Danny White lives in Washington, DC, is a die-hard Redskins fan, and has both a Chevrolet Avalanche and a peculiar sense of humor. Thanks to a peculiar quirk in the District's Department of Motor Vehicles' computer system, those last two details have gotten him about $20,000 worth of unpaid — and unearned — parking tickets.
Twenty-five years ago, White thought it would be funny to snag a vanity plate that reads "NO TAGS." The personalized plates do earn the occasional approving comment, but the computers in DC's Department of Motor Vehicles have never been programmed to get the joke. Every time a plateless car gets ticketed and the law enforcement officer writes "NO TAGS" in the ticket's license-plate box, White receives the ticket.
He has received many, many tickets.
The ones issued to cars other than Chevrolets are dismissed with little more than a traffic-court appearance; he takes time off from work once every few months to clear the backlog. Tickets written for other Chevys, though, are harder to vacate. The situation has developed to the point where White can no longer re-register his truck.
The issue has prompted the District of Columbia to make changes in its ticket-writing procedures, now requiring a part of the VIN to be written in place of an absent plate.
Why didn't White get a less troublesome registration long ago? He has a ready answer: "If you pay for it, I'll change them." If the DC DMV has its way, though, that change may be coming regardless of who writes the check: White's beloved plate — and other confusing vanity licenses — may soon be recalled to help iron out the situation.