Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–2302.05. Answer.

(a) In answer to a notice of infraction, a person to whom the notice was issued may:

(1) Admit, by payment of the civil fine, the commission of the infraction;

(1A) Admit with an explanation; or

(2) Deny the commission of the infraction.

(b)(1) A person charged with a moving violation may contest the charge by mail, through the Department’s website, or through a personal appearance scheduled by appointment; provided, that a person charged with a violation that was detected by an automated traffic enforcement system pursuant to § 50-2209.01 may contest the charge by mail, through the Department’s website, or by appearing on a walk-in basis during regular business hours at a location designated by the Department.

(2) A motor vehicle owner or operator shall be permitted to contest by mail the charge of operating or permitting to be operated a motor vehicle without required insurance being in effect with respect to that motor vehicle pursuant to § 31-2413(a)(3). For the purposes of contesting the charge, the owner or operator shall be permitted to present as evidence establishing that the required insurance was in effect with respect to the motor vehicle any of the following:

(A) An Insurance Identification Card;

(B) An insurance policy;

(C) Any other evidence that constitutes reasonable proof that the required insurance was in effect; or

(D) Copies of any documents described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of this paragraph.

(3) Unless the hearing examiner has reasonable doubt about the veracity of the evidence presented pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) and (B) of this subsection, submission of either shall be sufficient to dismiss the charge of operating or permitting to be operated a motor vehicle without required insurance being in effect with respect to that motor vehicle pursuant to § 31-2413(a)(3).

(c)(1) A person admitting an infraction shall, at the same time the person submits an answer, pay the civil fine and any additional penalties established pursuant to § 50-2301.05 as may be due for failure to answer within the time required by subsection (d) of this section. Payment of the fine for the infraction shall be deemed a finding of liability.

(2) A person admitting an infraction with an explanation shall submit payment of the civil fine and any additional penalties established pursuant to § 50-2301.05 with the explanation as to why the fine or penalty should be reduced or points should not be assessed. A hearing examiner may, upon consideration of the explanation, order the reduction of the fine or penalty or waiver of applicable points, or authorize the deletion of the assessed points upon the satisfactory completion of driving school.

(d) If a person fails to answer a notice of infraction within 30 calendar days of the date the notice was issued, or within a greater period of time as prescribed by the Director by regulation, a penalty equal to the amount of the fine shall be added pursuant to § 50-2301.05(a).

(e) If a person fails to answer the notice within 60 calendar days after the date the notice was issued, or within a greater period of time as prescribed by the Director by regulation, the commission of the infraction shall be deemed admitted and all points, penalties, and fines shall be assessed.

(e-1) Not Funded.

(f) Not more than 50 days after the notice is issued, the Director shall send by regular mail addressed to the person’s address on the Department of Motor Vehicle’s records notice of the outstanding notice of infraction and the effective date of the deemed admission. For holders of out-of-state licenses, the address in the Department of Motor Vehicle’s records shall be the address available through the Washington Area Law Enforcement System, or similar interstate database containing license information from state issuing agencies, or the address displayed on the person’s driver’s license as presented at the time notice of infraction was issued.

(g) Repealed.

(h)(1) The Director is authorized to implement amnesty programs as he or she considers necessary to encourage respondents to answer outstanding notices of infraction or pay outstanding fines. The Director shall send to the Council written notice of the intent to establish an amnesty program 45 days prior to its implementation.

(2) Repealed.

(3) Repealed.

(i)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, a deemed admission pursuant to subsection (e) of this section may be vacated if the Department receives a written application by mail or through the Department's website within 60 calendar days of the date of the deemed admission that sets forth:

(A) A sufficient defense to the charge; and

(B) Excusable neglect for failing to answer within the time period provided for in subsection (e) of this section.

(2) If the infraction underlying a deemed admission pursuant to subsection (e) of this section involves a violation of § 31-2413(a)(3), the deemed admission may be vacated if the Department receives a written application by mail or through the Department's website within one year of the date of the admission and the application need state only a sufficient defense to the charge as set forth in subsection (b)(2) of this section.

