The city government has acknowledged that several hundred District residents still waiting for the D.C. Department of Transportation to mail them renewal applications for residential parking permits may never receive the forms.
Last year, an undetermined number of residential permit parking registration forms from Ward 3 were either lost or erroneously processed and later weeded out of the computer director of the DOT parking division. Most of the lost or wrongly processed forms were from Georgetown residents, he said.
"In the crunch of 1977 when we were putting in hundreds of applications at a time, some were possibly lost, misplaced or didn't go through the computer," Caponiti explained. "This year it appears several hundred people did not get renewal notices."
Caponiti said 7,000 Ward 3 residents were issued permit parking stickers last year, including 4,300 applicants who lived in Georgetown. During the registration process, he said, additional clerks were temporarily assigned to the parking division, and permits were wrongly issued to people who gave fraudulent addresses and residents who lived on streets later excluded from permit parking. Caponiti said many of these people have since been weeded out and will not receive renewal applications although they may expect them.
Still, "We're having a hard time finding out who hasn't responded. We don't know how many (eligible people without stickers) are left," he said.
"We spend a lot of our time screening out the fraudulent applications and people who are honestly mistaken," Caponiti continued. In areas close to downtown, he said the stickers are worth about $800 in parking garage costs.
On Aug. 25, Caponiti said, the transportation department issued public notices in city newspaper to inform residents of th problem. Permit parking area library and an Advisory neighborhood Commission office.
The police department of corporation counsel's office were informed of the computer snafu and a 15-day grace period, from Sept. 1 to 15, was provided to give Ward 3 residents more time to register.
Residents can clarify their eligibility and receive renewal forms at 301 C St. NW, the residential permit desk, Room 1157 between 8:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Applications are also available at the Georgetown Library at Wisconsin Avenue and R Street NW and the ANC 3A office, 1215 28th St. NW.
Or call the permit parking office at 347-5569. On Oct. 6, the numbers will change to 727-5409 for the permit parking office and 727-5717 or 727-5623 for the parking division office.
During the grace period most cars were not ticketed, and tickets were dismissed on the few that were if the violation was the transportation department's fault, according to Ward 3 City Council member Polly Schackleton.
Caponiti said he did not know if the grace period would be extended.However, owners of cars ticketed for permit violations can present their cases before the corporation counsel, he said, where each ticket will be handled individually.
Eligible residents must live on a permit parking street and have D.C. tags on their car, he said.
Individuals exempt from the D.C. tag requirement include unemployed students, persons assigned to active military duty, congressional appointees working for a home state congressman, or senator and certain presidential appointees.
Exempt individuals must renew their permits in person, said Caponiti.