D.C. starts amnesty for overdue traffic fines

The cash-strapped District is offering an amnesty on late fines for traffic violators, hoping that will entice people to pay their overdue fines.

The District Department of Motor Vehicles was busier than usual Monday as people sought to clear debts from unpaid parking tickets, towing violations or photo enhancement tickets. Some of the people there said they owed thousands of dollars from past tickets.

The DMV estimates it is owed $479 million from tickets issued prior to Jan. 1, 2010, including accrued penalties. Of that, $245 million are in tickets alone for parking, moving and camera violations.

“Out of that amount we estimate we will raise about 6.3 million dollars,” said DMV Director Lucinda Babers.

Unpaid tickets can affect credit ratings or, if the ticket is for a moving violation, hamper efforts to find work. “I am unemployed because I can't get, I don't have a driver's license,” said D.C. resident Bryce Henry.

While those inside the DMV offices tried to pay off the tickets, outside the ticketing and towing continued.

The amnesty program runs through Jan. 27, 2012. You can pay your ticket online at or by phone at (866-893-5023) or in person at DMV Adjudication Services, located at 301 C Street, NW, Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.