My question involves traffic tickets from the state of: Washington
New poster here with an unusual question I can't find a good answer to anywhere. Apologies if this belongs in the car registration section, and also for the wordy post, just trying to head off any questions and convey the info accurately.
I'm an Oregon resident who occasionally commutes from Portland to Seattle for work. I primarily work in OR and my residence is there. I renewed my registration in Oregon just before a work trip and got my registration receipt but the new registration card and tags (name for year sticker in Oregon, called tabs in Washington) were in the mail on the way to me (takes a couple weeks to show up in mail in Oregon). Before they arrived my current tags on my plates expired but I had renewed my registration, and the tags were in the mail to me.
After my tags expired, but before my new tags arrived I had to go to Seattle for work. On the way out of Oregon, OSP pulled me over for no tags. I showed them my registration receipt and they sent me on my way without a ticket or issue since my registration is good and they are aware tags don't come right away. Oregon DMV told me this may be the case and I was in full compliance with Oregon law and I would not be issued a ticket if pulled over.
When I got to Seattle however, I got multiple parking tickets while I was there for violation of SMC 11.71.145, expired tags. Text of the city code states: "No person shall stop, stand or park any vehicle on any street or alley, or in any garage, parking area or other property operated by the City unless a valid license plate or plates are attached and displayed thereon as required by RCW 46.16A.200 and Section 11.22.080."
When I got back to Oregon my new tags were waiting for me and I put them on.
Am I on the hook for these tickets? I'm planning to plead not guilty but I want to make sure I have a solid defense plan. Washington is telling me that valid plates means valid tabs (as they call them) and it doesn't matter if it was legal in Oregon with current registration. It seems like if the car is legal in the state it is registered in it would be fine to travel, no? My model of car had a different engine when sold new in California compared to Oregon, but I don't have to swap the OR engine to the CA compliant engine when I drive through CA to make it pass smog there. WA residents have darker tint than Oregon allows on their windows and pass through OR without issue. Isn't there some sort of federal right to pass through? We don't make Canadians change their speedometers to Imperial units when they visit the US by car. If not a federal right to pass through, is there at least some Washington law or Seattle code that says it's legal in WA as long as it's legal where it resides and is registered?
I can't seem to find anything. Any help is appreciated.