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Police to crack down on illegal out-of-state plates

January 24, 2002

Police to crack down on illegal out-of-state plates



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Police have begun cracking down on city residents whose vehicles bear illegal out-of-state license plates.

Over the next few weeks, people with out-of-state license plates can expect to find notices on their vehicles informing them of Maryland auto tag requirements, said Lt. William Carvel Wright III.

Wright said officers will place Motor Vehicle Administration brochures on vehicles to give the owners a chance to determine whether they are in violation of state law or qualify for exceptions.

The pamphlets include a toll-free number that people can call for more information, he said.

Vehicle owners who move to Maryland have 60 days to register their cars in the state and change their tags, said Wright.

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Out-of-state tag exceptions are made for full-time students and members of the military, among other categories. Drivers with valid out-of-state license plates can disregard the notices, he said.

Vehicle owners not in compliance will have to go to the Motor Vehicle Administration to register their vehicles and obtain the proper tags, Wright said.

Police will return to areas they canvassed in a few weeks to check on whether vehicle owners have complied with the law, he said.

Those who have not will be cited, he said.

The police department recently was awarded a $7,500 state grant to pay for overtime for officers conducting the out-state-tag enforcement, said Wright who is administering the grant.

Having the grant money means "we're not taking officers (on regular patrol) off the streets to do it," he said.

The state awarded out-state-tag enforcement grants in order to collect the revenue that pays for Maryland's highways, he said.

Police will be out several times a week in residential areas looking for out-of-state tags, said Wright.

"We'll cover every sector in the city," he said.

The officers will work in teams of two, in four-hour shifts, in the early morning and evening, he said.

The MVA office in Hagerstown is at 18306 Col. Henry K. Douglas Drive. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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