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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    2

    Default Parking Infraction, "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: Washington

    I see a bunch of other discussion on this topic when I search, but none of them answered my question. I received a parking infraction for "Improper License Display" under Seattle Municipal Code 11.72.145. I parked my motorcycle on a city street in Seattle with expired tabs (09/2010). The catch is the tabs were renewed on time (so my registration is current), but I simply forgot to put the new stickers on since I don't ride it much in the winter. SMC 11.72.145 states that you can't park on a city street not "having displayed current and proper vehicle license plates thereon as provided in RCW Chapter 46.16". So I am digging through RCW 46.16 but I cannot locate the section talking specifically about having to have valid stickers on your plate. Can someone point me to the RCW section that I am in violation of?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,100

    Default Re: Parking Infraction "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to operate any vehicle over and along a public highway of this state without first having obtained and having in full force and effect a current and proper vehicle license and display vehicle license number plates as provided by this chapter.
    that one right there will do it. Without the sticker, you do not have a current and proper vehicle license displayed on your vehicle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    2

    Default Re: Parking Infraction "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    that one right there will do it. Without the sticker, you do not have a current and proper vehicle license displayed on your vehicle.
    I promise I'm not trying to be difficult, but then where does it define current and proper? I don't see anywhere where it mentions that current stickers are required for the license to be current and proper. My registration was current.

    The reason I'm being a stickler is because the SMC states that per RCW 46.16 I am in violation. But nowhere in 46.16 (that I can find) says that I have to have stickers on my plate that are current (again, the underlying registration was current). If RCW 46.16 doesn't say it, then I am not in violation. If "current and proper" is defined somewhere else (say on the registration itself) then that's not contained within 46.16.

    I know, I know...it's just a $42 parking ticket and I would need to go to court to mitigate or contest it, but I just had a baby and $42 isn't something I want to spend on something I can fight or get reduced.

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,100

    Default Re: Parking Infraction "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    The statute says:

    first having obtained and having in full force and effect a current and proper vehicle license and display vehicle license number plates as provided by this chapter


    since your plate is not current without the sticker, you are not displaying a current and proper vehicle license as required.

    even you yourself accepted the fact your plates were not legal.

    I parked my motorcycle on a city street in Seattle with expired tabs (09/2010)
    and 5 months ?

    as to current and proper; at least for current, check Websters dictionary. If a term is not specifically defined, the common usage definition is what is applied.

    and if you really need the section stating more specifically how it is to be mounted:


    RCW 46.16.240
    Attachment of plates to vehicles — Violations enumerated. (Effective until July 1, 2011.)

    The vehicle license number plates shall be attached conspicuously at the front and rear of each vehicle for which the same are issued and in such a manner that they can be plainly seen and read at all times. However, if only one license number plate is legally issued for any vehicle such plate shall be conspicuously attached to the rear of such vehicle. Each vehicle license number plate shall be placed or hung in a horizontal position at a distance of not more than four feet from the ground and shall be kept clean so as to be plainly seen and read at all times. In cases where the body construction of the vehicle is such that compliance with this section is impossible, permission to deviate therefrom may be granted by the state patrol. It shall be unlawful to display upon the front or rear of any vehicle, vehicle license number plate or plates other than those furnished by the director for such vehicle or to display upon any vehicle any vehicle license number plate or plates which have been in any manner changed, altered, disfigured or have become illegible. License plate frames may be used on vehicle license number plates only if the frames do not obscure license tabs or identifying letters or numbers on the plates and the plates can be plainly seen and read at all times. It is unlawful to use any holders, frames, or any materials that in any manner change, alter, or make the vehicle license number plates illegible. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any vehicle unless there shall be displayed thereon valid vehicle license number plates attached as herein provided.


    [2006 c 326 § 1. Prior: 1987 c 330 § 704

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Parking Infraction "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    Hello,

    I found this explanation and the web site is listed below: WAC 308-96A-295
    No agency filings affecting this section since 2003
    Display of tabs.
    (1) What are tabs?

    Tabs are decals affixed to the rear license plate as indicated on the license plate to identify the registration expiration month or year for a specific vehicle.

    (2) Which tabs are valid to be displayed on the vehicle license plate? Tabs depicting the current registration expiration month and year must be displayed on the rear vehicle license plate in the area designated on the license plate. Expired month and year tabs may be displayed on the front vehicle license plate for vehicles that are required to display a front license plate.

    (3) Does this rule apply to all vehicles? No, vehicles registered under the provisions of the International Registration Plan must display tabs depicting current registration expiration month and year on both the front and rear vehicle license plates of the power unit.

    (4) When is the requirement for rear license plate tabs effective? The requirement for rear license plate tabs is effective for vehicle registration expiration periods after December 31, 2001.

    Here is the web site -
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.a...te=308-96A-295

    From what I can gather, the fact that you did not have the current "tabs" on your plate was the basis for the ticket. It also appears that a reference, although not very specific, is made in this statute indicating that not only must the plate be displayed but it must have the current tabs displayed as indicated in the 46.16 section. The problem I have is there should be another reference after the 46.16 like 46.16.?? Then there would be a specific section that you can refer to as you are saying in your inquiry.

    Does that help?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Parking Infraction, "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    Hi doubleoevan - What did you end up doing? Contesting or Mitigating the ticket? I just had the same thing happen to me, and am a grad student so also not wanting to pay if I don't have to. It sounds like the better route might be to Mitigate rather than Contest because the legal language makes it sound like the infraction is for not displaying, even if your registration is current (although I think it is not stated clearly enough, personally). Does anyone know if others have been able to Contest this type of ticket successfully? Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Parking Infraction, "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    Like I've said before. It might take all of 2 minutes to put the stickers on. You've had MONTHS to do so regardless of whether you drive it in the winter or not. My stepdad has 2 motorcycles. It doesn't matter what the weather is like, he still takes the few minutes to put the stickers on. Its a once a year ordeal that takes a few minutes if that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Parking Infraction, "Improper License Display" for Expired Tabs

    shelbydakota - um, that really isn't the point now, is it? Of course hindsight is 20/20, and all of us in this situation would have taken the time to put the sticker on if we'd known the consequences. Trying to make us feel bad about something we can't change isn't very productive. The whole point is that we DIDN'T know that we could get tickets for this, especially since registration is recorded in the police system and can be verified by a policeman with or without a sticker in place. And for me at least, the laws are different in WA than in the state from which I recently moved, so there were various factors that played into not putting the sticker on. Have you never forgotten to do something that had unanticipated consequences??

    Anyway, for the rest of the people who might read this that are looking for guidance - I'll try to remember to come back and report the outcome of my "parking ticket for no tabs displayed" situation. I plan to plead guilty with request for mitigation, which I can do by mail and does NOT require a court appearance (in Seattle at least), and it might reduce the fine. Thanks to everyone else that provided the information that helped me figure out that not displaying tabs - regardless of having current registration - is the impetus for the ticket. Having current registration is probably a good reason to request mitigation, and it certainly doesn't hurt to try.

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