Ticketbuster: Md. and Va. residents get tickets in D.C. during overnight hours

WASHINGTON — If you park overnight in D.C., you can get a ticket if you don’t have a D.C. license plate. It’s an issue for Maryland and Virginia residents frequently brought to WTOP Ticketbuster’s attention.

“I received ticket in D.C. for failure to secure D.C. tag on August 11, 2014. I was parked at my grandmother’s house overnight and had a temporary visitor parking permit from 4th District police station. I received a $100 ticket anyway,” writes Briona Williams.

“[DMV] states that I can still get a ticket even if I have a permit because my car is not registered in D.C. But that’s what the visitor permit is for. Please help,” she concluded.

Visitor parking passes (VPPs) allow people from Maryland or Virginia to park for more than two hours in residential areas of the District, also known as RPP zones. However, VPPs do not allow frequent visitors to park overnight on a regular basis.

“A VPP is only in effect during the hours of the RPP restrictions. If a resident has guests that stay overnight regularly, then the visitors must register their vehicles through the Registration of Out of State Automobile (ROSA) program once a Warning Citation is issued by DPW parking enforcement personnel,” DDOT writes in their online FAQ.

In Williams’ case, DPW likely spotted her car twice within 180 days without a D.C. license plate. An officer would then place a warning notice on her car.

“If you’re a recurring visitor (frequent short term visits), report to a DMV service center with a copy of your warning notice and prove your non-residency,” the notice says.

You will need to request a Registration of Out-of-State Automobile (ROSA) exemption. Any D.C. DMV service center can issue one.

In order to receive one, you must present your Maryland or Virginia driver’s license; a copy of your lease, deed or mortgage statement; and a current utility bill. The documents should list the same address as the registration on your car. You must also bring a copy of the warning notice.

If you don’t get such an exemption, then you will be subject to $100 tickets.

Tim Brannon points out that this affects a lot people who work overnights.

“If federal employees, government personnel, or business owners-employees may have their vehicles impounded simply for parking on the streets of D.C. without D.C. tags unless they are registered as a recurring visitor, perhaps this needs to be better publicized,” he writes.

On Aug. 19, Brannon received a DPW warning outside his office at 300 C Street, in Southwest, at 12:43 a.m. Brannon tells WTOP that he’ll be going to a DMV to get the proper ROSA exemption.

Overnight WTOP employees also have received similar warnings and $100 tickets, as have many federal employees working the overnight shift.

“Once you receive an exemption from ROSA, your vehicle license tag number will be entered into the District’s ticket management system. The exemption applies to ROSA enforcement only. All other parking regulations still apply, such as residential parking. You will receive a receipt for your records indicating the exemption expiration date,” writes the D.C. DMV.

If you do receive a ticket, you can challenge it to the D.C. DMV. Present the same documents you used to receive the ROSA exemption, along with the receipt of the ROSA exemption expiration date. If the documents match up to the ticket, DMV will dismiss it.

If you think you’re the victim of a bogus speed camera, red-light camera or parking ticket in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, WTOP may be able to help you cut the red tape. Email us the details of your case — along with documentation — to ticketbuster@wtop.com.

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