you. I didn't want to drill holes in my bumper for my 2nd plate so I just took it to Hyundai and asked them to do it.
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