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Unregistered cars parked on Dallas streets could soon get ticketed and towed

Sun reflects off car windshields in a parking lot
Gabriel C. Pérez
KUT News
Unregistered cars parked on Dallas streets are the target of a proposed new ordinance making its way to the city council.

Transportation officials in Dallas voted to move forward with a proposed ordinance that would require any car parked on a public street to have valid registration and license plates.

City officials discussed the issue during a transportation and infrastructure committee meeting on Monday after receiving a memo referencing "numerous complaints" over parked vehicles with expired registrations, expired license plates or no plates.

The memo says many of the vehicles are "legally parked but are being left on the public street for repair and/or resale purposes. These activities lead to discarded vehicle parts and containers being left in and along roadway."

Transportation director Gus Khankarli said the proposed ordinance would allow city authorities to ticket and tow unregistered vehicles based on their Vehicle Identification Number.

"That is the intent is to to be able to do all these things here because currently there is a gap in the ordinance," Khankarli said.

If the city council approves the ordinance, violators could be fined up to $500 for certain offenses.

District 12 council member Cara Mendelsohn asked city staff to amend the proposed ordinance to include language that would apply to all unregistered vehicles, including damaged ones. She added that some car repair businesses are part of the problem.

"That's really become an enterprise of seeping fluids," Mendelsohn said. "We have such an environmental issue that's happening in some of these areas and just a massive number of vehicles that have no license plate whatsoever, or a very expired paper tag."

Khankarli said unregistered vehicles on city streets have been an issue in a few of the city's northern districts, including 6, 11, 12 and 13, as well as District 4 in the city's southern side.

The committee unanimously voted to move the proposed ordinance forward to the full city council for consideration at a future meeting.

Pablo Arauz Peña is KERA’s growth and infrastructure reporter. Got a tip? Email Pablo at You can follow him on X @pabloaarauz.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the Growth and Infrastructure Reporter for KERA News.