New Bedford residents who park their vehicle on a city street might want to make sure their vehicle’s inspection sticker is up to date.

A caller into WBSM Thursday morning stated that a number of vehicles parked on Bonney Street, including his own, had been ticketed overnight for having expired inspection stickers. According to the caller, his vehicle is currently in need of repairs and unable to move from where it is parked.

As New Bedford Police are “stepping up” enforcement of parking violations around the city, especially in the more densely-populated neighborhoods, expired stickers will be something for which they’ll be on the lookout.

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Normally, an expired inspection sticker in Massachusetts is considered a “moving violation,” which means the vehicle must be driving in order for it to be considered a violation. However, due to a City of New Bedford ordinance, a parked vehicle in the city that has an expired or missing inspection sticker is subject to a citation.

According to the City of New Bedford’s webpage on expired inspection sticker violations, “no owner of a vehicle subject to periodic inspection…shall permit a vehicle owned by said owner to remain upon a public way within the city of New Bedford without either a Certificate of Inspection or a Certificate of Rejection displayed in accordance with the provisions of the…statutes and regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

The penalty for a violation of the ordinance is an initial fine of $50, which increases if not paid in a timely manner; after 21 days, it becomes $55, then $75 after 30 days, and finally $95 if not paid within 60 days.

Also, per the ordinance, a vehicle with an expired or missing sticker parked on the roadway can be cited each day there is no valid sticker on the vehicle. We spoke with the New Bedford Traffic Commission office, and they said they do try to avoid citing a vehicle owner a second time once they’ve already been cited.

Laurie Alfonso, Executive Secretary Traffic Commission and Parking Clerk for the City of New Bedford, said there is an appeal process for all parking violation tickets.

“The owner has 21 days to appeal a ticket,” Alfonso said. “They can either write a letter telling us why they feel they should not be responsible for the ticket, or they can also do an electronic appeal through This site also allows you to pay for the ticket, but they would have an appeal option button within that first 21 days that they can select and then just follow the form.”

“When it comes to the expired inspection sticker, if we receive a call, or someone comes into the office, we will try and advise them that they can get a new inspection sticker – pass or fail – within the 21 days,” Alfonso said. “Then they just need to provide proof of this by either a picture of the new sticker or the inspection sticker report and the ticket will automatically be dismissed.”

The caller who was issued the citation said he was less concerned about paying the $50 fine and more worried about the impact it would have on his vehicle insurance, with a surcharge added because of the infraction.

We reached out to Flagship Insurance in New Bedford to find out if a city citation would cause an increase in a person’s motor vehicle insurance. The person we spoke to said that because it was not a moving violation, there would be no surcharge; it is essentially akin to getting a parking ticket.

As a side note, we reported last year that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles had eliminated a “hack” that many used to get an “extra month” out of their motor vehicle inspection sticker.

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