Waterbury among first cities to lean towards enacting fines for out-of-state tags; others in CT could follow

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A new law passed in Connecticut will allow cities and towns to find and fine residents who’ve lived in Connecticut 90 days or longer and still have out-of-state tags on their vehicles. Before officially deciding to take advantage of that new law, Waterbury’s Board of Alderman wants to know what the public thinks.

Freshman Waterbury State Representative Mike Digiovancarlo (D-74th) was a driving force behind that legislation. “Digi” as he’s known around Waterbury, is also a city police officer.

RELATED: New fines for drivers with out-of-state license plates in Waterbury

“We passed a law that got put into effect for Oct. 1, 2021, that will give the state the ability to give the ticket and that will be enforced by courts but also give cities and towns the right to create an ordinance that each city and town can give for a $250 ticket,” he explained.

Waterbury City Alderman George Noujaim told News 8 Waterbury is one of the first cities to do this. Before they make it official, they’ll hold a public hearing on Aug. 16.

Rep. Digiovancarlo says cities like Waterbury have missed out on “millions and millions” of dollars over the years because of this issue, but insists this is not a witch hunt.

He says people would be able to waive the fine if they register their car in Connecticut before their hearing for their fine. He also says Waterbury Police will engage in a public educational campaign before Oct. 1 should the Board of Aldermen vote to officially implement the penalty.

News 8 spoke with Waterville Community Club President Martin Spring, who is frustrated people with out-of-state plates possibly avoiding higher taxes here than the places they moved from and not contributing to city coffers here.

“It just doesn’t seem fair that you have people running around the City of Waterbury, you know, not paying their fair share of taxes,” he said.

Digiovancarlo agrees.

“It’s not fair to those residents who are paying their taxes,” he said.

He also explained why he believes allowing cities and towns to enact fines on their own is important.

“It’s important because over the years the tickets would go to the state, to the courts, and the fine would get “nollied,” and the offender would just walk away without changing the plates,” he said.

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