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Vehicle Registration Stoppers

If the owner of a motor vehicle fails to timely pay the total amount of fees ordered for a parking ticket, a “stopper” is placed in the vehicle’s record. The stopper prevents renewal of the vehicle’s registration.

How to Clear a Registration Stopper

If you are the owner at the time the ticket is issued

The owner at the time the ticket is issued may get a clearance either

  1. by paying the outstanding judgment in cash; or
  2. if good grounds exist, by filing a motion to set aside the judgment and posting a bond secured by cash equal to the total amount of fees imposed by the judgment. The court will review the motion and render a decision. If the judgment is not set aside, the bond will be used to pay the judgment. That is, the person who posted the cash bond will not get the money back.

If you are the vehicle’s new owner

A new owner of a vehicle upon which a registration stopper has been placed may obtain, from the District Court, a one-time stopper clearance for outstanding violations issued against the previous owner upon proof of title transfer.

Examples of proof of title transfer include: a certified copy of the notice of transfer of the vehicle that was filed with the applicable county department of motor vehicles (DMV); a certified copy of the certificate of ownership of the vehicle, signed by both the old and new owner, and filed with the applicable county DMV; and a certified letter from the applicable county DMV that the unpaid parking fees were incurred prior to the transfer of the vehicle’s title to the new owner.

Precautions for Used Vehicle Buyers and Sellers

If a motor vehicle is sold without both the seller and buyer completing and filing the title transfer documents with the applicable county DMV, the seller is still the registered owner of that vehicle. To avoid problems, the seller should complete and file with the applicable DMV a notice of transfer of ownership to the vehicle.