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Ticketed for expired tabs on a parked vehicle (RCW 11.33.060.A.34) Up-to-date tabs were in the mail. Contest or mitigate?

Bellingham, WA |

The language in the statute prohibits parking "Upon any street or alley when such vehicle does not display current and proper vehicle license plates for the state in which it is purported to be registered."

I don't drive often, and was given two tickets in four days. Having just returned from a month on the east coast, I had not yet fished my new tabs out of the mail.

I'd rather not pay $40 for an expired license on a technicality, but need to know whether to request a hearing to contest or to mitigate. Because the statute reads "does not display," I'm nervous about trying to contest.

Thoughts?

To clarify - the license had already been renewed, and the tabs had already been mailed at the time of ticketing, but tabs were not yet stuck on the vehicle.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Expired tabs is a nonmoving offense that won't affect your insurance, though you should not ignore the tickets or you would face licensing consequences.

Also, an officer can choose to impound (tow) your vehicle if the tabs are expired for more than 45 days. You should get current tabs so that you avoid more tickets. As for fighting the tickets, it's up to you but it is probably a waste of time given the amounts and given that these tickets will not affect your insurance. Good luck.

This answer is given merely for informational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice, contact an attorney in your state to see if working together makes sense.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

As mentioned in the question, the license had already been renewed, but tabs were not yet stuck on the vehicle. I am going to court. Do I contest or mitigate?

Jon Michael Zimmerman

Jon Michael Zimmerman

Posted

The tabs are not up to date as far as ticketing is concerned if they are not properly affixed to the vehicle. "In the mail" might mean your registration is current, but the tabs need to be on the vehicle to be compliant with the law. If you mitigate you will likely get a reduction of the fine, and for a nonmoving offense this might be the way to go. The choice is yours.

Asker

Posted

Thanks! That's a big help.

Posted

If you can show that you have the actual license tab in your possession but has not affixed it to the license plate, the court likely will reduce or entirely dismiss the ticket.

However, to get to that point, in most places, you would need to be sitting in court for usually two or three hours. You need to add the time you will be spending driving to and from the court.

If you have to take time off from work, how much is that time worth to you?

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

As mentioned in the question, the license had already been renewed, but tabs were not yet stuck on the vehicle. I am going to court. Do I contest or mitigate?

Posted

I agree with both previous answers and you should mitigate because you appear to have comitted the infraction, but had paid the tabs and had an excuse.

Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

thanks!

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