Washington State Patrol chasing car license violators

Nov 17, 2010

The Washington State Patrol has revived a unit of officers to pursue a distinct class of lawbreakers: people living in the state who’ve retained license plates from Oregon or elsewhere.

If you’ve moved from Portland to Vancouver, for example, you’ve got thirty days to get your vehicle’s papers in order. If you don’t, troopers will be looking for you.

Patrol Sergeant Randy Hullinger says the revenue generated by vehicle registration is important to the state – enough so that last session the legislature revived funding for the license investigation unit.

Sgt. Randy Hullinger: “If you take just a few minutes to drive through any Vancouver neighborhood, or just sit on the side of the freeway during rush hour and count the number of out-of-state plates, it’s an incredible number of plates.”

Hullinger says last week troopers picked off some offenders by making rush-hour ramp checks, or combing through apartment complex parking lots. Some people emailed or called in tips on their neighbors.

The fine is at least one thousand dollars, and the penalty can be more severe if the car’s owner evaded Washington taxes.