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D.C. lost $72 million in parking fines during the pandemic. That will change as city resumes enforcement.

Full parking enforcement, DMV requirements and an amnesty deal for drivers with outstanding ticket debt begin June 1

Eleventh Street NE near H Street in Washington. (Justin T. Gellerson for The Washington Post)

For those who park in the nation’s capital, it’s time to start feeding the parking meter again — or expect a ticket on your windshield.

The city’s 240 parking officers are resuming full enforcement of parking regulations Tuesday, ending a 14-month break that saved residents and visitors millions of dollars in fees and fines.

Also returning June 1: towing of illegally parked vehicles and requirements to renew vehicle registrations and inspections. The city is also launching a four-month amnesty program for drivers with outstanding tickets, giving them a chance to pay overdue parking, photo-enforcement and moving violations without penalties.

D.C. to offer amnesty for overdue tickets, as ticketing for all parking violations resumes

The changes are another signal that normal travel patterns are making a comeback in the Washington region more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic began. Traffic levels continue to rebound as more employers reopen downtown offices and businesses move toward normal operations.

The District recently lifted capacity and other restrictions on most businesses and public venues, and restrictions on bars and nightclubs, large entertainment venues and sports arenas will end June 11. Parking shortages have increased as restrictions have lifted and more people are going out.

“We have started moving around again,” Deputy Mayor Lucinda M. Babers said. “We expect that people will come back into the city. They’ll come to the city to go to restaurants, to go to museums that are reopening. They can expect more enforcement to be out in full force.”

The city has lost about $72 million in fines since March 2020, when it eased parking restrictions and suspended the issuing of fines in residential, school and commercial zones, according to estimates from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Revenue from parking enforcement had been on the rise before the pandemic hit.

From October 2019 to March 2020, the city collected $35.8 million in parking-related fines, up nearly $4 million compared with the same six-month period a year earlier. That amount dropped significantly after the city shut down in mid-March last year. The first six months of the pandemic delivered $1 million in parking fines, down by $35 million.

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Revenue from parking meters also tumbled. The city went from collecting $52.5 million in meter revenue in fiscal year 2019 to $29.7 million in fiscal year 2020, which ended in September.

Here’s what you need to know about the changes drivers and other users of D.C. streets will see starting June 1.

Parking enforcement begins

Enforcement officers will resume ticketing for expired meters, overstayed parking in residential zones, expired residential parking tickets and expired vehicle tags. City employees also will ticket and tow in “No Parking” zones and will remove abandoned vehicles.

Street sweeping in residential zones will resume, which means vehicles parked in those zones during sweeping hours will be ticketed.

Rush-hour operations and parking restrictions will return along major corridors, except for Connecticut Avenue.

Parking enforcement in school zones already is underway, resuming in late March.

DMV requirements return

All D.C.-registered vehicles must display valid registration and inspection stickers. Residents can renew their registration online or by mail. The inspection station in Southwest operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Requirements for up-to-date inspections and registrations had been suspended during the public health emergency.

In July, the city will resume booting vehicles with two or more outstanding tickets that are more than 60 days old.

All D.C. driver’s licenses and ID cards that expired during the pandemic grace period must be renewed before July 1. Appointments are required as DMV service centers are not accepting walk-ins for registrations and licensing services.

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Ticket amnesty program begins

The District Department of Motor Vehicles is offering a deal it hasn’t granted since 2011: amnesty.

All overdue parking, photo-enforcement and moving violations can be paid without penalties, which means drivers with overdue tickets will essentially pay half because fines double after 30 days. The amnesty program will run from June 1 to Sept. 30.

City officials say they hope D.C., Maryland and Virginia residents who owe part of the $500 million in outstanding fines will take advantage of the program.

Have an expired Maryland license? Get it renewed before Aug. 15.

In the District, residents who have accumulated more than $100 in outstanding tickets are required to pay those fines to renew a driver’s license or vehicle registration. Babers said some residents have not had drivers’ licenses because of the debt, adding that they can pay without the penalties during the grace period.

“We are removing the penalties from tickets and allowing people to pay the original ticket,” she said. “We want to be able to provide some type of relief.”

The program gives delinquent motorists an incentive to pay older outstanding tickets, said John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. But in the past, few people have taken advantage of it.

The last time the city offered amnesty a decade ago, only a small fraction of the debt was paid. According to AAA, the District had more than $233 million in ticket debt at that time, and collected $3.5 million.

Cost of residential parking goes up

The cost of residential street parking permits is going up Tuesday. Households with multiple cars will pay more for permits to park on streets where nonresident parking is limited or prohibited.

The cost will jump from $35 to $50 for the first registered car. A second vehicle will cost $75, a third $100 and every vehicle thereafter will be $150.

Car owners 65 or older will pay a $35 annual fee for the first vehicle registered, up from $25.