(3) If the infraction underlying a deemed admission pursuant to subsection (e) of this section involves a violation detected by an automated traffic enforcement system pursuant to § 50-2209.01, the deemed admission may be vacated if the Department receives a written application by mail or through the Department's website within one year of the date of the admission and the application need state only a sufficient defense to the charge as set forth in § 50-2209.02(a), that the respondent was not the owner or lessee of the cited vehicle at the time of the infraction, or the registration plates were stolen from the cited vehicle at the time of the infraction.

(4) If the infraction underlying a deemed admission pursuant to subsection (e) of this section involves a violation of §§ 50-1731.03, 50-1731.04, and 50-1731.05, the deemed admission may be vacated if the Department receives a written application by mail or through the Department's website within one year of the date of the admission and the application need state only a sufficient defense to the charge of the admission as set forth in § 50-1731.06(a).

(j) The filing of an application under subsection (i) of this section shall not stay any charges, fines, penalties, or points; provided, that if the infraction underlying the deemed admission is dismissed, any charges, fines, or penalties paid shall be reimbursed and points assessed may be vacated.


(Sept. 12, 1978, D.C. Law 2-104, § 205, 25 DCR 1275; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 504(b), 43 DCR 4569; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-289, § 302(e), 48 DCR 2057; Apr. 8, 2005, D.C. Law 15-307, § 207(a), 52 DCR 1700; June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-117, § 202, 53 DCR 2548; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-279, § 301(c), 54 DCR 903; July 23, 2014, D.C. Law 20-127, § 3(f), 61 DCR 5711; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C.Law 22-175, § 2(c), 65 DCR 9546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-615.

1973 Ed., § 40-1113.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2207.02, § 50-2301.05, § 50-2302.04, § 50-2302.06, § 50-2303.04, § 50-2303.06, and § 50-2421.07.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-289 rewrote the section.

“(a) In answer to a Notice of Infraction, a person to whom the notice was issued may:

D.C. Law 15-307, in subsec. (f), substituted “307.7” for “307.6”.

D.C. Law 16-117, designated the existing text of subsec. (b) as par. (b)(1); and added pars. (b)(2) and (b)(3).

D.C. Law 16-279 rewrote subsecs. (d), (e), and (f).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-127 made a stylistic change in the introductory language of (a)(1); added (a)(1)(A); rewrote (b)(1), (c)(1) and (c)(2); repealed (h)(2) and (h)(3); and added (i) and (j).

Applicability

Applicability of D.C.Law 22-175: § 3 of D.C.Law 22-175 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(c) of D.C.Law 22-175 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 401(a) of the Omnibus Budget Support Emergency Act of 1993 (D.C. Act 10-32, June 3, 1993, 40 DCR 3658).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 504(b) of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-302, July 25, 1996, 43 DCR 4181), § 504(b) of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-429, October 29, 1996, 43 DCR 6151), and § 504(b) of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-2, February 19, 1997, 44 DCR 1590).

For temporary (90 day) establishment of adjudication process, see § 4 of Motor Vehicle Registration and Operator’s Permit Issuance Enhancement Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-413, July 16, 2002, 49 DCR 7378).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 20-127, § 5, see § 7009 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 20-127, § 5, see § 7009 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 20-127, § 5, see § 7009 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 504(a) of Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Temporary Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-226, April 9, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 2584).

Editor's Notes

Chapters 1 and 3 of Title 18 of the DCMR (Vehicles and Traffic) (June, 1987) has replaced Chapter II of Title 32 of the District of Columbia Rules and Regulations, referred to in (c).

Section 1001 of D.C. Law 11-198 provided that titles I, II, III, V, and VI and sections 405 and 406 of the act shall apply after September 30, 1996.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-127: Section 5 of D.C. Law 20-127, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7009, provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014.