May I please pay you for new license plates?
April 30, 2008 3:04 PM Subscribe
The state DMV won't let me renew my registration on my current car because I owe property taxes on the old car. Is that legal? Can the state refuse to help me comply with one law if I am potentially violating another one?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (6 answers total)
In 2007, I made a good-faith attempt to renew my registration after I noticed it had expired, and was told by the woman behind the DMV counter to drive off in my unregistered car because the DMV could not renew my registration until I sorted out property tax issues with the city where I live (this is in Virginia). My license plates were no longer even in the DMV's computer records because of how long I had waited to attempt to renew them. The woman behind the counter offered the example that if the police pulled me over and ran my plates, the plates would not turn up. Then she sent me on my way, refusing to take the money I wanted to pay for my renewed registration. The DMV seemed to be saying that my city's tax collectors' demands outweigh a state agency's driving regulations, which is surprising.
Fast forward to the present, where my car registration has now been expired for about two years. I understand some of you are lawyers but none of you are my lawyers. Is paying the property taxes I owe on the car I no longer own my only recourse, or is there some way I can bring my current car into compliance while I deal with the old car's property tax issues instead of after? I have been driving on expired tags for some time, yet with a valid driver's license, paid-up insurance policy and up-to-date state inspection on my car. The DMV has never sent notice that my license is suspended, and the state-approved inspection service operated by my car dealership has never had a problem with updating the inspection decal on my windshield. Why can't I put a new sticker on my license plates before I drive down to pay my tax bill?