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DPW’s New Pilot Program Has Towed 69 High-Dollar Scofflaws and Booted 770+ Vehicles in the Last Two Months

Thursday, May 30, 2024
Goal is getting vehicles with high-dollar tickets off the street more swiftly

(WASHINGTON, DC) A new pilot program aimed at getting high-dollar scofflaw vehicles off of District streets has identified and towed more nearly 70 vehicles with more than $600,000 in unpaid tickets, and separately booted more than 700 vehicles representing almost $1.6 million in unpaid fines. This Department of Public Works (DPW) initiative is part of ongoing efforts to enforce roadway safety and uphold traffic regulations under the Vision Zero strategy.

“Drivers who ignore citations endanger all roadway users by fostering a culture of disregard for our laws,” said DPW Director Timothy Spriggs. “Identifying and impounding vehicles that have racked up significant fines can be complex, but our scofflaw search teams are getting results and are getting these vehicles off of our streets.”

Since the start of the pilot in early April, DPW enforcement teams have towed 69 vehicles with $604,404 in unpaid fines. Separately, the enforcement teams also search for boot-eligible vehicles and booted an additional 777 vehicles with $1,591,214 in unpaid fines during that same time period.

DPW enforcement teams search for scofflaw vehicles using License Plate Recognition System (LPRS) technology. The agency launched the program to focus on areas where DPW data showed clusterings of scofflaw vehicles. For example, a recent enforcement sweep in Ward 2 resulted in the booting of 46 vehicles with $92,000 in outstanding fines. DPW will expand the pilot to additional areas where data shows significant numbers of scofflaw vehicles.

The pilot program has established dedicated staging areas for tow trucks to expedite the removal of scofflaw vehicles. In addition, DPW is on track to procure an additional impound lot by mid-summer, which can store approximately 300 vehicles. This will enable DPW’s parking enforcement teams to tow more scofflaw vehicles from the roadways.

This DPW initiative complements other recent agency enforcement actions, such as:

  • Rapid Response Teams for high-risk parking violations: In FY22, DPW commissioned a team of Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs) to respond to safety-sensitive parking violations within one to two hours after a service request is submitted in 311. DPW’s Parking Enforcement Management Administration (PEMA) has classified the following 10 parking violations as safety sensitive: Alley Violation, Blocked Driveway, Fire Hydrant, Handicap Parking, No Parking Anytime, No Stop Stand Bike Lane, Parked on or Obstructing Sidewalk, Parked on Public Space, and Private Property Ticket and Tow.
  • Booting and towing team expansion: In FY22, DPW doubled the size of the booting crews, which resulted in a significant increase in productivity in the last half of FY22. In FY24, PEMA plans to hire eight booters and eight crane drivers.

Vehicles with two or more unpaid, unresolved DC parking tickets and/or photo enforcement tickets more than 60 days old are eligible to be booted and towed. Vehicles are towed to DPW’s two impound lots at Blue Plains or Bryant Street NE. Impound lot capacity is the main limitation on towing enforcement operations; the addition of a third lot will significantly boost DPW towing capacity. All fines, boot and/or towing, and storage fees must be satisfied before a vehicle is released.

Registered owners are notified of tickets via their mailing address on file and if registered, through the Ticket Alert Service (TAS) at the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV). Impounded vehicles that remain unclaimed after 28 days following notification are sold at public auction or scrapped. Tickets can be paid online at, by phone at (866) 893-5023 or in person at DC DMV’s Adjudication Service Center.

Residents can report parking enforcement violations and abandoned vehicles to 311. Please note that vehicles may no longer be at the location by the time a PEO is dispatched.