Woonsocket Details Results of Clampdown on Out-of-State License Plates Parked or Garaged in City

WOONSOCKET, R.I.: Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Public Safety Director Eugene Jalette, and Police Chief Thomas F. Oates III announced today the results of the City’s latest efforts to restrict out-of-state vehicles parked or garaged overnight in the City for more than 30 days.

City Police issued 51 citations to vehicles with out-of-state plates culminating from a recent sweep across the City from January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020. Violators did not appear before the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal (RITT) until September 10, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City has made it a priority to enforce Rhode Island General Law 37-7-1 regarding out-ofstate license violators; 1) to protect the public safety by being able to quickly identify and locate vehicle owners should the need arise; and 2) to ensure all city residents are paying appropriate vehicle property taxes.

Mayor Lisa-Baldelli Hunt stated, “Out-of-state license plate violations in this City have been a pet peeve of mine since I was in the state legislature. In fairness to all the taxpayers in Woonsocket, if you live in our City, you must register your vehicle here.” The Mayor added, “Our Police Department has done a great job in fine-tuning their approach to tracking out-of-state plates and we will continue to aggressively enforce the state law.” Public Safety Director Eugene Jalette offered, “The Mayor charged our Police Department with developing an effective, comprehensive program to crack down on out-of-state license plate violators, and they have designed and implemented an innovative sweeps procedure that has resulted in their issuing 227 vehicle citations since January 2018.”

Chief Oates asserted; “The department will continue implementation of the state statute and will appeal to residents who have their vehicles registered out of state to properly register their vehicle(s) to their address in Woonsocket, RI.” The City’s targeting out-of-state license plate violations is in compliance with Rhode Island General Law 31-7-1, which states, in part; “Any foreign registered vehicle parked or garaged overnight in this state for more than thirty (30) days in the aggregate in any one year……shall register the vehicle and pay the same fee that is required with reference to like vehicle(s) owned by residents of this state.” The fifty-one (51) citations issued during the period of January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 were registered in the following states:

Massachusetts: 31

Texas: 6

New Hampshire: 4

New York: 4

Florida: 3

Connecticut: 1

Maine: 1

New Jersey: 1