During this time of D.C. budget shortfalls, one would think that District agencies would be trying to collect as much money as possible. But that's not the case with the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

Since early summer our tenants have complained that the DMV is requiring them to have an original lease before they can obtain a driver's license or register their cars. The problem is that most tenants do not have the original lease -- the landlord does. As a result, we must produce a notarized letter stating that the lease is a true copy of what the tenants signed.

Why discourage newcomers from registering their cars in the District? Why is a photocopy of a lease not sufficient, particularly if signed by the landlord or rental agency?

Is the District afraid that it will be overrun with people from Missouri, Texas and California who suddenly want to register their cars so they can park free on its streets? Do these potential parkers have the wherewithal to create fake leases?

Our tenants should be able to register their cars and get D.C. driver's licenses with the line at the DMV being the only obstruction.

BUCK WALLER

Washington

The writer is president of Yarmouth Management, a rental agency on Capitol Hill.