Car Ownership in D.C. a Hassle for Students

By Jarondakie Patrick

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, August 23, 2010

Updated: Monday, August 23, 2010

Bringing your car to college is considered an advantage by many and envied by many others, but, having a car at Howard University may not be all it's cracked up to be.

For Lamarione Sherperd, a junior business major from Missouri, having a car is bittersweet.

Over the summer, Sherperd enjoyed driving into Maryland and Virginia, but recently said that dealing with parking passes at Howard has been a hassle.

"I was told that the parking passes are on a first come first serve basis and they will not be given out until Sept. 8," said Sherperd.

For now Sherperd, and numerous other students, have to pay $4.00 to park their cars at a meter until parking passes become available. If students choose not to pay at the meters they could face towing charges.

This, however, is not the only disadvantage to having a car, as it requires a driver to have car insurance.

According to a State Farm Insurance representative, the price of insurance for a 21-year-old female living in Washington, D.C. who drives a 2002 Camry with almost 100,000 miles would be $385 for full coverage a month.

State Farm offers free quotes to students considering car insurance. The process requires the student's social security number, driver's license number and the state, address, and number of tickets since being licensed and full name of the car owner.

To determine the cost of insurance, State Farm factors in the coverage one would need to insure their car, the age of the individual, driving tickets acquired, and all accidents.

Robert Seymour, a 20-year-old broadcasting major, said knowing the disadvantages to having a car is what kept him from bringing his car from Memphis.

"You have to worry about your car getting broken into, [and] driving around without D.C. tags, and tickets," said Seymour.

Another major deterrent for students deciding whether to bring their vehicles to campus is the fact that students can get ticketed for having unregistered, out-of-state tags. According to the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles, cars within the district for 30 consecutive days must be registered through a process called ROSA, which stands for registration of out-of-state automobiles.

To enforce ROSA, the Metropolitan Police Department constantly monitors residential and business areas for cars not in compliance with D.C. registration requirements, according to the District of Columbia DMV. Proper registration also requires cars to display a valid D.C. inspection sticker.

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