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Expired Tags and COVID

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  • Expired Tags and COVID

    This is mostly for my fellow officers in Maryland, but are any of you guys stopping and writing warnings for expired registration? I know that there's still an executive order in place so they're saying everything has been extended but since the MVA is open I've got officers in my department who are writing warnings for expired tags. Any of you guys doing this? Right now I'm only stopping and writing for stuff that expires before March. I also haven't written any parking tickets for the same reason.
    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    I Am the Sheepdog.


    "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
    that we are all that stands between
    the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


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  • #2
    What does your local prosecutor say? Our prosecutor says that since no expired plate citation can be issued, the expired plate violation by itself is not PC for a stop.

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    • #3
      Sounds like a good way to get your PC flushed away if that "simple stop for expired registration" turns into something more. If you're stopping based solely upon the expired registration, but registration renewal has been legally waived/extended because of the pandemic, then you don't have a legal reason to stop and you're essentially violating someone's 4th Amendment protections against illegal seizure.
      "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
      -Friedrich Nietzsche

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      • #4
        Every state has extended plate and license expirations, so the registration isn’t expired.

        However, I’d argue you still can make the stop to check if that state has extended the expiration, then release when you find out they have... but why bother?
        "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

        "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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        • #5
          This isn't here nor there, but, here in Texas, the registration requirement is waved...however, our tags for the last few years have been a combination of registration and motor vehicle inspection. There was a campaign during the switch from a motor vehicle registration sticker and the separate inspection sticker where they referred to the combined sticker as the "Texas Two Step."

          If you look up what is waived here in Texas, it only refers to registration being waved, but it doesn't mention motor vehicle inspection. I'm assuming/presuming that both are waved. Also, to get the registration/inspection sticker, you have to have your vehicle inspected. The paper they give you needs to be presented within 3 months to be able to get your vehicle registered.

          So, if I was on duty, I would not stop a vehicle for the expired sticker since the law has been temporarily waved by the governor. Still, Texas law states you can stop someone just to check for a driver license. That statute is what allows Texas officers to have driver license and insurance checkpoints.

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          • #6
            In GA the extension periods have come and gone. Even when it was in effect, if your stuff expired before a certain date you could have still received a ticket for it.

            The few expired tickets I wrote we're paid. Citations go through our municipal court unless the subject can get it transferred to state court. Never heard anything from our DA or municipal judge on the matter.

            Besides they can renew their registration online but it may take some time to get the new revalidation sticker in the mail.
            Last edited by westside popo; 01-11-2021, 09:38 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SmallCityCop View Post
              This is mostly for my fellow officers in Maryland, but are any of you guys stopping and writing warnings for expired registration? I know that there's still an executive order in place so they're saying everything has been extended but since the MVA is open I've got officers in my department who are writing warnings for expired tags. Any of you guys doing this? Right now I'm only stopping and writing for stuff that expires before March. I also haven't written any parking tickets for the same reason.
              Since the MVA is open by appointment only in MD, I was giving warnings on anything expired after they opened by appointment (mid summer???). I advised drivers they would get a warning for exp reg and to make their appointments at the MVA. Someone didnt like the warning I gave them last month because the Governors order still in effect. He felt like he shouldnt of gotten a warning because of this reason. He complaint to my Chief. I got a talking to about this.

              Ive been going after anything expired before March 2020, speed and SEROs.

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              • #8
                No doubt every state is different. Even before the pandemic, California's DMV was so backed up that they had a standing directive to the state's law enforcement agencies telling them not to enforce expired registration violations unless the vehicle was more than six months out of date.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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