Hello, first post so forgive if I posted in the wrong section. But I was given my third ticket for an expired license plate sticker today. Only reason I haven't renewed my plate is because I cannot pass e-test and at working on saving money to fix my car so it can pass. Anyway as I pulled into work into my parking spot a police officer pulled up and asked me to get back in my vehicle because he had to speak to me not sure if he's allowed to do that. He then proceeded to insult my car and accused me of not having insurance and saying if he saw me driving "this piece of junk" again he would have my car towed as next time would be my "3rd strike". So my question is are police allowed to have your car impounded because of an expired license plate sticker? I have no choice but to drive this car so I can work to fix it. Thanks
I would not expect that it be impounded for an expired sticker. He could pull the plates off the vehicle if there is a problem with it mechanically. Personally if I were you I'd either stop driving it or borrow the money to fix it right away, paying 3 tickets along with the large insurance hike associated with them is going to cost you a lot more in the long run. Have you explored the possibility of getting a conditional pass?
I think his main question is can it happen and the answer to that is yes. It is rare for a cop to tow you for a expired sticker but it can happen. I would think that the third time is about when they're going to want to enforce this. As the other poster mentioned look into a conditional pass. What you have to do is spend $400-$500 on parts and repairs and if it still fails after that they will give you a pass good for one year. Most fails can be repaired for much cheaper than that. I once failed because of a bad sensors and instead of waiting for the dealer and paying big bucks I went to the wreckers and pulled off a bunch of them for $5 ea and put on the best looking one. It shaved 1000 points off my nitrous right away and I passed. Another time on my wife's car she kept on failing after minor repairs and tune ups so we bought a cheap after market cat from ebay and had it welded on, passed right after that and it only cost $90 for the cat and $80 to put it on.
Unfortunately, cars are one of those things considered a luxury. He threated to impound your car probably because he noticed the other unpaid tickets for the same violation. He had to assume the offence was going to re-occur due to the history of your unpaid tickets. Yes, he can impound your car, that or issue you a court notice but of course that also inconveniences him so he'd rather not. If you care can't pass the e-test it's very likely a driving hazard or at least concern, either way, they won't issue you a new validation sticker simply because it's not safe to drive and they don't want it on the road. I admit the officer was a little harsh with his attitude towards your car but I can't really judge to well after all I haven't seen the condition of your vehicle, the officer has and I've seen some pretty beat up old cars, ones that look like they should be operational at all. If your car can't pass the e-test I suggest you stop driving it or pretty soon you'll have a bigger issue than just an invalid sticker.
Sounds like you are telling part of the story...
Yes police can impound / tow and unsafe vehicle, it's up to the officer to articulate why he/she believes vehicles unsafe per the regulations.
Your 'need' to drive the vehicle does not supercede your requirements to do so lawfully, including with a validation. If your plates are expired the officer can seize them and tow the vehicle. Period.
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