Two D.C. City Council members have introduced a bill to force city residents with out-of-town automobile license plates on their cars to switch to District tags within three months.
Currently, persons who move to the District are not required to purchase District tags, which range in price from $32 to $76, depending on the vehicle.
In addition to that cost, District residents must pay a $3 car inspection fee.
With Washington being such a transient city, where persons often come for temporary jobs and then leave after a few months, the city could be losing thousands of dollars each year in car registration fees, according to Larry Greenberg, deputy assistant director of the Bureau of Motor Vehicle Services in the D.C. Department of Transportation.
"We know that we're losing money," Greenberg said. "If a person comes to the District and does not register their car, they are getting away with up to $79."
The bill, introduced by council members Polly Shackleton (D-Ward 3) and Jerry A. Moore Jr. (R-at-Large), would have all District residents with out-of-town car tags register those cars within 90 days. Shackleton said, "This legislation is designed to eliminate the free ride which too many so-called temporary residents have taken in our city for too long."
Transportation officials pointed to high insurance rates in the District and lower car registration fees in other states as the most common reasons why persons who move here do not like to switch registrations. Also, Greenberg said, people who move here in the middle of a year often like to wait until their car registratin in their old state expires.