VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Drivers in Washington were busted for having the wrong license plates on their vehicles.
Washington State Patrol troopers set up at Harney Elementary School in Vancouver on Monday morning and stopped parents after they dropped their kids off at school if they didn’t have Washington plates.
Some got warnings. Others weren't so lucky.
Maria Rivera was one of the many people pulled over after she dropped her kids off at school.
“You've been here for seven years, so you're actively not registering your vehicle in Washington which is a crime. Are you aware of that,” said Trooper Will Finn as he spoke to Rivera.
Finn said police chose to be at Harney Elementary because there are about 32 cars that haven't registered in Washington.
“We've come out twice. We've observed these vehicles. We've given them an opportunity to comply,” said Finn.
He said they're looking for anyone who's out of compliance. But they're really trying to bust people committing fraud, who are trying not to pay the registration fee and sales tax.
“They're actively skirting the system in order to not to have to pay,” Finn said.
Some of the people pulled over were simply caught in the crossfire and said the paperwork on their new car was still being finalized.
“I started laughing when I pulled in because I thought oh this is funny. I just bought this in the last 30 days,” said Kurt Kroon, one of the drivers who was pulled over.
Others like Victor Rodriguez, who moved to Washington back in September, were all too aware of what they should have done.
“I got a ticket. It's my fault. I know what's supposed to be done,” he said.
Rivera was one of the lucky ones. She was let off with a warning.
“I'm giving you two weeks to go down and get your plates for this vehicle,” Finn said to her.
But if she doesn’t comply, he said she’ll be getting a ticket in the mail.
The ticket costs $1,122. Finn said it's less of a hassle and probably cheaper if people just register your car.
Vancouver Police have said the city loses out on hundreds of thousands of dollars when people fail to register their cars.
Finn said at the state level, millions of dollars are lost.
In addition to Harney Elementary, troopers also set up at Mcloughlin Middle School.
Between both schools, troopers gave out eight tickets to drivers who had the wrong license plates.
One of the people who live in the area showed us a note sent out from the school, telling people about what troopers were doing.
A spokeswoman for Vancouver Public Schools said the district sent the email after school had started to explain to parents why WSP vehicles were parked outside the school.
Here’s the breakdown from WSP:
Harney Elementary School
18 vehicles contacted
5 Infractions Issued
1 driver cited for Driving While Suspended
Mcloughlin Middle School
7 vehicles contacted
3 infractions issued
1 infraction for Open Container (marijuana)
1 Driver cited for Fail to Obtain a Washington Driver’s License