NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The vehicle registration on State Senator George Latimer’s Jeep was suspended over the summer and remains suspended to this day.
The vehicle registraiton suspension came after a request to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles by the City of Yonkers due to nonpayment of an unspecified number of parking violation fines and fees. Talk of the Sound is working to obtain the amounts Latimer owes to the City of Yonkers. The suspension has been in effect for more than three months, according to the DMV.
The vehicle registration on Latimer’s red Jeep, license plate DFG3951, was suspended on the day after his car crash in New Rochelle on July 21st. He would have been notified in advance of the impending suspension by the DMV so this may explain why he was driving a vehicle owned by his Director of Community Outreach at the time.
“The suspension was effective July 22, 2017 and remains in effect,” said DMV spokesperson Tim O’Brien. "His vehicle registration was suspended by the Yonkers Parking Violations Bureau."
From New Rochelle police records and a site inspection it appears Latimer caused a serious car collision on July 21st when he ran a red light and collided with another vehicle. Latimer swerved right then left, crossing over a double-yellow line into oncoming traffic, then left the road entirely, crashing into a backyard fence along the roadway and striking a tree where the vehicle came to a stop. The impact was powerful enough to splinter the fence into pieces and peel the bark off the tree.
Asked for details such as the fines and fees related to the tickets, O’Brien told Talk of the Sound, “We receive an electronic transaction from the jurisdiction requesting that the registration be suspended.”
“We do not have any details of the tickets,” added.
Talk of the Sound has filed a Freedom of Information request with the City of Yonkers to obtain copies of the tickets, all fines and fees, and all related communications with the DMV.
The City of Yonkers web site says “suspending a Registration is one of the most serious enforcement tools used by the City of Yonkers.”
Yonkers is one among the five largest cities in New York State that have the right to suspend a registration for “failure to answer, appear at a hearing, or pay a final decision entered against at least one parking ticket for which a minimum of four late notifications have been sent.”
After the various warning are sent, Latimer would have received a Notice of Impending Registration Suspension to inform him that “failure to respond would result in the Yonkers Parking Violation Bureau certifying your plate to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles for suspension.”
The process continues past the due date of the notice, where a “file is sent to the DMV certifying that the plates listed on the file are to be suspended. From that point on, an additional $20.00 registration suspension clearance fee is due.” The DMV enters the plates as suspended in their system and sends out a letter to the owner of the vehicle informing then that the registration will be suspended effective on a certain date.
The suspension is not lifted until all parking tickets under all plates of the registrant are paid
If the Yonkers Police find the vehicle on the street they can boot and tow the vehicle.
Once a vehicle is suspended, the owner must remove the plates and turn them into the DMV. If the car continues to be insured, the plates can go back on the vehicle the moment the parking violations and any fees are paid in full. If the car is not insured while the registration is suspended, the owner must pay a $75 a day fine and wait one day per day of non-insurance so that for a vehicle with suspended registration without insurance for 25 days, the owner would have to wait 25 days more after settling the outstanding tickets before putting the plates back on the vehicle.
Talk of the Sound is awaiting a respond to a DMV inquiry as to whether Latimer turned in the plates to the vehicle and whether he maintained insurance coverage on the vehicle.
Senator Latimer declined to comment for this article.