Today is the deadline for getting 1982 auto renewal tag stickers in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
Long lines formed outside tag sales offices in both jurisdictions yesterday as laggardly motorists waited to buy stickers they could have purchased earlier by mail.
At Gaithersburg, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration reported a wait of up to two hours. In Washington, Robert O.D. Thompson, head of the D.C. licensing agency, said yesterday was "probably the busiest day we've had, and I expect a repeat" today, with about 15,000 car owners expected at Municipal Center, 301 C St. NW, and three satellite locations.
Thompson estimated about 215,000 D.C. stickers were sold by yesterday. A sizeable after-deadline business also is expected until more than 260,000 vehicles are registered, he said.
Of Maryland's 2.3 million vehicles, an estimated 185,000 still had not been registered as of yesterday, MVA spokeswoman Agnes Stoicis reported.
In both jurisdictions, those waiting at the scheduled closing hours will be permitted to buy the stickers. Both jurisdictions also require that all outstanding tickets be paid before the stickers can be purchased.
In Maryland, those missing the deadline may be subjected to a ticket costing as much as $500, a level rarely if ever imposed. The law permits tickets to be issued to cars parked on public roads, public and private parking lots and college campuses. In the District, tickets cost $20 for cars driven after the deadline and $10 for cars ticketed while parked on public space.
License renewals in Virginia are rotated on a month-by-month basis.