Despite Notices, Harris County Will Not Prevent Vehicle Registration for Unpaid Red Light Camera Fines

Harris County officials stated that outstanding citations would not prevent residents from registering their vehicles. So notices saying otherwise sent to residents with an outstanding misdemeanor traffic violation from a red light camera may have come as a shock.

The Houston Police Department sent notices to 79,000 residents that they would not be able to register their vehicles because of unpaid red light camera fines.

Residents of Harris County who have received these notices will not be prevented from registering their vehicles, regardless of what the notice says. However, residents of surrounding counties who received the notices and those attempting to register their vehicle online may be prevented from registering their vehicles.

Mike Sullivan, a Houston City Councilman, stated that he found it “troubling” that the Houston Police Department would allow notices “stating a fact that is untrue” to be sent.

However, Assistant Houston Police Department Chief Vicki King stated that the letters were “factual and true” due to the small print on the back of the notice. The back states that a county “may” prevent someone from registering a vehicle.

Michael Kubosh, who has collected more than 20,000 signatures to have the red light cameras voted upon, claims that the notices show that the cameras are more about revenue than safety.

According to a recent Houston Police Department report, 796,000 red light camera fines have been issued since 2007. Of those, approximately a third are still unpaid – a large amount going to collection.

The fines have yielded the city of Houston $43 million. The city has transferred approximately $12 million of that to the state of Texas to be distributed to hospitals for use in trauma care.

For questions about a red light camera citation, speak with an experienced traffic citation attorney.