10/6/2005Hawaii: Car Buyers Must Pay Tickets of Previous Owner
Hawaii will not allow used car buyers to register their vehicle if the previous owner has an outstanding parking ticket.
Under a new policy, Hawaii officials are forcing used car buyers to assume responsibility for parking tickets left unpaid by a previous owner. The state last month began enforcing an obscure law passed more than a decade ago that states no motor vehicle may be registered if records show that there are outstanding fines against the vehicle -- not against the owner. To register the car, buyers must either pay all fines owed by the previous owner or contest the ticket in court. To contest the ticket, the buyer must pay a "bond" which is exactly the amount of the fine.
Worse, many unpaid parking tickets may not even have be issued for legitimate violations. In 2003, motorist Dwain Marlowe used a video camera to document how parking meters near the Honolulu airport were shortchanging drivers by between 5 and 15 minutes. Parking tickets generate more than $20 million a year in revenue for Hawaii.
Honolulu resident Bob Webster was given a temporary clearance to have his Buick Regal registered after buying it in June 2004 but was blocked from renewing its registration this year because of a $65 traffic ticket the previous owner had neglected to pay. "I was outraged that I would be held responsible for something that somebody else did," he told the Star-Bulletin's Mary Vorsino.Source: Lets fine the right motorists for parking violations (Star-Bulletin (Hawaii), 10/5/2005)
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