- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2002

One hand knoweth not what the other does, at least when it comes to the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It seems no one told the parking-ticket enforcers about the new combined vehicle registration/parking permit stickers that the DMV has been issuing since last April. Instead of having separate registration and parking-permit decals on the car's license plates where they can be easily stolen the DMV came up with the idea of putting the parking permit and registration on a single sticker affixed to the inside corner of the windshield. This affords greater protection against theft and makes the parking permit itself more visible. The only problem is that D.C. parking enforcement personnel and DMV bureaucrats apparently haven't been clued in, and people are being issued tickets for not having valid registrations and the requisite parking permits when they most assuredly do.
Capitol Hill resident Michael Robinson, for example, was recently issued a $20 ticket for a residential parking violation, despite the fact that he has a brand-new combined registration/parking permit issued by the very same DMV right there in the corner of his 1994 Ford's windshield, just as the law requires. "This is a metaphor for life in the District of Columbia," he told The Washington Post. "The government that is supposed to be running it has horrendous management that would actually allow people to enforce a policy who have not been instructed in what the new policy is. There can be no greater indication of incompetence than that," he added.
Quite so.
The DMV also says all these folks have to do in the event they receive a ticket is trot on down to the Bureau of Traffic Adjudication (BTA) and show proof of valid registration/parking permit to void the erroneously issued ticket. But as anyone who has lived in this city and dealt with BTA knows all too well, getting the adjudicator to void a ticket any ticket is no easy matter. And, more to the point: Why should a law-abiding resident such as Mr. Robinson have to waste time undoing an error caused by the incompetence of the ticket-writer?
Mayor Williams needs to get a grip on the ever-increasing problems at the DMV. If the city officials providing such basic services reveal themselves to be incompetent at every turn, the Mayor and his fellow local politicians can't expect to be taken seriously when they demand statehood and complain about "taxation without representation."



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